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REASONS FOR
OVERSEEDING WARM SEASON COURSES
Such as Bermuda Grass in the South
 

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If you have a warm season grass such as Bermuda on your course as the primary grass... it will go off color, if not totally brown in dormancy as cooler temperatures approach. You could play in this surface but excessive traffic will wear the crowns down and you will have bare soil areas in the spring.  This is not a recommended practice for a playable golf course.

What happens is dormancy occurs as temperatures drop below 60-70 degrees...This cause the grass to slow down (get sleepy and rest/sleep) and basically it stops growing.  Thus damaged grass leaves that normally would grow back, do not get replaced.  Damage to grass is an ongoing activity from walking, driving and playing on grasses.  You will certainly need to overseed greens and tees... you might can avoid some overseeding on fairways if cost is the issue, though there is risk to this policy also.  You should limit golf cart activity on any course should you decide to not overseed - or restrict them to non-grass / paved trails.

There is NO simple solution or miracle grass.  Moving to a grass that will stay green in the winter (in Southern location), creates a problem when temperatures are high and summer droughts are present.  Thus Bermuda is chosen both for its low mowing adaptation and its ability to survive in hot weather first and foremost.  -- Fertilization has little to do with dormancy... That is simply a factor of the species and the temperatures.  All the fertilizer in the world will not stop dormancy, perhaps change the reaction speed to it, but not stop it.  A few varieties within a species will often green up faster or stay green and growing at a little lower temperatures... but they still go dormant and most become brown.

 
Keep in mind that part of the reason people like to play golf is the beauty of the course.  They like the fact that the course and grass is much prettier (and greener) than what they may have at their home.  If you start neglecting your course you are going to have customers who's experience for the day was not satisfactory.  While brown color can be contrasted with a green color and look appealing, most golfers expect the fairway and certainly the greens to be green. 

Ryegrasses:  www.ryegrasses.com

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You may could limit the use of ryegrass on fairways by landscaping some design pattern in which the fairway may narrow or follow curves that reduces the width... or perhaps creates an island of green such as a "green".   But I don't think you could totally eliminate green areas from overseeding and still have happy golfers. Golfing is NOT just a playing experience (except for the few serious ones)... it is also the experience of being outdoors and enjoying nature for many.  Golfers started out playing on pastures... how many do you think would still choose to return to that as long as there is another choice?   Only the ones who are into the "natural" course of playing.

And that is basically what many mistakenly suggest.. lets make the course a common pasture, not a special place to go to and escape for a few hours, excape from all the crap in the high pressure, real world.  So you see your users probably expect a level of perfection... a sort of "Alice in Wonderland" place... thus this is one of the primary reasons for Bermuda overseeding that is not always obvious. 

Also NOT overseeding a fairway.. still leaves the problem of traffic over the fairway is as a concern.  With the same issues of wear fournd on greens, if not overseeded.  Its one thing to tell your users to stay on a particular path to avoid excess damage to dormant grass, and another for them to actually do it.Lawns: Choices | States | Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing | Pests | Weeds

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