Why Golf Courses Look So Sharp

April 17, 2013 | Gardening, Grass

golf course

Although each one is a bit different, golf courses around the world have one thing in common: nearly all of them feature grass that’s achieved that “perfect” look so many of us wish we could have with our own lawns. Not only does the grass look perfect, it has to be tough enough to handle the wear and tear of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of players and golf carts each year.

Wondering how they do it? (And by “they” we mean the golf course superintendent and his hard-working ground crew.) Here’s a brief look at what goes into turning ordinary grass into golf course grass.

Like homeowners, course supervisors face the challenges that come with drought, rain, shade, thatch, disease, damage and others. And like savvy homeowners, they are prepared to meet those challenges and win.

For starters, golf grass is often planted in a way that gives it a major advantage over grass planted in a residential area. During construction, a bulldozer creates a 12- to 16-inch deep hole the size of the course to install a drainage system. In advanced systems, this golf course-sized hole is then lined with plastic, gravel, drainage pipes and sand, allowing the grass to grow in sterile sand with perfect drainage. Surfaces are also designed with contours to perfect run-off as well.

In addition to drainage, full sunlight and excellent airflow is required for golf course grass to be and stay healthy. It is the golf course superintendent’s job to monitor tree growth and ensure there are no large, shady areas on the green or trees that are hindering air movement throughout the course.

As you can imagine, daily golf course grass maintenance is meticulous. To maintain a near-flawless surface, grounds keepers inspect the course daily and make repairs to divots and other damage. They also make sure the grass is watered regularly and mowed to specific heights (and mowing often takes place six times a week!) Other tried and true maintenance practices include core aeration, top dressing, rolling and applying fertilizer and pesticide.

With the almost non-stop care golf course grass gets, it’s no wonder it looks so good. Think you’re up to the challenge of creating your own mini golf course in your yard? It all starts with the right type of grass for a golf course. In our region, the most popular grasses for golf greens are Tifway 419 Bermuda and Zeon Zoysia grass. Find out more about these varieties in our online store.

The Grass Outlet is Texas’s resource for lush, green turfgrass for both residential and commercial applications. Contact us with any questions you might have.