How Do Golf Courses Keep Grass So Short?

People commonly wonder how do golf courses keep grass so short and pristine. Especially when you compare them to the long, unkempt fairways. The answer is not as simple as you might think. Different courses worldwide use many other methods, and no two are exactly alike. Here are some of the more popular options for keeping your grass so short.

Methods On How To Keep Grass Short On A Golf Course


how do golf courses keep grass so short

Mowing is the most typical method utilized to achieve a short lawn length. Mowing frequency for grass should be determined by the species and can range anywhere from once per week to once every three months. On golf courses, bluegrass is the species most frequently used for the putting greens, while fescue and a mixture of bluegrass and fescue are most frequently used for the fairways.

When grass is cut at too short of a length, it can actually become less healthy and grow at a more snail-like pace. To prevent this from happening, you should mow your lawn frequently enough to maintain a height of approximately one-third of an inch, with the exception of the area around the green grass, where you should let the grass grow a little longer.


Golf courses have traditionally made use of edging in order to create the perfect and clean lines around the greens. This results in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance as well as a more clearly defined space, which makes it simpler to locate the gap. However, trimming the edges of your lawn is also one of the most effective ways to get rid of weeds and keep insects off of your grass. An edger, also known as a tractor or skid-steer equipped with a rotating blade, is the tool that is most commonly used to edge. The grass is sliced up and then pushed back down into the turf by this.

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If you want to get rid of weeds, improve drainage, and loosen the soil, using a cultivator or hoe to break up the ground can be an excellent way to accomplish all of those goals. Sandier soils benefit from this amendment the most. Hoeing is an excellent way to get rid of any debris that may have been left over from mowing. When done before the grass begins its active growth phase, it is most effective. Because of this, the grass will not be damaged by the cultivator because it will have time to regrow before the next time it is mowed.


A rototiller is typically used for cultivation, and the process is carried out when the grass is in the midst of its active growth phase. Cultivation is very comparable to hoeing. The cultivation of land is an excellent method for loosening soil that has become compacted and removing any clumps or debris that may have accumulated. It is also an excellent method for getting into the soil and mixing it up, which can help improve the penetration of water and fertilizer.


Overseeding is a common practice that is used to thicken up areas of the course that have been thinned out. It can be done at any time of the year, but the majority of the time it is done in the fall when the grass is dormant and won’t be growing in the spring to be ruined by being mowed.

Rotational Mowing

Mowing in this manner is not only more specialized but also more complicated, and it is typically reserved for use on golf courses. This entails moving the fairway so that one side is moved every other week and the other side is moved every third week. This results in a mown path running down the center of the fairway while leaving two large swaths of grass uncut on either side.

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After that, the mowed path is cut in a variety of directions at regular intervals to ensure even wear. The side new that is cut by the mower is allowed to grow taller and thicker so that it can serve as a barrier to stop golf balls from going into the rough. The mown swath on the opposite side of the path is maintained at a height that is lower than the path itself and is mowed every other week. This marks the transition between the path that has been mown and the high, thick swath that has not been mown.

Mowing With Chemicals

Some golf courses use chemically treated mowers to get rid of weeds and grass that have developed a resistance to their other management strategies. In order to achieve the desired appearance and playability of the course, this is utilized in conjunction with other methods. However, exercise extreme caution when doing so, as doing so incorrectly can put you in harm’s way.

Final Thoughts

Very few people have a solid understanding of what is actually involved in maintaining a golf course, despite the fact that many people have strong opinions regarding the proper way in which golf courses should be maintained. If you’ve ever wondered how golf courses manage to keep their grass so short, hopefully, this explanation helps clear things up for you. I really hope that after reading this, you have a better understanding of how much effort is required to keep a golf course in such pristine condition and beautiful appearance.

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