How to Fake a Golf Course-Worthy Lawn

With these golf course pro tips, you'll be well on your way to a gorgeously green home lawn.
Healthy Golf Course Grass

Healthy Golf Course Grass

The right care and maintenance can keep your home lawn looking as good as this golf course.

Photo by: Image courtesy of TPC Sugarloaf

Image courtesy of TPC Sugarloaf

The right care and maintenance can keep your home lawn looking as good as this golf course.

Related To:

As the director of golf course operations at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia, Mike Crawford is part of a team that keeps their course stunning and probably far from the lawns in our own homes. Crawford has 20 years under his belt making his Georgia golf course sparkle and has been awarded the Environmental Leaders in Golf Award for Best National Private Course by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and Golf Digest.

Even Crawford admits that his own home lawn is “not quite up to the same standard as the golf course. I spend all of my time trying to make the course look great and my home lawn shows that it’s a distant second in priority.”

But Crawford does have some great advice for helping homeowners achieve the golf course-worthy lawn of their dreams. Follow Crawford’s advice below and you may soon be fending off requests from the neighbors to practice their swing on your emerald half-acre.

Use the Right Tool

The best type of mower to produce golf course quality turf in your home lawn is a reel mower. A reel mower uses a reel and a bedknife to cut the blades of grass like a pair of scissors, unlike a rotary mower which typically has a single blade with a sharpened edge spinning at high velocity that doesn’t cut as cleanly. The precise cutting action of a reel mower creates an extremely clean cut and allows you to mow the grass at lower heights than a rotary mower will be able to produce.

Don’t Make This Mistake

Biggest mistake: mowing your turf too short. Mowing your lawn at a height of 1 to 2 inches helps keep the turf healthy and promotes deeper rooting. The lower the height of cut, the shorter the root system and this can make the turf susceptible to disease, insect damage and other environmental stresses. You need to remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade each time you mow your lawn. This insures that the turf isn’t stressed from taking too much leaf tissue off. Mowing your lawn at least weekly during the growing season will insure that you don’t scalp the turf.

Choose the Right Grass

Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass make great home lawns, especially in the South.  These grasses are well suited for hot summer temperatures, are cold tolerant during most of our winters and are drought tolerant in times of little rainfall.

Don't Over-Water

Homeowners who have an irrigation system typically over water.  It's much better for you lawn and conserves water when you irrigate deeply and infrequently rather than watering frequently and lightly.  When you over water the turf it doesn't have to search very hard for water and the root system tends to be shallow in the soil.  By watering deeply and infrequently, you "train" the plant to search deeper for its water and a deep healthy root system is going to make for a drought-tolerant plant.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Fertilize Your Lawn and Garden

Learn how adding fertilizer can be beneficial, especially for fruits, veggies and container plants. Fertilizers can also help kick-start growth after planting and reinvigorate plants that have been pruned hard.

Tips for Watering Lawns and Gardens

Without adequate water, plants will suffer and eventually die. Supplies can run short as rapidly growing plants draw up moisture from the soil. It's important to know what to water and how.

How to Care for Your Lawn

Learn how to properly care for your lawn all year round with our expert tips on mowing, watering and feeding your grass.

Lawn Care Tips to Keep Your Lawn Green and Growing

Mow, water and fertilize on a regular basis to keep your yard looking lush and tidy.

Watering Lawns and Gardens

Thorough, careful watering encourages deep, drought-resistant roots in your lawn and garden. Follow the steps below to ensure best results.

How to Plan and Design Your Lawn

Learn how to plan and design your outdoor grass and garden spaces with these landscaping tips.

Landscape and Lawn Edging Products

Discover a range of lawn edging products and tips for creating crisp borders across your landscape

Plugging and Sprigging a Lawn

Learn how to start a brand-new warm-season lawn or patch an existing one using plugs or sprigs. 

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.