Different Kinds of Grass on Golf Courses

By J.D. Chi
Golf courses require grass that can repair quickly and withstand heavy traffic.
Golf courses require grass that can repair quickly and withstand heavy traffic.

Commonly referred to as "turf grass," the grasses used on golf courses are traditionally tough, fast-repairing grasses that can withstand plenty of traffic. Grass on golf courses differs from region to region based on how the grass will stand up to heat or cold. Different grass may also be used on the tee box, fairway and greens, though greens are often planted with some variety of poa.


Among the most time-tested and well-known golf course grasses, Bermuda grass is used in warm-weather golf locations, including Florida and Georgia, according to Golfways. Bermuda grass withstands heat, can be mowed low, repairs quickly and is drought resistant. On the negative side, Bermuda grasses will die back in colder weather and may be overseeded with perennial ryegrass to fill in holes. The tees and fairways at Augusta National are Bermuda.


Available in several varieties, bentgrass is found on golf courses in cool summer or coastal locations, including in the North, Mid-Atlantic, coastal California and the Midwest. Bentgrass is a member of the poa family and is considered the best grass for golf course greens in the South, according to Aggie Horticulture. Bentgrass is used on the greens at Augusta National. It has a fine texture and can stand up to constant and low mowing.

Perennial Ryegrass

A longtime favorite for use on golf courses, perennial ryegrass can be found in nearly any cool-summer region. Perennial ryegrass is used on the tee boxes and fairways at several of the Pebble Beach golf courses and is used to overseed the Bermuda grass on the tee boxes and fairways at Augusta National. Ryegrass has a fine texture and is a clumping rather than running grass. This grass must be heavily planted for tight, hole-free turf.


Zoysia can be used in a wide range of climates, with the exception of desert or cold western locations. Because of its range, zoysia is a popular choice throughout the country. This grass, which is a member of the poa family, is deep-rooted, clumping and holds its color well. The blades are fine and may be mowed to 3/4 of an inch. Zoysia is often used on municipal courses.

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