How to Kill Annual Rye Grass on a Golf Course


Annual rye grass is a cool-season grass used in athletic fields and sports grounds, including golf courses, because it stays green in the winter when other grasses become dormant and turn brown. It has a bunch-type growth rather than individual grass blades, and grows for one year, requiring reseeding next year. There are several methods of killing annual rye grass on a golf course that depend on the size of the area and whether it is open or closed for public. For effective control, kill the grass when the course is closed.

Step 1

Turn off sprinklers or any other form of irrigation and do not water the annual rye grass for at least three weeks. This grass needs plenty of water to survive, so preventing this important element slows its growth and weakens the structure, causing it to die.

Step 2

Spray the grass with a chemical herbicide containing glyphosate. Pour the herbicide in a 3-gallon garden sprayer There are many commercially available brand names that contain glyphosate.

Step 3

Position the nozzle of the sprayer at a 45-degree angle downward towards the ground and spray a thin layer of herbicide over the unwanted grass. Leave it to dry so the chemical penetrate the tissues through the foliage and travel to the roots to completely destroy the patch.

Step 4

Spray a second application over stubborn rye grass patches that did not die with the first application.

Step 5

Mow the rye grass very short with a lawn mower. Allow clippings to collect in the collection bag. Continuously mow emerging grass as short as possible. Known as scalping, this method does not kill the grass straight away, but causes it to decline slowly.

Step 6

Rake up patches of dead rye grass out of the soil and discard. Amend the soil with conditioners, such as organic compost, and reseed with another type of grass to maintain appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Glyphosate herbicide
  • 3-gallon garden sprayer
  • Lawn mower
  • Grass collection bag


  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education: Annual Ryegrass
  • University of Kentucky: Annual Ryegrass
  • Phoenix Tropicals: Growing Bermuda and Ryegrass in Phoenix Arizona
  • Oregon State University: Oregon Grown Annual Rye Grass

Who Can Help

  • Seedland: Ryegrasses
Keywords: killing rye grass, rye grass removal, annual rye grass, golf course maintenance, golf course rye

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.