Golfers’ Perspective of Bermudagrass In The Spring: “It’s Green! Just Fertilize It.”

By Bud White, director, Mid-Continent Region
April 26, 2011

Early spring bermudagrass fairway just starting green-up. 

Bermudagrass approaches, tees, and fairways are unpopular with golfers during the spring.  These areas on the course usually start green-up in early March, but do not begin to thicken until later in May.  Why is this?  Golfers see the green-up and complain that the superintendents are not fertilizing and watering enough to spur the fairways to grow.

Bermudagrasses, like all warm season grasses, are almost completely temperature-driven in the spring.  The rule of thumb is that until the daytime high temperatures and nighttime low temperatures add up to 150ºF, there will be no strong bermudagrass growth.  Neither fertilizer nor water can challenge this fact --- temperature is the determining factor in spring.  Iron applications can improve color and spring green-up, but it will not increase spring growth.  Golf course superintendents would love to promote bermudagrass growth and see improved fairway density in March and April, but this is beyond their control. With luck, golfers will understand and be patient!

Spring cart traffic can affect turf quality as well.  Some courses confine the use of carts on fairways in early spring to improve surface quality, and these restrictions do make a significant difference.  Many courses have seen good early-June fairway quality in early May, due to better cart traffic management in March and April. 

Special Announcement:  Beginning this year, the GCSAA will award education points for Turfgrass Advisory Service (TAS) visits.  Golf course superintendents and assistants who subscribe and participate in a USGA TAS visit at their golf course will earn 0.3 points for ½-day visits and 0.6 for full-day visits. 

As a reminder, there is no fee increase for 2011 Turf Advisory Service (TAS) visits if payment is made before May 15, 2011.  Take advantage of this year’s $600 prepayment discount.  Misplaced your prepayment invoice?  Simply contact your regional office or visit the USGA website under “Course Care” tab and download a TAS application.  Subscribe to TAS 

If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit, contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices: Ty McClellan at tmcclellan@usga.org or (630) 340-5853 or Bud White at budwhite@usga.org or (972) 662-1138. 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image