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What grass is used on golf courses?
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What grass is used on golf courses?

If you’re a keen golfer you probably understand some of what it takes to keep a course in peak condition.

First, there is the strict mowing, irrigation and fertiliser schedule for the tees, greens and fairways, which is supervised by the Course Superintendent, also known as a greenkeeper or turf manager.

The Superintendent is the person responsible for the maintenance, operation and management of the course.

This includes planting, fertilising and maintenance of turf and making sure all playing areas are kept at a suitable standard for players.

But before all that can happen, a decision has to be made about the types of turf to use.

Many golf courses use different grass types for each area because of their distinctive appearance and performance at varying heights.

Typically a golf course will have short grass on the tee boxes, medium length grass on the fairways and long grass in the rough.

Types of golf course grass

In Europe and the United States, cool season grasses such as Bentgrass are commonly used for golf course playing surfaces.

But they usually require constant watering, heavy fertiliser application and frequent mowing, making them much less suited to Australia’s hot, dry climate.

Traditionally, Kikuyu and Couch grasses have been favoured for most Australian golf courses. Kikuyu is especially popular in the hot, humid areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

What makes a good golf course grass?

The grass type and how playing surfaces are groomed can have a huge bearing on rounds and how golfers interact with the ball.

The density of cover, grass length and whether the leaf is vertical or horizontal determines how much friction is on the ball, affecting both speed and direction of movement.

Golf course grass varieties

  • Buffalo: With a low growth rate, drought resistance and low maintenance, warm season Buffalo grasses are growing in popularity with golf courses, especially on tee surrounds and in roughs. New varieties offer better density, darker colour, finer texture, improved winter hardiness and faster establishment from sod or seed.
  • Couch: Commonly used in home lawns as well as golf courses. A warm season grass with rich green colour, it tends to become dormant during winter. Couch is more drought tolerant than cool season grasses, but still requires careful watering.
  • Fescue: A cool season grass, Fescue is tough and drought resistant, ideal for roughs and fairways.
  • Kikuyu: Durable and fast-growing, but a regular maintenance schedule will keep it short and soft.
  • Wintergrass: Despite its reputation as a weed, Wintergrass is suitable for use on fairways in both hot and cold climates.
  • Zoysia: Hardy, slow-growing Zoysia grasses are finding new fans on golf courses across Australia. Suitable for both hot and cool climates, they’re versatile and can be maintained at different heights to suit fairways, surrounds, tee boxes and greens.
  • Bentgrass: With a fine leaf and rich green colour, Bentgrass can be mowed to less than 4cm, and is quick to repair damage from wear and tear. It is routinely used on golf course greens. The intense maintenance schedule required by Bentgrass, including regular soil testing for pH, nutrients and moisture levels, makes it impractical for most homeowners.

If you’re looking for grass that can give you the golf course feel at home, myhomeTURF recommends two Couch varieties: OZTUFF Couch and Stadium Sports Couch.

OZTUFF COUCH

Bred in Australia, OZTUFF Couch is one of the best Couches for environments where high tolerance wear is needed.

With a horizontal growth habit, it can be mowed as short as 18-25mm every seven to 10 days in summer and slightly longer, at 25-30mm, every three to six weeks in winter.

The fine leaf doesn’t need large quantities of fertiliser to hold its dark green colour.

Thanks to its deep root system, OZTUFF Couch is also drought and salt tolerant, making it perfect for coastal locations and areas where water restrictions are common.

You can read more about OZTUFF Couch here.

STADIUM SPORTS COUCH

The darkest green Couch available, Stadium Sports Couch copes well with warm, humid conditions.

It is swift to recover from heavy foot traffic thanks to the fast-growing runners, and quickly bounces back after a dry spell.

Stadium Sports Couch also has a horizontal growth habit, produces minimal seed heads and low to moderate thatch, ensuring it is low maintenance and needs less mowing.

Mow every seven to 10 days in summer and every three to six weeks in winter at heights of 10-30mm.

You can read more about Stadium Sports Couch here.

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