Well, from a golf course perspective, we demand much more from turf today than we did in the past. Green speeds at today's professional tournaments are often times twice what they were 40 years ago. Developing grasses that can actually survive under the abuse of extremely low mowing heights doesn't often happen by accident.
Again, if you think it's just grass, click on the link below and take a moment (or two) and see if you can wrap your head around the research done at Rutgers to develop more heat-tolerant Bentgrass:
Candidate genes and molecular markers associated with heat tolerance in colonial Bentgrass
Turf research isn't just for golf courses. With grass all around us, this work benefits most everyone through its use in home lawns and athletic fields.
Breeding varieties of grass which are more drought and wear tolerant, as well as disease and insect resistant, has obvious benefits. Fewer inputs, conservation of resources, and a playing surface that can handle 12 soccer games every weekend are some of the goals.
Not quite as simple as getting out a spreader and throwing a bag of fertilizer in it, now is it!