Bentgrass. Bermuda. Zoya. poop.
These are names most golfers recognize because they are coral grass – good for fairways and lawns.
But the world of grass is vast and diverse, extending far beyond the things we cut and water to impress our neighbors, and to keep us running fast and pure.
The turf world also includes “ornamental grasses” and, as the term suggests, their main purpose is not playability.
It’s a visual attraction.
Many of these weeds are hardy, low-maintenance, and require little effort to keep them looking good. They also come in a wonderland of sizes, colors, and textures.
David Phipps is a former supervisor who now serves as the Northwest Regional Representative for the American Golf Course Managers Association.
Here are 4 types of grass he says work as beautifully in the yards as they do on the courses – unless you’re hoping for a perfect lie.
Japanese forest grass
Lime green, like some ’70s pants, this elegant lawn is the rare ornament that thrives in shade. Slow-growing and non-invasive, with thin leaves, it reaches about 2 feet in height, making it a lovely ground cover that knows its place. It is best planted in the coolness of autumn, not the heat of summer.
Tall and striking, pampas grass produces silvery white plumes that recall the color and texture of John Daly’s beard. Much like an ornamental plant, it grows easily, which is a plus, provided you don’t let it get out of hand.
Often thought of as a prairie grass, bluestem has a wider range than this, extending across the eastern two-thirds of the United States. With its purple hue, it’s easy on the eyes, but its fibrous texture can make it tricky if you’re looking for your own ProV1.
Not to be confused with the soft filler of links, this sky-blue grass is not the type of plant you want to hit a ball with. Although it can survive in the shade, it thrives in sun conditions, producing pale yellow flowers that contrast beautifully with its bluish foliage. No wonder it is so popular landscaping around courses and homes alike.