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Stover Seed / Blog / What Makes the Grass at Golf Courses so Smooth?

What Makes the Grass at Golf Courses so Smooth?

For those who enjoy playing or watching golf, it can be interesting to learn how the grass on golf courses is maintained. It’s important for the grass on putting fields to be kept in a very specific way to ensure maximum success for golfers. But how exactly is this grass kept so smooth?

Five important factors contribute to creating and maintaining a firm and smooth golf course grass.

Choosing the Best Grass for the Site

There are a variety of turfgrass species that offer attributes ideally suited for golfcourse applications. When considering which golf grass seeds to use for your site, choosing turfgrass species that perform best at a low cutting height is important. This will make it easier to maintain a smooth surface for the course.

Cutting Height and Mowing Frequency

Both the cutting height and mowing frequency are two important practices for creating a smooth turfgrass surface. On a golf course, the cutting height must be no more than 0.189 inches, and this is still too tall to provide a firm and smooth playing surface. Therefore, golf course grass must be mowed every day with a specialized mower, to maintain an ideal playing surface”. To summarize, a low cutting height with a high mowing frequency is the best practice for any putting field.


Proper fertilization is important to enable the golf course grass seed to grow properly and fill any bare patches of land. Fertilizers containing nitrogen should be used to help them grow and develop.

Sand Topdressing

To achieve a firm and smooth turfgrass surface, sand topdressing is necessary. In the modern-day era, this is accomplished using high-precision equipment that helps to keep the surface of the course smooth even in areas with high volumes of foot traffic, such as golf courses.

Rolling greens is normally done as a supplement to mowing for tournament preparation. It is common to see an initial 6- to 12-inch increase in green speed immediately after rolling. In some cases, the increase in speed can last for hours or have a residual effect for one to two days.


Rolling greens is normally done as a supplement to mowing for tournament preparation. Rolling has many benefits, creating a smooth surface that results in a longer ball roll and increase in green speed on the golf course. In turn, this can increase player satisfaction and boost the revenue of golfing businesses.

Many other practices can assist in maintaining a smooth surface in several turfgrass species, including proper irrigation and thatch reduction. Maintaining a player-friendly golf course requires mowing turfgrass to a height of 0.189 inches and feeding it with nitrogenous fertilizer. Topdressing with sand may also be required for optimal long-term results.

To learn more about the best species of golf course grass and the best practices to maintain a firm and smooth surface on your putting green, contact Stover Seed today.

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