Commentators talk about it all the time, but what exactly is Poa Annua?

What Is Poa Annua Grass?

We hear golf commentators mention the type of grass at tournaments all the time and one of the most common is Poa Annua. But what actually is it? On what courses is Poa Annua present? In the piece below we have taken a look.

What Is Poa Annua Grass?

Poa Annua is a variety of bluegrass that can be found on golf courses around the world. It is renowned for being a challenge for Tour players because they can occasionally be inconsistent and the grass type is difficult to manage and control.

There are hundreds of different varieties of the grass and when these blend together, the result can be one that causes putts to react differently. At one stage the greens can be rolling perfectly but the next they can appear to be more bumpy and harder to play on. The mixing of varieties can cause what appears to be lighter and darker shades of green on the putting surface and this also means the grass grows at different speeds. Ultimately, the putting surface can change drastically over the course of a day because of this growth differential. Greenkeepers look to try and control or resist the incursions of other strains of Poa grass so that a splotchy or streaky appearance is not created on the greens.

Shinnecock Hills in New York has Poa Annua greens (Getty Images)

The general wear and tear of players walking on Poa greens and playing their shots can create lumps and hollows which create inconsistencies in the putting surface as well. However Poa grass can be cut extremely short which helps create speed which is of paramount importance for tournaments. The grass does have to be watered and fertilised regularly too largely because it is so susceptible to disease.

So what famous courses have Poa grass present? Well the grass is incredibly common on some of the finest courses in the world.

The most famous is of course Pebble Beach which has hosted countless Majors and is a constant fixture on the PGA Tour. Just down the road you also have Cypress Point, Monterrey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill.

Another of Tiger Woods‘ favourites Torrey Pines, on both its North and South courses, has Poa greens as does 2018 US Open host Shinnecock Hills. Some others include Pine Valley, Oakmont, Rivieira, Muirfield Village.

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