List: Types Of Golf Course Grass (Golf Coach’s Advice)

Types of Golf Course Grass from A List of All of The Grass According to Tell Me More Golf Coaches

The beauty of golf lies in its most minor details, including the surface that the game is played on. While golf course grass is often overlooked, especially by beginners, it influences ball roll, bounce, and shot execution, making it a critical element in the golfer’s experience. 

As the leader of the Golf Instructor Team here at Tell Me More Golf, I will explore the different types of grass that cover golf courses worldwide, as well as how you should play them to gain a competitive edge.

List Of All Golf Course Grasses (How to Play Them)


Bentgrass is synonymous with putting greens. Its fine texture, excellent recuperative ability, and capacity to create ultra-smooth surfaces make it the gold standard for greens. Varieties like creeping bentgrass and colonial bentgrass are cherished by golfers for their true and consistent roll.

Bentgrass greens demand precision and an impeccable putting stroke.

Golfers should be prepared for a smooth, fast roll but also be wary of grain direction that can affect break.


This warm-season grass is a common choice for golf course fairways and tees, especially in regions with hot, sunny climates. Bermuda grass is durable, tolerates foot traffic well, and has a striking emerald hue. It offers golfers firm, fast fairways. Bermudagrass also tolerates extreme heat better than most grass types.

Bermuda fairways offer good lies and firm conditions, especially on dry days.

Players can expect a level lie for approach shots, encouraging crisp ball striking.


Zoysia, known for its dense growth and resistance to pests, thrives in the heat of summer. It’s used on tees, fairways, and roughs, offering golfers a carpet-like playing surface.

Zoysia is most commonly found in the tee box. Zoysia tees provide excellent footing and durability. This is ideal for players who appreciate the comfort of a stable tee box.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass are ideal for courses in northern climates. They create lush fairways and roughs, making for a picturesque golf experience. The name “bluegrass” hints at its beautiful blue-green color.

While Kentucky bluegrass is found in the fairways of many Northern courses, it is most impactful when used in the rough. The thick texture of Kentucky bluegrass roughs can penalize errant shots, making accuracy essential for escaping unscathed.


Ryegrass is often used for overseeding, which involves planting grass seeds over an existing turfgrass surface, typically during the cooler months, to introduce a new grass variety or to rejuvenate the appearance and performance of the turf.

This keeps courses green during the cooler months.

It provides a bright green appearance to fairways and tees in late fall and early spring.

Overseeded ryegrass provides a green fairway when warm-season grasses go dormant. Golfers should be prepared for a more receptive landing and a slightly slower roll.


Golf Course Fairway Grass

There are several different types of grass that can be used in the fairway depending on the climate and personal preference of the superintendent. Here’s a closer look at the different types of grass you might find in the fairways.

Bermudagrass Fairways

Bermuda fairways are renowned for their ability to provide a firm surface for golfers. Balls tend to sit up nicely, offering clean contact with the clubface.

The texture varies from fine to medium, depending on the specific variety used.

Zoysiagrass Fairways

Zoysia fairways share some characteristics with Bermuda grass but offer a slightly different experience. They are known for their density and can provide a consistent lie. Golfers can expect a fair amount of roll with Zoysia fairways.

Kentucky Bluegrass Fairways

In northern climates, Kentucky bluegrass is a popular choice for fairways. It creates lush, inviting fairways that are a delight to play from. Balls tend to sit up well, encouraging confident ball-striking.

Ryegrass Overseed

When warm-season grasses go dormant in the winter, many courses overseed with ryegrass. This creates green fairways that offer a bit more cushion and control. Golfers can expect a moderate amount of roll.


Putting Green Grass

The putting green might be the most crucial playing surface to understand on the course. These surfaces must be incredibly consistent and receptive to ensure a fair and exciting game.

Bentgrass is the king of the putting green. Its fine texture, dense growth, and adaptability to very low mowing heights create ultra-smooth surfaces.

Golfers often appreciate the true and consistent roll that bentgrass greens provide.

When you putt on a well-maintained bentgrass green, you can be confident that you are putting on the best grass possible.


Seeding may not seem very exciting, but it is a crucial and complicated part of golf course design and maintenance. The first step is selecting the best seed blend for the course. Golf course superintendents carefully consider several factors when making this decision:

Climate and Region

The local climate and region play a significant role in choosing the right grass seed. Different grass varieties thrive in various climates. For example, cool-season grasses like perennial ryegrass and fine fescue are ideal for overseeding in cooler climates, while warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass are suitable for warmer regions.

Turf Type

The existing turfgrass species on the golf course dictates the choice of overseeding grass. It’s essential to select a grass seed blend that complements or blends well with the primary grass. For instance, if the primary grass is Bermudagrass, overseeding with perennial ryegrass or annual ryegrass can create a seamless transition.

Turfgrass Traits

Different grass varieties have varying characteristics. Some prioritize aesthetics and color, while others focus on wear tolerance, disease resistance, or drought resistance. The superintendent’s goals, as well as golfer expectations, play a significant role in selecting the right traits.

Time of Year

Overseeding typically occurs during specific times of the year, often in late summer or early fall for cool-season grasses.

The choice of seed should align with the overseeding schedule and expected weather conditions.


Before overseeding, proper preparation of the turf is essential. This typically includes mowing and aeration. After the preparations are complete, overseeding typically follows the below steps:

  • Seeding and Sowing: The overseeding process involves evenly broadcasting the grass seed across the desired areas of the golf course. This is often done using specialized equipment to ensure even distribution.
  • Watering and Germination: Adequate watering is critical to ensure seed germination. Golf course maintenance teams carefully monitor soil moisture levels to provide the optimal conditions for seedlings to grow.
  • Maintenance Practices: After overseeding, regular maintenance practices are crucial. This includes continued irrigation, fertilization, and mowing according to the specific requirements of the overseeded grass variety.
  • Transition Back to Primary Grass: When the overseeded grass is no longer needed, such as when warm-season grasses naturally recover in the spring, the transition back to the primary grass is carefully managed to avoid stress on the turf.


Golf Grass Statistics

The world of golf course grass is not just about aesthetics; it’s also a science. Here are some key statistics and factors that golf course superintendents consider:

  • Grass Height: The height at which grass is maintained significantly impacts gameplay. Greens are usually cut shorter than fairways, affecting golf ball roll and speed.
  • Green Speed: The speed of a putting green is measured in “stimp” and influences putting strategy. Faster greens require a delicate touch.
  • Maintenance Practices: Regular practices like aeration, topdressing, and fertilization are critical for grass health and course playability.

Types Of Golf Course Grass In California

California’s diverse climate, ranging from coastal regions to desert areas, means that golf courses in the state utilize various grass types to suit local conditions. Here’s an overview of the grasses commonly found in California:

  • Bermudagrass: In Southern California’s warm and sunny climate, Bermudagrass thrives. It’s often used for fairways and tees, providing a lush playing surface. Bermudagrass is also more drought-resistant than some other grass types.
  • Annual Bluegrass: In cooler, coastal areas of California, annual bluegrass is prevalent on golf greens. It can be overseeded with bentgrass in winter to maintain green surfaces.
  • Kikuyugrass: This grass variety is well-suited to the coastal regions of California. It’s used for fairways and tees, offering excellent wear resistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grass for a golf course?

The choice of the best grass for a golf course depends on various factors, including the climate and region. Cool-season grasses like Bentgrass are often preferred for golf greens in cooler northeast climates, while warm-season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia are popular in warmer regions.

What kind of grass do they use on golf greens?

Golf greens typically feature grass varieties known for their fine texture, low mowing height, and ability to provide a smooth and consistent putting surface. Bentgrass is the standard seen on most putting greens.

What kind of grass is on the greens at Augusta?

Augusta National Golf Club, known for hosting The Masters, uses a specific strain of Bentgrass known as A1/A4 Bentgrass on its greens. This choice helps create the fast and smooth putting surfaces that the course is famous for.

What type of grass is at PGA National?

PGA National Resort & Spa, located in Florida, uses Bermudagrass, a warm-season grass, on its fairways and greens. Bermudagrass is well-suited to the region’s climate and provides excellent playing conditions.



Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a curious newcomer, the intricacies of golf course grass are an interesting topic to explore.

Knowledge of golf course grass will enhance your enjoyment of the game and deepen your respect for the dedicated professionals who maintain these lush landscapes. This guide, curated by our team at Tell Me More Golf, should have allowed you to gain a profound appreciation for the subtle but critical role that grass plays in the world of golf.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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