Grass is the foundation of a golf course, so it’s no wonder that the type of grass used on a golf course affects how well you perform. The grass on a golf course affects ball speed and direction of travel. To master the game of golf, it’s important to be familiar with the foundation of the golf course that you’re playing on.
Some grasses are more common than others. The three most common grasses used on golf courses are:
- Bermuda Grass: Bermuda grass is common in the Southeast because of it’s ability to withstand high temperatures. It’s often sandy with coarse, wide blades and doesn’t grow when it’s disconnected from the stem, which requires frequent reseeding.
- Bent Grass: Bent grass is the most common of the three grasses. Its thick, mat-like blades are what make it so desirable to golfers.
- Poa Annua Grass: Poa Annua grass is often used in the West Coast. It has shallow roots, requiring large amounts of rain to keep it in good condition.
Other grasses include:
- Bahia Grass: This relatively low maintenance grass is normally found in warm climate areas. It’s used for creating roughs and around landscaping.
- Fescue: Fescue grass is actually a combination of grasses and thrives in cool and warm climates.
- Kentucky Bluegrass: This drought-resistant grass is usually used near hazards and on fairways.
- Rye Grass: Rye grass is a cool season grass. This type of grass is also popular on tennis courts.
- St. Augustine Grass: This grass is used on greens and around trees and it’s very similar to bermuda grass.
- Zoysia Grass: This type of grass is known for its blanketing effect and works well in both cool and warm climates.
The type of grass used on a golf course will also affect the overall feel and style of the course. Grasses that can be mowed to different lengths allow the golf course designer to be more creative. Grasses that are low maintenance will make it easier to keep a golf course looking good year round.
Hybrid grasses are becoming noticeably more popular. They allow putting surface to roll like bent grass but are coarse like bermuda. Not matter the type of grass, each grass has a grain, resistance and green speed. It’s important for golfers to know what each of these characteristics are.
- Grain: Grain is when grass grows horizontal in respect to the putting surface. The grain of the grass has an effect on where you have to aim to putt.
- Resistance: Resistance refers to how quickly the grass of a golf course will slow the ball down. The grain, height, and type of grass all affect its resistance.
- Speed: Speed is determined by a device called a stimpmeter. This device applies force to a golf ball then measures how far it traveled. It’s important for golfers to be able to judge the green speed as either slow, medium, or fast.
There’s no doubt that the type of grass used on a golf course affects a golfer’s game. Learn how different types of grass affect the ball and your golf game will improve in no time.
Trisha Banks is a blogger for The Grass Outlet, a turf farm in Austin, Texas. Trisha wants to know if grass affects a person’s golf game.