An Early Start To Spring In The West March 16, 2016 By Pat Gross, regional director, West Region

Clumps of clippings in rough are a common sight during spring due to the rapid growth of cool-season turfgrasses.

This year spring has arrived a little early for most sections of the West Region. Warm temperatures and timely rainfall have helped turf get off to an early start. The following is a brief summary of observations from around the region:

  • Grass is rapidly growing in many parts of the region, so golfers are likely to see clumps of clippings in rough and fairways.
  • Many golf courses with cool-season turfgrasses are in the process of core aerating greens, tees and fairways. The ideal spring temperatures accelerate recovery from aeration and encourage cool-season grasses to develop deep roots before summer.
  • The Pacific Northwest experienced record-setting rainfall from December through February. If conditions persist, golfers can expect wet conditions throughout spring and may need to implement Rule 25-2 to deal with embedded balls.
  • Late-season snowfall in the Intermountain Region likely will delay the opening of several golf courses.
  • Poa annua seedhead production is in full swing throughout the coastal region. Nearly all courses with Poa annua greens began making growth regulator treatments early this year to reduce seedhead formation.


West Region Agronomists:

Patrick J. Gross, regional director –

Larry W. Gilhuly, agronomist –

Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist –

Blake Meentemeyer, agronomist –


Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff