British Golf Courses: Grass Types

Updated November 21, 2016

Golf has been a popular sport and hobby in Britain for centuries. Many Open Championships are held in the British Isles, and a number of United States-born golf professionals visit Britain annually to partake in various events and tours. Like American golf courses, British courses vary in size, design and grass types.

Zoysia Grass

Native to Asia, zoysia grass is a hardy plant that was originally discovered in the 18th Century. Though slow to grow, once established, zoysia grass is highly weed-resistant and hard-wearing. Zoysia grass is often used for fairways and teeing areas, where hardy grass is needed to take brute impact and lots of human traffic. The three main species of zoysia are japonica, matrella and tenuifolia. Zoysia's high drought-resistance has helped to make it popular as a lawn grass as well.

Variegated Moor Grass

Variegated moor grass (Molina caerulea) is used on low, moorland golf courses in the British Isles. A perennial grass, variegated moor grass grows 24 to 30 inches in height. The long, thin leaf blades are 1/4-inch wide at the base, tapering to points at the ends. Variegated moor grass blooms during the summer months. The grass should be grown in full to partial sunlight in well-drained soil.

Mat Grass

Mat grass (Nardus stricta), also known as skye flora, is grown on hilly pastures in sandy soil. Mat grass is found in heath, meadow moor and mountain regions and will grow in poor soils. The grass reaches 8 to 13 inches in height and grows tiny flower spikelets at the tips that bloom in May. The leaves are mat grass and hard to the touch.

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K. C. Morgan is a professional freelance writer, with articles and blog posts appearing on dozens of sites. During her years of writing professionally, K. C. has covered a wide range of topics. She has interviewed experts in several fields, including celebrated psychoanalyst Frances Cohen Praver, PhD; television personality and psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig; and entrepreneur Todd Reed.