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Types of Grass on a Golf Course – 6 Golf Grass Types and How to Play on Each One

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Golfing on different courses can have a major advantage to increase your skill level. The golf grass will differ from course to course. Also, as a golfer, you will encounter different golf grass in different parts of the country. This article will help you understand 6 different types of grass on a golf course.

When you play enough golf, you will have a preference of the type of grass you play best on. All PGA professionals have their own favorite type of grass. Tiger Woods for most of his career preferred Zoysia. While Bryson tends to play better on Bentgrass.

Each type of grass has its own pros and cons. The grass on golf courses differs from region to region and is based on the grass’ capacity to stand heat or cold.

The 6 different types of grass on a golf course

Depending on the grass, the ball will fly and spin differently. You will have to play on different courses to get the feel of which grass you prefer. However, see below for the 6 most common golf course grass and how each one of them plays.

Most variable type of grass on a golf course

Fescue Grass

Normally when this grass is present, it is in a large cluster and will swallow your ball up in a heartbeat, but sometimes not! Well, if you’ve ever played on a northern golf course, especially in one with large areas of drought, chances are, the grass on that course is fescue grass. This type of grass is used in different areas on the golf course, though the most common type is the one you’d find in overgrown areas.

This is one of the types of grass on a golf course that often has narrow fairways coupled with large amounts of fescue grass down the sides of the fairway. The interesting thing about this type of grass is that it also can be cut short.

So, depending on the time of the year, you might just get a little lucky to be able to hit a shot from the rough with this type of grass. If the grass is not cut short, you will have a very difficult shot and the chances of you making solid contact is very low.

Most common grass used on greens

Bentgrass Grass

Bentgrass is a different type of golf course grass
Bradshaw Farms White Course #9 Bentgrass Green

The Bentgrass will be your best bet if you live in a cold region. Or chances are, the golf course near you has one. This type of grass on a golf course is best suited for cold regions and can survive through long winters. Like Bermuda, this type of grass can be mowed very short.

Furthermore, Bentgrass can be used on greens, then rolled over and over to further create a bit of speed on the greens while playing. This grass is, interestingly enough, the second most commonly used golf grass out there.

Asides from being aesthetically pleasing, it grows short and can be mowed lower without destroying the landscape around it. In addition, it doesn’t require excess water to grow and is suitable for the Northeast region, a section of the Midwestern part of the world, and the Pacific Northeast.

The Bentgrass option isn’t suitable for players who don’t play much as they might have a hard time adjusting to the way the ball comes off the grass. The ball typically spins more and will stop quicker than hitting from other types of grasses.

Most commonly used grass on a golf course

Bermuda Grass

bermuda - a differnt type of golf course grass
Golf shot from the White Course #8 hole from the Bermuda grass

It is worthy to note that the Bermuda Grass is one of the most (if not the most) commonly used grasses in golf courses. Sam Burns is currently the best player on the PGA tour when playing on Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is the only golf grass that can hold up extreme heat and weather. Bermuda grass can withstand temperatures that exceed the 90-degree mark for long periods of time. But why is Bermuda grass also used in temperate regions?

It is a warm-season golf course grass used in warm or relatively hot regions. Though this temperature can be unconducive for other golf grass, the Bermuda grass typically stays the same. Therefore, it can survive over a long period while still giving you that tough lawn surface to play on.

Bermuda golf grass isn’t only suitable to the climatic conditions in the Southern region, where the temperature is quite high. It is pretty much used on golf courses nationwide. This grass takes up a lot of water. With the growing water cost in the country, the last thing you want is to grow grass to increase your water usage further.

One other thing that makes the Bermuda golf grass unique is its mowed short or long. Golf courses can benefit from using this around every part of the golf course. Since the grass can be manipulated so easily, the idea is to have grass of different lengths around the golf course, and the Bermuda golf grass does a nearly perfect job handling most mower heights.

Best warm region types of grass on a golf course

The Zoysia Grass

The Zoysia grass is native to Asia, though it has been in the U.S. for over a century and has, over time, become popular golf course grass. It’s a grass that is a warm-season grass that’s best suited for warm regions. The Zoysia grass is heat and drought-resistant. It will save all golf courses a good bit of money on irrigation. It grows into a very thick grass suitable for all types of golf courses.  

The Zoysia grass can be used on fairways, tees, and sometimes the rough. The thick nature of the grass helps to choke out weeds, and it can also withstand heavy traffic. However, it is a slow-growing grass that takes a while to fill in. Sand is very important to keep the grass growing at an optimal rate.

Please make sure to use golf etiquette for beginners when playing on this grass. Take the time to fill in the divot holes on every shot. Learn more on how to repair ball marks in a golf green here!

The Zoysia grass can be grown indoors unlike the other golf course grasses. Most homeowners are now even switching to Zoysia to help reduce watering costs. Interestingly, this can save both homeowners and golf courses hundreds to thousands of dollars annually.

In addition, the grass grows strong and can grab your club if you slightly mishit a ball. Thus, this allows different golf courses to keep this grass thicker in the rough and then cut it down a bit to turn it into a fairway.

Since the golf course grass is thick, most weeds won’t have a chance to grow up through this turf.

The best turf grass on a golf course

The Perennial Ryegrass

The perennial ryegrass is one of the most common turf grass you’ll find out there today. Typically, it is planned on fairways and tees boxes of golf courses. It also has a fine texture similar to that of the Fescue grass. The growing vertical position also creates less friction on the green than most other grasses.

The deep green color and the smooth texture remain evident when properly nurtured and fertilized. However, Ryegrass doesn’t spread naturally, just like many other types of grass. Hence, it may need a bit more maintenance to spread adequately. It grows quick, but not in the best possible way.

One of the major downsides of Ryegrass is that it doesn’t spread quickly. And if there’s a part of the course that needs to be filled quickly, the Ryegrass, unfortunately, can take a while. Overall, the perennial Ryegrass isn’t always an ideal option for some golf course areas that are hoping to see a lot of traffic for their golf course.

The most difficult types of grass on a golf course

The Poa Annual Grass

Lastly, the Poa Annual Grass is another type of golf course you need to know about. “Poa” is a popular grass amongst golf course superintendents and professional golfers. Often referred to as Poa, it isn’t as commonly used as most of the other golf grasses.

This grass is very, very thick. But what makes the Poa Annual Grass thick?

One feature that makes this grass thick is its low-growing feature. And low growing grasses don’t require as much mowing, and even when mowed short, the thickness will grab your club very easily on every mishit. This is a much more difficult grass to play from.  

But on the flip side, the main issue that golfers will face with Poa is its shallow root. Shallow roots mean that they will fade and die quickly if things go “south” with the turf. You have to have a great maintenance crew and disciplined golfers. One cart going over a wet part of this grass can set back 6-months’ worth of growth time.

One other issue that you’ll find with the Poa golf grass is that the color is a little bit different shade. It takes a little more time to get accustomed to this type of golf grass. Once you are able to get out and play on this a few times, this may even become one of your favorite types of golf grass!

Long Bombs Golf Final Say:

At the end of it all, the best golf grass is relative. There are many different species of golf course grass out there. Each player and person will have their own preference. It may not always be due to the performance, but it is all about comfortability!

 The best golf grass depends on the region and the region’s temperature in question. Just as the Bermuda Grass is perfect for warm or hot regions, the Bentgrass is ideal for cold regions. So, in the end, it depends on so many factors.

You can be rest assured that the golf grass highlighted on this list are the best golf grasses you’ll find out there. It just is a matter of how much time you must get out and play on each different type. It is just a matter of time before you find out your favorite type of golf grass.


About the Author


How we got onto 16 with a 5 minute wait at the WM Phoenix Open!

How I got on hole 16 (The Stadium hole) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with little to no wait!! I also have tips and tricks on what to do once you are inside the gate and inside the stadium hole. Check this out if you ever plan to make a trip out! If you ever have the chance, it is definitely worth the trip.

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