Every year, golfers from the Northern United States travel south in search of beautiful scenery and challenging golf courses. For seaside golf resorts in the Southeastern U.S., St. Augustine can add both of these to courses. If you manage a golf resort on the Gulf of Mexico, consider sowing St. Augustine grass seed in your course's roughs to add both beauty and challenge.
St. Augustine Grass has a Rich, Green Color
St. Augustine grass is known for its rich, green color. It's widely used in residential lawns and commercial landscaping, because well-watered St. Augustine grass both shows up well in pictures and looks great in person. Few other grasses are as deep a green as St. Augustine is when it's maintained properly.
St. Augustine grass is particularly known for how well it does in the shade. Even under a large oak tree, which there are plenty of in the South, St. Augustine can thrive and maintain its deep green color. This is of special note for golf courses, as it makes the grass suited for using in the rough, where trees often cast their shadows.
St. Augustine Grass Makes the Rough Rough-Going
St. Augustine grass has other characteristics, in addition to its ability to grow in shady areas, that make it particularly suited for the rough.
First, St. Augustine blades are thicker than other grasses. According to Travis Resmondo Sod, the width of St. Augustine blades can range from 5 to 9 millimeters (0.20 to 0.35 inches), which is much thicker than most golfers would like to deal with on the fairway. This is perfect for a rough that's supposed to be more challenging than the fairway, though.
Second, St. Augustine grass creates a spongy lawn. It's shoots send out runners, but gaps form between runners. As the runners grow into new shorts, the gaps become empty pockets between shoots. Once the grass is mature, this produces a sponge-like feeling when you walk on it.
St. Augustine thicker blades and spongy feel make it more difficult to hit a golf ball on than bentgrass, Bermuda grass, zoysiagrass or ryegrass, which are commonly used for fairways. Using it in the rough, though, will make the rough harder to hit from. It will reward golfers who remain on the fairway and penalize those who stray from it.
St. Augustine Grass is Suited for the Southeast Coast
Of all the golf courses in the United States, those along the Gulf Coast are situated geographically to take advantage of the grass's features. The grass is used to seed lawns in all states that border the Gulf of Mexico: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
While it's used throughout these states, St. Augustine does especially well along the coast. It's a salt-tolerant grass (as is zoysiagrass, which is used in fairways). You wouldn't want to water your roughs with salt water, as the University of Florida points out, but spray from the ocean won't hurt it. You can plant it as close to the waves as you like, and it should do just fine.
Enhance Your Course with St. Augustine Grass
If you're looking for a way to enhance your golf course that lies directly on the Gulf of Mexico, consider planting St. Augustine in your roughs. It'll look great, as its dark green contrasts with the ocean's blue, and make your course more challenging. It also will do extremely well, even if it's in the shade and sprayed from the ocean, so you shouldn't have to install a new grass in your rough for some time to come. Visiting golfers will appreciate both the scenery and the added level of difficulty. For more information about this type of grass, check out websites like https://californiasodcenter.com/.