Surface hardness of eight grass species on putting greens

Yesterday I wrote about tools used to measure surface hardness. I’ve used all of those tools, and I prefer the golf course firmness tester from SDI (a 500 g Clegg impact tester with a domed head) for its ease of use and reliability.

This is a summary of Clegg measurements I’ve made since 2011, excluding measurements from professional tournaments.

Serangoon is Digitaria didactyla, also called blue couch. Korai is manilagrass, Zoysia matrella.

For bermuda (hybrid Cynodon), you’ll see the lowest (softest) measurement was less than 50, and the highest (hardest) measurement was more than 125. Paspalum also has a range from less than 50 to more than 125. This wide range shows how management of the grasses can create either soft, medium, or firm surfaces. That can be said for all the grasses, but I think it is especially so for bermudagrass and for seashore paspalum.

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