Update From The Northern Transition Zone: Greens Are Great, Other Areas Recovering May 14, 2014 By Chris Hartwiger

Will the bermudagrass in this fairway recover? Yes, it will. The green grass in the divot gives us a clue. There are plenty of growing points beneath the surface and they will soon emerge through the canopy.

I spent the week of May 5-9 in east and central Tennessee conducting Course Consulting Service visits. Two major themes emerged:

Ultradwarf Putting Greens:  

Despite recorded temperatures below zero this winter in many parts of Tennessee, ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens made it through the winter in excellent shape due to the use of protective turf covers. We have not seen or heard of any widespread turf damage at golf courses with ultradwarf putting greens where covers were used. However, we have seen some examples where covers blew off putting greens and the uncovered areas were damaged by the cold temperatures at night. For a review of the appropriate use of covers, please consult the article.

Ultradwarfs in the Offseason  

Bermudagrass Tees, Fairways and Rough 

Bermudagrass in these playing areas in Tennessee and in the northern part of the transition zone did not fare as well this winter. Many golf courses have thin bermudagrass turf or large areas where the grass has not greened up yet. Many questions are being asked about how to assess the extent of the damage and what are the best methods of recovery. A short 10-minute webcast has been prepared on this topic and can be found here.

Source: Chris Hartwiger (

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff