The Benefits of Tall Grasses on Golf Courses
Whether you are a scratch golfer or a weekend duffer, you have likely noticed that many golf courses are allowing taller grasses in roughs and out-of-play areas. Chances are you have heard or even said yourself:
- “If they would just cut this grass I would be able to find my ball.”
- “Why are golf courses permitting maintained turfgrass to grow tall under the trees that line the fairways or along the edges of water features – in all the spots we are not supposed to land but sometimes do?”
- “Is it because the superintendent is lazy?”
- “Is the club trying to boost its golf balls sales?
The actual reason for allowing taller grasses, prairies, or wildflower meadows to grow in out-of-play areas is not to penalize errant shots, but for the many environmental and economic benefits they offer. These include:
- Golf Benefits
- Provides distinctive contrast to the highly maintained playing surfaces
- Adds interest and beauty to the round of golf
- Enables golf courses to showcase the nature of the game
- Environmental Benefits
- Creates needed habitat for plants and wildlife
- Reduces the need for regular pesticide and fertilizer applications
- Reduces water use
- Adds diversity
- Showcases the unique regional natural heritage where the course is located, and often helps to protect rare plants and wildlife.
- Minimizes erosion
- Provides travel corridors for wildlife to safely move through the course
- Financial and Labor Savings
- Lowers maintenance costs and reduces the need for high-intensity or timeconsuming maintenance
- Reduces equipment wear and tear
- Reduces costs for gasoline, pesticides, fertilizers, and water
- Increases funds for other needs and enables staff to concentrate where it really counts.