Golf greens are some of the smoothest grass surfaces in the world. They are groomed and manicured regularly to ensure maximum smoothness, thus ensuring the truest roll for golfers of all skill levels. It takes a special kind of grass for a golf green, which is why the majority of the world's courses stick primarily with two types of grass. For those who wish to build their own putting greens at home, there is a third option.
Bent grass is primarily used on golf courses where temperatures tend to be cooler. Because bent grass is less tolerant to hot, dry conditions than Bermuda grass, using it in a warmer climate will result in brown patches and slick greens that won't hold any ball that lands on them. Bent grass is used on nearly 80 percent of courses in the United States, with 35 states relying exclusively on bent grass for their putting surfaces. Hawaii is the only state that doesn't use bent grass at all. Putting surfaces with this type of grass require a lot of attention, including frequent watering, constant aeration and plenty of fertilization.
Bermuda grass is optimal for golf courses located closer to the Equator, where temperatures tend to be higher and the amount of sunshine is greater. More "cold tolerant" variations are being developed in an attempt to make the grass more viable farther north. Bermuda grass is durable and drought resistant, making it a popular choice for places with little rain. Four states rely almost exclusively on Bermuda grass for their golf courses: Hawaii (100 percent), Florida (99 percent), Louisiana (99 percent) and Mississippi (91 percent). Courses looking for a lower-maintenance option than bent grass may opt for Bermuda grass, but it's more expensive to purchase and might not be a practical alternative.
Those who want the luxury of having a home putting green, but would rather not put in the money or effort to do so with bent grass or Bermuda grass, have another option. Synthetic grass surfaces are available, with buyers having the option of getting it installed without having to do it themselves. A synthetic surface won't offer the same true roll as bent grass or Bermuda surfaces. but it won't need to be watered, aerated or fertilized. The best part is that it can be designed to the buyer's specifications, so he can make it as easy or as challenging as he wants.
- Photo Credit Putting Green image by Petra Hilke from Fotolia.com
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