Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Tinting Study

How do different paints and pigments affect the surface temperature of greens?

By Brian Whitlark, agronomist, Southwest Region
February 8, 2012

 

The practice of overseeding bermudagrass greens for the winter is growing less common with each passing season.

There are three major reasons for this trend. First, a difficult economy has superintendents seeking ways to reduce maintenance costs without sacrificing playing quality. Eliminating the cost of seed and the winter-long mowing requirements of the overseeded greens saves significant dollars. Second, dormant bermudagrass greens offer outstanding putting quality providing some of the smoothest and fastest surfaces players will see all year. Third, the processes of establishment and transition are eliminated. Not only is this much easier on the bermudagrass greens, it puts an end to the loss of putting quality at two of the most enjoyable times of the year to play golf – spring and fall. The one real drawback to not overseed is the loss of winter color. To overcome this, superintendents across the country are experimenting with a variety of dyes and paints to maintain a green tint, even on fully dormant greens. As the practice has caught on, questions began to arise concerning whether or not tinting greens in this manner might result in a warming of the surface and possibly help bermudagrass begin growing earlier in the spring.

In November, 2011, Kai Umeda from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and Brian Whitlark with the USGA Green Section, Southwest Region, began a tinting study on two ultradwarf bermudagrass greens. This study was designed to evaluate a variety of tinting products, application timing, rate, cosmetics, and the impact on surface temperature. The first location is Whirlwind Golf Club. Mr. Mick Twito, the golf course superintendent, offered a non-overseeded Tifeagle putting green that is less than one year old.  The second green used in the study is located at Paradise Valley Country Club. Mr. Rob Collins, golf course superintendent, provided his non-overseeded Champion bermudagrass nursery green, which is 5 years old.

The study began on Nov. 17, 2011, prior to the onset of winter dormancy. Products were applied weekly or biweekly, depending on appearance. The goal is to provide cosmetically attractive surfaces every day for the golfer. During the most recent application on Jan. 4, 2012, surface temperatures were measured using an infrared thermometer. In general, the products classified as paints, including Green Lawnger, Turf Dye Southwestern, Color 2 Grass and WinnerPlay, exhibited warmer surface temperatures than the pigments or dye. Moreover, when Warmup (a black paint) was added to the pigments or dye, surface temperature was increased, but not to the level of the paints.

 

The tinting study is ongoing and will continue until the bermudagrass at both locations initiates spring growth. Stay tuned to hear more about which products are favored by golfers and which products expedite bermudagrass growth this spring.

 

 

Product  Surface Temperature (degres Fahrenheit) 
 Turf Dye Southwestern  77.7
 Green Lawnger + Turf Dye Southwestern  76.1
 Color 2 Grass  76.0
 WinnerPlay  75.4
 Green Lawnger  75.2
Par + Warmup 75.0
Sarge + Warmup 74.6
Griggs Pigment Green + Warmup  74.0
 Foursome + Warmup  72.1
Green Toes + Warmup  70.0
 Non-Painted Treatment  69.9
 Par + Green Lawnger  68.0
Non-Painted Treatment  67.5


 

 

Surface temperature as influenced by a variety of paints, pigments and dyes, measured by an infrared thermometer on Jan. 4, 2012 on a non-overseeded Tifeagle bermudagrass green at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz.   

  

You can also view short videos of this project by clicking on the links below: 

  

http://webcast.usga.org/usga/Whitlark_Paint_Study_Intro_at_ Whirlwind.wmv 

http://webcast.usga.org/usga/Whitlark_Paint_Study_Surface_Temperature.wmv 

http://webcast.usga.org/usga/Kai_Umeda_on_spray_application.wmv 

  

  

Brian Whitlark is an agronomist in the Southwest Region of the USGA Green Section. 

  

 

 

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