Beginning today, the Practice Tee is open for the season. We would like to answer some questions and concerns regarding the condition of the teeing ground.
The picture below was taken this morning. Over the last few weeks, we have painted the dormant turf. The noticeable lines are from the drainage (see blog post Practice Tee: Drainage, April 2, 2015) installed in March.
The cold spring has not allowed the Bermuda grass (a warm-season turfgrass species) to break dormancy. The cold temps also have not allowed our bentgrass (a cool-season turfgrass species) greens to fill-in from the aerification that occurred the first week of April.
The picture above is the painted tee in the foreground and the dormant first target green. It is important to know that the Bermuda grass is ALIVE on the tee and all the target greens. The tee, along with all the Bermuda grass on the range, will green up as soon as the soil warms over the next several days.
In fact, the Bermuda grass has begun to pop from the few days that temps have reached 60 degrees. The picture below is from the first target green.
Just below the keys are Bermuda grass leaves beginning to makes it’s way through the dormant mat surface. From your desktop, your can click on the picture for a closer look.
Above is a sample from the tee. We began to see green, viable leaf tissue in early April. Here, the arrows are delineating areas of growth. Again, with warmer temperatures, we will see a continued upward movement of tissue, giving way to leaves. The green leaves in this picture is from the turf paint.
We have seen in the past that a warm spring will lead to an early green-up of the Practice Tee. The picture above was taken on April 18, 2013.
The difference between this year and 2014 is that the growth of the Bermuda grass was in the upper two inches. In 2014, viable tissue was in the four to five inch medium, thus the long period to break dormancy last spring. However, all the turf removed last year and harvested to the rear of the range, came back in it’s entirety as Bermuda grass.
We are currently exploring options for 2016 in regards to spring use of the Practice Tee. The option of reverting back to a 100 % cool-season turfgrass season should not be considered. The picture above is from 2012. The tee is loaded with crabgrass and voids from other weeds such as goosegrass.