The golf courses of the Southwest are experiencing excellent playing conditions at this time of year. Although the overseeded perennial ryegrass is in its best condition of the season, it's not too early to start thinking about spring transition back to bermudagrass.
During a recent USGA Course Consulting Service visit, Superintendent Chris Hoyer at Bermuda Dunes Country Club shared one of the practices he employs on high-traffic areas around putting greens to enhance both playability and bermudagrass transition. Hoyer noticed in previous years that the low-cut approach areas around many of the putting greens at Bermuda Dunes experienced the best bermudagrass transition in spring. From an agronomic perspective, this makes perfect sense because mowing the ryegrass at a lower height allows more sunlight to reach the underlying bermudagrass during the spring as temperatures begin to warm up.
Hoyer expanded the low-cut approach areas around the putting greens and placed special emphasis on high-traffic areas where golfers enter and exit the putting greens. Both high-handicap and low-handicap golfers enjoy the playability of the low-cut areas and Hoyer is happy that there is stronger bermudagrass in the high-traffic areas around putting greens. This is a win-win situation for golfers and the grass!
West Region Agronomists:
Patrick J. Gross, regional director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry W. Gilhuly, agronomist – email@example.com
Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org