If you are like most golf fans, you saw at least some of the rounds at the U.S. Open last week played in University Place, Washington at Chambers Bay Golf Course.
One big part of the tournament this year was the grass. Every blade of grass on the course from tee to green is fescue grass.
Watch a video on the maintenance of the grass and the procedure they needed to take:
The winds off Puget Sound with the help of the sun turned many fairways and greens a shade of brown. The rough was green in places and long and brown in others. But the beauty of fescue is the lack of required maintenance. The grass is fairly self-sufficient.
Fescue grows slower, requires a less amount of water and is resistant to drought.When compared to the lush green seen at the August National during the Masters, it may not seem “pretty,” but it’s qualities lie elsewhere.
Chambers Bay looked like a course on the coast of Scotland; does St. Andrews come to mind? It grew back to look scruffy, brown and dead, but the fescue grass was completely alive. It was simply given the look. Players complained of the lack of playability.
The U.S. Open in years past, it was lush and plush, with the deepest of greens and the toughest of roughs.
On other golf courses around the world, fans of golf are used to seeing a browner course. Fescue grass is popular across most of Europe. Some golf experts thought that going into the U.S. Open, the layout of Chambers Bay and the fescue grass would give European players an advantage. Turns out that two Americans, Dustin Johnson and the eventual winner Jordan Speith could handle the course just as good as the top European players.
Fescue is common on links style courses. It is usually located in the second cut of rough or further away from the fairway, such as in native areas that are left unmowed. It is very sturdy, turns a golden brown and can grow as long as three feet.
Every heard the expression, “keep it out of the fescue?” Pretty hard to do on some of these all fescue golf courses.
Fescue can be mowed very short and used as grass for a fairway and on greens. This is not that common, but one famous course in the states, Whistling Straits, has fescue fairways. And, of course, Chambers Bay not only has fairways with fescue, but its greens, rough and native areas are all fescue.
Golf fans will have another chance to see fescue when the British Open is played in July as fescue is found in the rough and native areas at St. Andrews.