Monday, August 31, 2009

Bermuda runners in greens/collars

Any golf course that has bermuda as one of its turfgrass components, deals with bermuda grass contamination in areas where it is not wanted. Fairways, tees, rough and greens/collars. Most of us have been tempted to grab a runner or a chunk of bermuda and pull it out of the ground.
Pulling a chunk of turf or runner out of the turf can create some damage that is not easy to heal or repair. The pictures below illustrate this issue.

We began chemical treatments last fall that discourages the bermuda from tacking down. The ability to form new roots at other parts of a runner helps to strengthen the turf and allows it to spread further. The inability to root in additional places reduces its overall strength and ability to survive, especially over the winter. Around our greens, the bermuda was slow to fill in this spring so we refrained from applying this material. This allowed the bermuda to grow back in place and we are now facing the same issue again this fall. We are preparing to apply our second application in the late summer to reduce the influence of the bermuda grass on our collars, approaches and greens. As you can see, we are increasing the use of fescue around our greens which will allow us to continue to spray some sections of our collar surrounds. We are also building a collar height nursery in which we plan to use in the fall next season to replace poa and bermuda infested collars with bentgrass but that will be next season late in the year.

I appreciate the efforts being made to physically remove the bermuda but I am asking that members resist the temptation to remove this material so that we do not create a visually displeasing spot on the collar of a green or an unplayable lie on a collar.

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