Understanding golf reading will be easy if you can determine the types of grass in the golf course. Your performance is affected by the very place you are playing. The smoothness. The distance. That’s why you have to know your turf!
Grasses in the golf course are referred to as turf grass. The main factor of growing certain type of grass is the weather along with its soil condition, irrigation, and climate. They grow in a sterile sand medium with perfect drainage mixed with different herbicides that kill weeds that try to move in, pesticides to control insect damage and fungicides to control disease. Maintenance includes mowing with precision, watering, fertilizing, applying chemicals, aerating and general coddling. It is kept short and even to allow players to strike clean in the fairway. If in the putting green, the grass is shortest and most even for the ball to roll smoothly over the surface and adding challenge in the rough where the grass in long.
Course design can raise or lower the difficulty of the game with how often the grasses are cut and what height. Tees are shorter at 3/8 to ½ of an inch. Putting greens feature the shortest grasses, often cut around 1/8 to 3/15 of an inch.
The Types of Grass in the Golf Course
- Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass is commonly used in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi as well as Hawaii (where they used 100% Bermuda) which have warm or tropical climate because it can withstand heat. It can be mowed low, repairs quickly and is drought resistant. Generally used on putting green because it is sturdier than other types of grass. 21% of the states used Bermuda type in the putting green based on a survey conducted by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
- Bent Grass
According to Aggie Horticulture, Bent grass is considered the best grass for golf course greens in the South where there is cool summer or coastal location just like in the North, Mid-Atlantic, coastal California and the Midwest. It has fine texture and can stand up to constant and low mowing which is also ideal for putting greens. Survey says, 79% used this grass in the putting green. There is difficulty to keep this grass moist and requires more maintenance of in hot climates with the risk of dying.
- Kentucky Bluegrass
Dark blue-green in color, Bluegrass is often favorably used in states with cooler climates. It is drought and disease resistant and changes color to green early in the spring. It is also hardy with quick regrowth times and good with being shortly mowed. It is usually mixed with ryegrass to fill in the bare patches during winter.
- Perennial Ryegrass
Perennial ryegrass can be found in a cool-summer region. Often use in the fairways roughs, and tee box to overseed Bermuda grass. It has a fine texture and must be heavily planted for tight, hole-free turf.
- Fescue Grass
Common in the Northeast of United States where temperature is cooler transition. It grows in shade and can go for long periods without being mowed. It has slender blades that blend well with other grasses and can be found in the rough.
- St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine Grass is a warm season grass found primarily along the U.S. Gulf Coast of the rough. It tolerates wide range of soil types with moderate level of maintenance. It may require supplemental watering on a daily basis.
- Zoysia Grass
Zoysia is the most popular grass used across the USA because of its versatility not only in golf but also in other outdoor sports. It can be used in a wide range of climate except in desert or cool western locations. This grass requires fewer cuttings than other grasses because it is slow-growing and stiff. It his highly resistant to heat and drought. It is also deep-rooted, clumping, and holds its color well. The blades are fine and can be mowed to ¾ of an inch.
Knowing the turf you are playing at will be easier to determine how much force you need to apply and how much distance or speed there is.