The sport of golf and the grass surface it is played upon are in several ways inseparable. Whereas several sports were created to be played in certain fields or indoor spaces, much of golf is based on the uniqueness of the outdoor space where it is played. The playing surfaces for soccer and baseball are remarkably similar from one country or hemisphere to the next. As for golf, it is very visible that no two courses are exactly the same. Whereas several sports, such as tennis, originated on a lawn, golf is one of the sports behind the prevalence of today’s manicured lawns. As the sport of golf grew, the concept of turf did as well, along with research into types of grass and the best ways to grow them. The sport has definitely changed over time. While it is often thought that golf originated in Scottish fields with shepherds hitting stones, today’s golf courses are a testimony to the human ability to take a piece of land and to tame it for a very specific purpose. The amount of time that goes into creating and maintaining golf courses is a major undertaking, and a college program/degree that has sprouted in several universities to help provide trained individuals for this purpose.
Preparing a plot of land to become a golf hole or a golf course requires considerable effort — golf architects make a living doing just this. Some of the major steps that are involved in preparing property to be used for golf include: researching the soil (likely by taking soil tests), considering drainage for the course, deciding what type of grass you want to use for the course, creating plans for holes, determining an overall plan to fit all the holes together within the limits of the allotted land, and identifying a contractor that can come in to put the plan in action. However, there are individuals who end up having an extra couple acres in their backyard who with some planning have built a single hole for their personal use.
When looking into what kinds of grass seed (or “turf grass” seed – as golf course grass is often called) to use, a good first step is to do soil testing. While there is a cost for this, soil testing does provide helpful information including: nutrients, contaminants, fertilizers, and other characteristics of the lawn. It can also help identify which fertilizers can benefit the area before seed is planted. One major factor in picking the right turf grass seed is the climate of the area that you’ll be planting. For additional information on this, check out our blog entitled “Grass Seed: Is It Enough?”
The most commonly used types of turf grass include:
- Perennial Ryegrass (Cool Season)
- Bluegrasses (Cool Season)
- Bentgrasses (Cool Season)
- Zoysia grass (Transition areas)
- Bermuda Grass (Warm Season)
When looking at commercial turf grass seeds, one will likely encounter mixtures of grasses which can help provide benefits that couldn’t be achieved with any single type of grass. It is also common to end up using different types of grass for different areas of the course. The amount and type of wear differ considerably among tees, roughs, fairways, and greens.
While having a solid foundation for creating a golf course is of key importance, the maintenance of a course and its grass is just as important for the business of the course. You will want to keep Wright commercial mowers in mind as a way to ensure that you have top-notch equipment to use in the care of a golf course.