Monday, April 28, 2014

Yes, the brown fairways at Rattlewood are NORMAL (right now)!

As many of you have no doubt seen over the past 3 years, we have begun converting fairways (and some bunker surrounds) to warm-season species turf.  Fairways are about half way there, with 8 fairways having been converted to bermudagrass.  I wanted to write this post because even though there are signs around the clubhouse, we continue to get a lot of questions such as "Why are the fairways dead?" (They're not! They're still sleeping!)

Dormant #1 fairway (taken from green)

If you have been out to Rattlewood this spring, no doubt the color of some of these fairways may lead you to believe there is something WRONG with them.  THERE IS NOT!  The turf on these fairways is still mostly dormant, and we need some warm weather to wake them up!  The cold spring this year is not helping at all. Bermudagrass is a southern turf that performs extremely well in the challenging Mid-Atlantic summer, when cool-season grasses like fescues, bluegrass, and ryegrass begin to be challenged by the extreme heat and need a LOT of extra inputs to keep them alive.

Bermudagrass, even while dormant, provides an excellent playing surface, and needs less water, and virtually no fertilizer or pesticides to keep it healthy all year long.  We began the task of converting these fairways in 2011 as a big start towards a more sustainable future!

So enjoy your great lie as you hit your approach shot from these sleeping beauties!  And standby as warmer weather around the corner will green them up very quickly!


Woody Brosnan said...

I hope they understand. I like the explanation.
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Jon Lobenstine, Director of Agronomy said...

Thanks, Woody!

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