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The Different Types of Grass in Golf and How to Play Each

Fescue Grass in Golf

One factor that makes golf so nice is that the taking part in discipline adjustments each single spherical. Not like basketball or different sports activities with the identical discipline or courtroom, every spherical of golf has its personal challenges.

From totally different lengths of holes, wind, climate, and in addition, the varieties of grass. The final half is one thing that I don’t suppose golfers take into account sufficient. The sort of grass you’re taking part in on has a big impact in your efficiency, particularly on and across the greens.

However likelihood is you didn’t get a level in turf administration and haven’t any clue the way to decipher what sort of grass you’re taking part in on. Fortunately, you discovered this text and we’ll make it straightforward so that you can establish what sort of grass with the intention to hit higher photographs.

Figuring out the sort is the first step and studying the way to play from totally different lies and grass is the following step. When you be taught this helpful ability, your recreation will journey very effectively, it doesn’t matter what course you’re taking part in.

Sorts of Grass in Golf

The kind of grass featured on any golf course depends upon the placement of the power greater than the rest.

Some places supply heat temperatures yr spherical, whereas others have a number of seasons.

Every sort of grass is conducive to the temperate and general local weather. For this reason you in all probability see the identical form of turf in your space and don’t discover a giant distinction except you journey to totally different elements of the nation.

For instance, I dwell in Arizona and most programs have bentgrass greens. I understand how to putt effectively and chip effectively as I play them constantly. However once I journey to the East Coast, say Florida, the turf is Bermuda which may be very totally different from regular. I’ve to consciously make changes on or across the greens to think about the grass and grain.

The kind of turf additionally performs a giant consider placing, as some grass have noticeable “grain” whereas others don’t. This could have an effect on your putt a ton and is one other issue on the subject of studying greens effectively.

Now, let’s break down the most typical varieties of turf used on the golf course.


The primary widespread sort of grass is named bentgrass which may be very well-liked with golf programs. Any such grass is mostly used within the Northeast, Northwest, and Midwest as a consequence of cooler summers. It doesn’t do effectively in excessive circumstances, which is why it’s widespread to see these coastal areas.

Bentgrass is a really lush sort of grass and might develop extraordinarily thick, which offers some robust circumstances for gamers. Some good examples of such a grass embody:

  • Muirfield Village (host of the Memorial Match).
  • Augusta Nationwide (residence of the long-lasting Masters Match).
  • Royal St. George’s Golf Membership (host of the Open Championship).

And different well-known PGA Tour stops as effectively.

It is usually well-liked with golfers because it seems very interesting to the attention. Plus, greenskeepers can mow this grass very brief to create phenomenal placing greens. Simply consider Augusta and how briskly these greens are (often about 14-15) on the stimpmeter.

The best way to Play on Bentgrass

Taking part in on bentgrass is fairly easy, as you don’t must take care of grain on the placing inexperienced. Because the USGA mentioned, “Greens composed of Poa annua, colonial bentgrass and plenty of species of wonderful fescue have a predominantly vertical progress behavior and a common absence of grain. The breeding and improvement of latest and improved bent grasses and Bermuda grasses in recent times has resulted in grasses with finer leaf blades, increased density and a extra upright progress behavior with much less grain.”

Coping with bentgrass occurs extra with photographs from the tough than any changes within the fairway. For the reason that grass can get very thick, greenskeepers can select to make it very lengthy and difficult for those who miss the golf green.

If you end up on this thick bentgrass tough, make certain to:

  • Open the face at handle. The hosel will possible get turned as you enter the tough in your downswing, which can shut the face and make it shoot left. The thicker the tough, the extra you wish to open the membership to offset the hosel closing at influence.
  • Grip the membership firmly. For the reason that tough will seize the hosel, growing your grip stress will provide help to reduce the face shutting and hopefully let you hit it straighter.
  • Get steep. You wish to take the membership extra straight up, straight down with the intention to make contact with the ball first, into the grass behind it. When you get a ton of grass behind the ball first, your ball won’t even make it again to the golf green.
  • Swing exhausting. Lastly, don’t overlook to offer all of it you bought with the intention to get as a lot distance as attainable. You in all probability wish to take one additional membership to account for the lack of distance, too.

Bermuda Grass

One of the crucial widespread varieties of grass is named Bermuda.

Any such grass does very effectively in heat environments, as it might develop effectively regardless of excessive warmth and humidity. Whereas it does effectively within the warmth, it doesn’t do effectively within the chilly and might die fairly simply. Some golfers battle with this grass on sure photographs, as it may be “sticky” and tough to maintain the membership transferring via influence.

What makes Bermuda such a most popular selection is that it’s extremely sturdy. It might survive in opposition to very exhausting circumstances and recovers in a short time as effectively. These greens are usually barely slower than bentgrass (a minimum of on municipal programs) and don’t break fairly as a lot.

One large distinction between bentgrass and Bermuda grass is the grain on the greens. For instance, if you’re placing on Bermuda greens, if the grass has a shine to it, you’re placing down grain which can pace up the putt. If the grass is darker, then you might be placing in opposition to the grain, which can make the putt slower.

Bermuda can be a best choice amongst PGA Tour stops, as they will mow the grass very low if they select too. Since most PGA Tour occasions play on greens which can be 12-14 (and even 15 typically), they want the turf minimize extraordinarily low to hurry up the greens.

Maybe the most effective instance of this grass is at TPC Sawgrass, with the world-famous island inexperienced on quantity 17. Generally known as the “fifth Main” within the golf world, this course assessments the most effective gamers on this planet, due to the extraordinarily difficult holes and superfast greens.

Different examples embody:

  • Honda Basic (PGA Nationwide).
  • Waialae Nation Membership (host of the Sony Open).
  • TPC Scottsdale (Waste Administration Phoenix Open).

One cool factor about Bermuda is that it might turn into dormant. Lots of programs will use dormant Bermuda grass within the tough whereas a unique sort of grass within the fairways to maintain them inexperienced. The distinction between the 2 seems very interesting and it’s straightforward to identify the place it is best to goal to seek out the brief grass.

Bermuda Grass Golf

The best way to Play on Bermuda

So how do you play on Bermuda grass? It’s a great query as a result of the “stickiness” of the grass could make quite a lot of gamers battle across the greens.

This brief video from Titleist is tremendous useful – listed here are just a few pointers to recollect:

  • When hitting chips or pitches from down grain, it’s a lot simpler to manage the ball. The membership gained’t stick into the grass and may come off barely decrease with loads of spin to examine up. You’ll be able to nonetheless hit your lob wedge and may hold your weight 50-50 and possibly have a slight quantity of ahead press to hit down on the ball.
  • When hitting into the grain, that you must make some changes. First, you’ll be able to putt it with a hybrid or 3 wooden (as he says within the video, don’t use a putter because the grain will eat it up). When you don’t really feel snug with a bump-n-run sort shot, you need to use a wedge, however want to regulate at setup. Don’t ahead press the membership, because it removes loft and bounce, which can make the membership stick into the bottom (and supply that chunk shot nobody likes). As a substitute, go for a niche wedge or pitching wedge and transfer your fingers again at handle. This can assist the membership skip via the grass and hit a traditional chip shot.

Bermuda greens additionally deliver grain into impact if you’re placing. For this reason it’s vital to not solely learn the inexperienced, however the grain as effectively.

For instance, if in case you have a downhill putt however you’re placing into the grain, it gained’t be as quick as you suppose. Conversely, if in case you have an uphill putt that’s into the grain, you have to to place an even bigger stroke on it to get the ball to the opening as it will likely be very sluggish.

With cross-grain putts, pace is the largest issue. If the greens are quick, the grain will have an effect on it lower than if the greens are sluggish. In case your tempo is the correct pace, cross-grain gained’t have an effect on your putts as a lot.

Poa Annua

Poa Annua is one other well-liked grass that’s straightforward to establish due to its distinct shade. General, these greens are very sluggish and sticky in comparison with Bermuda or bentgrass. Attributable to their dynamics, they will’t minimize them as brief and might die if not maintained correctly.

The most effective examples of such a grass is Torrey Pines, which hosts the Farmer’s Insurance coverage Open. To not point out, the greens on the iconic Pebble Seaside golf course use poa annua grass.

Poa Annua Grass Golf

Some golfers love a majority of these greens, whereas others hate them. It’s often the gamers who grew up on these greens (like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson) who like them probably the most. They perceive the way to learn them and the way to take care of them later within the day as they get bumpy.

When you’ve ever watched these occasions on TV, likelihood is you could have heard the announcers point out the grass time and time once more. It’s nearly as well-liked because the gamers themselves.


As a result of it’s robust to putt on such a grass because the day progresses. Lots of golfers hate taking part in on poa because the grass grows rapidly, the greens get bumpier because the day progresses.

For instance, for those who’re on the PGA Tour and in one of many remaining teams, you’ll must take care of the wear and tear and tear from gamers earlier than. Even brief putts can bounce off-line rapidly and make it robust to gap putts from any distance.

In accordance with, poa is kind of difficult for even the most effective greenskeepers. As they mentioned, “Poa is the diva of grasses. It’s shallow-rooted, fussy about temperature, calls for quite a lot of water and is quickly prone to pests and illness. A chilly winter will wipe it out. So will a searing summer season. Temperate climates. That’s what poa likes. Which helps clarify its prevalence in coastal California.”

Whereas some take into account it a “weed” it’s not, but it surely’s not possible for sure golf programs to keep away from as greens get launched to poa seeds.

The best way to Putt and Chip on Poa Annua Greens

When chipping and pitching on poa annua greens, it’s vital to recollect they’re slower than they give the impression of being. Watch this video for just a few easy tricks to taking part in higher on a majority of these greens:

  • With chipping and pitching, use extra loft, so the ball doesn’t spin as a lot. At all times keep in mind that uphill photographs seize extra, whereas downhill photographs roll out extra.
  • With placing, it’s vital to keep in mind that downhill putts roll out additional. Whereas the alternative is true with uphill putts.

You additionally want to regulate your mindset to remain affected person. Bear in mind, these greens do get bumpier because the day wears on and might have an effect on your placing. Don’t let it get you down if you end up lacking putts even for those who make a great stroke.


Zoysia grass is one other widespread sort of grass for mid-temperature climates and is a member of the poa household. Any such turf does effectively in excessive temperatures, however not a lot in chilly climate.

One perk about such a grass is that it grows considerably slower than grass like poa annua. It’s additionally very sturdy, which makes it perfect for areas of excessive foot visitors. Any such turf is mostly used on the golf green, tough, and tee bins too. Which is why it’s quite common to see on well-liked municipal golf programs.

Fescue Grass in Golf


When you love watching hyperlinks golf and the Open Championship, then you realize all about fescue grass. As this article mentioned, “Golf course fescue is often grown within the second minimize of tough or past (reminiscent of in unmowed native areas). When golfers consider fescue, they image a sturdy grass that turns golden and might develop three toes excessive. It could even be used as a decorative grass to border a function like a bunker.”

This thick grass may be very difficult to hit out of and if you end up in it, often it’s since you have been approach off-line and within the tough. Not often is such a grass utilized in fairways.

One notable instance of that is Whistling Straits, which was host to the 2021 Ryder Cup. One other well-known instance is Chambers Bay, the place Jordan Speith gained his first US Open Championship.

There are quite a lot of sorts of fescue together with:

  • Insurgent
  • Apache
  • Houndog
  • Onerous fescue
  • Kentucky-31
  • Sheep’s fescue

And different artistic names for the irritating lengthy grass that almost all golfers actively keep away from.

The best way to Play from Fescue Grass

If you end up on this nasty stuff, the primary goal is to get the ball out!

The very last thing you wish to do is depart your shot in that grass and must strive it once more. This brief video and ideas under will provide help to out:

  • Take much less membership than you suppose. 8 or 9 iron is possibly the longest membership you need to use, relying on the lie. Extra loft, means extra bounce, which can provide help to on this thick lie.
  • Open the membership as much as enhance bounce much more. This can assist the membership glide via the thick grass simpler.
  • Take an aggressive swing and guarantee to swing down and thru the golf ball.
  • Plan for the ball to go 30-50% of its regular distance (at most).
Dormant Golf Grass

Perennial Ryegrass (Rye)

Rounding out our record of various kinds of grass for programs is named perennial ryegrass (aka rye). That is one other well-liked grass that may be a favourite amongst golf programs throughout the nation.

It’s not perfect for excessive warmth climates (like Arizona or Florida) and grows finest in cooler summer season climates. However it additionally doesn’t do effectively in freezing climates both. If the temperature reaches under freezing, it can really die off and make a nightmare for the golf course superintendent.

If the climate works out although, it’s a giant hit. In reality, it’s not unusual for golf programs to make use of such a grass for the tough and fairway, as it might endure quite a lot of visitors.

A superb instance of such a grass is at Pebble Seaside and the encompassing properties. They use rye grass on the fairways and tough, whereas the greens themselves are poa.

This is without doubt one of the varieties of grass that should be overseed throughout sure instances of the yr for prepper upkeep.


Do you could have extra questions in regards to the various kinds of grass in golf? In that case, now we have solutions within the often requested questions part under.

What sort of grass is used on golf programs?

The kind of grass used on any course relies upon totally on the placement and local weather. Sure varieties of grass gained’t do effectively in sure climates and might really die off as effectively. Golf course designers and superintendents undergo rigorous coaching to make sure the varieties of grass used will final for the long term.

Do golf programs have the identical grass on fairways because the greens?

Not at all times. Whereas it might typically occur, it’s not unusual for various kinds of grass for use on the golf green and tough vs. the inexperienced.

Pebble Seaside is an ideal instance. They use rye grass for his or her fairway and tough, whereas they use poa annua grass on their greens.

What’s the finest grass for a golf course?

The perfect grass is the one that may create the most effective circumstances and develop yr spherical. Local weather is an important issue when selecting the grass for the tee bins, fairway, tough, and greens.

What varieties of grass have to do overseed every season?

Not all varieties of grass want an “overseed” season. A number of the commonest sorts that do want overseed embody rye and Bermuda grass.

Overseed occurs in sure golf heavy areas like Arizona. As this turf article mentioned, “Over 75% of all golf programs will overseed early with the intention to meet membership and play schedules. That is very tough on the Bermuda, and the ryegrass, however you already know why. About 15% of all programs will overseed late, when the night time temperatures are within the low 50°’, which makes the soil cool rapidly.”

This whole course of takes about three weeks and is often cart path just for a number of weeks after that to not harm the brand new turf.

Last Ideas

Even for those who aren’t a professional golfer, realizing what sort of grass you’re taking part in golf on may help you shoot decrease scores.

The extra you realize in regards to the lie, the higher you’ll be able to assess the shot and use the correct fundamentals to execute it. In any other case, for those who don’t have your weight positioned accurately or the proper ball place, it might make for a protracted day chipping and pitching.

The identical goes for placing on various kinds of grass as effectively. Some surfaces are a lot simpler to putt on than others, even for the best gamers on this planet, so don’t beat your self up. However when you realize the grass and probably the grain, it makes it simpler to learn the putt and hit your putt with confidence.

When you don’t know the kind of grass, it’s often obtainable on the web site for many programs. Or, you’ll be able to ask the professional store as effectively.

Hopefully, this tutorial will provide help to play higher on any course!