Three Trends Observed During A Busy 2017 November 3, 2017 By Patrick O'Brien, agronomist, Southeast Region

Broomsedge and little bluestem provided a stunning presentation for the players at the recent U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.

New trends appear every year in turf maintenance and golf. Native areas, mowers designed for efficiency and sprayer improvements for turf colorant applications were all hot topics in the Southeast this year.


1.   Native areas a hit at U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

The 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship was held at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Georgia, from October 7-13. The 264 players were in awe of a recently added course feature – acres of native grass. Agronomists Kyle Marshall and Michael Studier established approximately 25 acres of broomsedge and little bluestem in place of bermudagrass rough. These warm-season native grasses provided definition along the fairway corridors and added to the aesthetic presentation of the course. Converting maintained turf to native grasses can improve sustainability by reducing water use, mowing and other maintenance inputs.


2.   Five-plex vertical mower for putting greens

Using a five-plex vertical mower can improve the efficiency of frequent vertical mowing treatments on ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens. Typically, this operation is performed with a triplex machine. However, superintendents that have used five-plex machines to verticut report being able to accomplish the task quicker than when using two triplex machines. This may be a significant new trend because it can expedite vertical mowing and increase operational efficiency.


3.   New sprayer boom for turf colorant programs

A new sprayer boom has been developed by a superintendent in North Carolina to help improve turf colorant applications to putting greens, tees or fairways. The “quick boom” easily attaches to any sprayer and places 20 nozzles, spaced 10 inches apart, 14 inches above the turf to improve the uniformity of colorant applications.


For additional information on these and other important trends in golf course maintenance, please contact your local USGA agronomist.


Southeast Region Agronomists:

Chris Hartwiger, director, USGA Course Consulting Service –

Steve Kammerer, regional director –

Patrick M. O’Brien, agronomist –

Todd Lowe, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

Contact the Green Section Staff

PDF Version

Latest From The Southeast Region