The Best Grass for Golf
Golf courses in many areas of the country are surging with the number of overall rounds played. After brief closures during the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, many have opened with record numbers as people seek to get out of the house and into beautiful outdoor settings. The unseen heroes are the superintendents who do everything they can to keep their courses in good shape for the public. In many cases, they have improved varieties of turfgrasses that can handle more in their arsenal. Those are key to keeping courses running smoothly and golfers happy.
What sort of characteristics makes a grass good for golf?
A few things come to mind when searching for the best grasses for the golf world. Depending on how much play the course gets, having a grass that can handle cart traffic, divots and just general abuse from an excessive number of rounds of play is essential. Depending on where the course is located, having something cold tolerant might be a key factor as well. Aside from environmental factors, how does it play? The ball sits up differently on different kinds of grasses. Certain varieties allow for better roll. Some have better color and texture.
Which grass is best for golf?
To find which grass works best for golf, let’s look across the spectrum and examine specific varieties that come with unique sets of traits. Also, most grasses don’t allow for use all over the course. Greens will typically need their own specialty varieties with extremely tight internodes and dwarfed blades that can be cut down to extreme heights without damaging the grass.
Celebration® Bemudagrass has been the standard for going on two decades. Developed in Australia, Celebration is known for having a unique blue-green color and an extremely rapid recovery from damage. Take a huge divot out on a poorly-hit seven Iron? No big deal. In a couple of days you won’t even notice it as the rapid horizontal growth of Celebration covers over the dirt. One other deciding factor in Celebration’s corner is its shade tolerance. Bermudagrasses in general aren’t very adept at dealing with shade making courses with trees on many holes an issue. However, of the bermudagrass world, Celebration is among the best at dealing with shade, allowing superintendents to rest a little easier when dealing with tree-lined areas. Celebration is known world-wide, found on PGA Championship courses like TPC Sawgrass, Harbour Town, Copperhead at Innisbrook, Bay Hill, Doral and more.
Pictured above from left to right: Celebration on the TPC Sawgrass golf course and Harbour Town golf course.
Pictured above: Celebration on Wycliffe Golf Club in Wellington, FL.
Take a look at our site references document below to see a list of golf courses that made the decision to install Celebration. Be sure to click on it see the full list on two pages.
Latitude 36 Bermudagrass
Latitude 36® Bermudagrass is one of the newer varieties in the golf world. Latitude is one of the prettiest of these three bermudagrass options. Its visual appeal often surpasses that of other bermudagrasses on the market. Developed for its adaptability to cold weather, Latitude 36 can push to the northern extremes for a southern variety (currently growing in Pennsylvania). Its appearance is what really sets this grass apart giving it unmatched playability. Latitude 36 has extremely fine, dense blades and that allows the ball to sit up perfectly while letting players enjoy increased distance from their shots due to precise roll. Latitude 36 is found on courses throughout the country including some of South Florida’s most prestigious like Broken Sound and the Loxahatchee Club.
Pictured above: Latitude 36 on North Palm Beach Country Club.
Take a look at our site references document below to see a list of golf courses that made the decision to install Latitude 36. Be sure to click on it see the full list on two pages:
NorthBridge® Bermudagrass is another of the new grasses on the market. Featuring tolerance to colder climates, this tough bermudagrass cultivar is one of the first grasses to green up in the spring. Its tensile strength and aggressive rooting make it one of the most durable choices for golf and it roots very aggressively making this variety very durable. Playability is a plus for this variety with exceptional ball sit-up and roll speed. NorthBridge is a finer-bladed bermudagrass like Latitude and has Latitude’s color.
Pictured above: NorthBridge on the Northwood Club golf course.
Take a look at our site references document below to see a list of golf courses that made the decision to install NorthBridge:
Sunday Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass
If you need a grass for a putting surface, SundayTM Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass fits the bill with some of the best genetic stability on the market, meaning that genetic grass mutations won’t happen. Getting a consistent look and roll on a green is key and Sunday has proven stable for over 30 years. Its root density and length are hallmark features allowing this grass to survive some low temperatures. Sunday is an ultra-dwarf variety but can be managed like a dwarf bermuda which allows for use from low to high end facilities. It can be cut and maintained as low as .080 to deliver quick speeds on a stimpmeter.
Pictured above: A closeup of Sunday Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass.
Take a look at our site references document below to see a list of golf courses that made the decision to install Sunday Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass. Be sure to click on it see the full list on two pages:
Zoysiagrasses are now being more widely used for golf. Golfers love the different way the ball lays on the upright growth habit of this variety. InnovationTM Zoysia is one of the newest varieties. With a medium-to-fine blade, it is easier to maintain than strictly fine bladed varieties. Innovation was developed for its cold tolerance and its ability to hold color in those colder temperatures, something courses are looking for in many parts of the country. It also has rapid recovery, similar to a bermudagrass, allowing rapid recovery from divots.
Pictured above: A closeup of Innovation Zoysia.
Innovation Zoysiagrass is a new zoysiagrass cultivar under the experimental designation KSUZ 0802 that was released jointly by the breeding programs of Texas A&M University and Kansas State University in 2015. To learn more about Innovation, read our other Turf Talk blog: Innovation Zoysiagrass – A New High Quality Variety from Texas A&M and Kansas State.
Interested in requesting a quote?
The Sod Solutions Professionals team delivers sod and installation services for commercial landscape projects, golf courses, sports fields and housing developments across the globe.
Our team can help you select the right products and methods for your project, coordinate delivery and logistics and offer financing options. Our deep industry experience and network of farms and installers ensure that your project is done right the first time with the highest level of quality and service. Learn More.
What is a Lunch & Learn and how will it help me?
Sod Solutions, founded in 1994, has been focusing on research and development of superior turfgrasses for commercial, residential, golf and sports use. We have found that putting the right grass in the right landscape is the most important factor in its long-term success. Our team wants to be an asset in this education and would be happy to come out to your offices or virtually host a “lunch and learn” seminar to discuss the different factors that go into finding the right grass. We will share with you both knowledge and widely adopted strategies that can be helpful in your future projects. Also, as part of our “lunch and learn” we will assign one of our team members at Sod Solutions Pro to be your personal consultant for any future grass questions you may encounter during upcoming projects. Always feel free to reach out to them. Learn More.
Be sure to also check out some of the best fertility products for golf course greens, tees and fairways on the Amp AgronomyTM website. Amp Agronomy uses Catalyst TechnologyTM, which nano-sizes the nutrients to make them more efficient. Nano-sizing them makes the nutrients readily available for the plant to absorb through its roots and leaves.