How Turfgrass Selection Affects Playability and Maintenance Strategies for Golf Greens

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Golf course managers can choose from numerous turfgrass species and varieties for their greens, depending on what aesthetic and experience they want to create. Depending on location and environment, however, different products will require various management strategies to keep them in the best shape.

The overall playability of an organization’s golf greens is affected by the type of turfgrass they choose. Options include Bermudagrasses, seashore paspalum varieties, bentgrasses, perennial ryegrass and more. Each species and variety provides a distinct set of characteristics that impact the player experience. For instance, warm-weather and saline-tolerant seashore paspalum grasses boast a bright green color, fine texture and good density. On the other hand, bermudagrass is a time-tested golf greens standard because it is tolerant to low mowing and repairs quickly.

Certain species and varieties are better suited for specific locations because they thrive when subjected to a particular environment. If a golf superintendent lives in a coastal area with consistently warmer weather and uses a seashore paspalum grass, it is likely maintenance will be easier and the grass will flourish more than if a cold-weather variety was selected.

With technological advancements, golf managers have tools to pick a turfgrass that isn’t optimal for the environment and then adapt their management strategy to mitigate the variety’s limitations or issues. That means the industry’s ability to provide enjoyable playing conditions even while using cool-season grasses in a warm climate, or vice versa, has improved.

However, there are some limitations that will persist when greens consist of a turfgrass that isn’t optimal for its surrounding environment.

“The idea that perfect playing conditions can be maintained during times of the growing season when survival of the grass is a better goal is not realistic,” according to an article for the Golf Course Magazine. “Increased management intensity on grasses that are pushed to geographical limits during periods of maximum environmental stress creates a potential opportunity for even weak pathogens and pests to create major turf grass problems.”

Have questions about selecting the right sod product for your golf course greens? Contact the experts at Modern Turf for a consultation or to browse our selection of golf grass.


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