Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Growing greens: Welcome to the future

   We're in the midst of a revolution around Charlotte.
   Bentgrass greens are going away.
   You know what happens to bent greens in the summer around here. They're soft and mushy and slow because superintendents have to devote their lives to keeping them alive from June through early September.
   And when bent greens should be their best -- spring and fall -- they're getting aerated.
   This summer, several Charlotte-area courses including The Peninsula Club, River Run, Verdict Ridge and River Hills among them, are converting from bentgrass to the more popular and heat-tolerant bermuda grass. It takes about two months to make the switch and you're playing again.
   The Golf Club at Ballantyne and Springfield Golf Club in Fort Mill, S.C., were among the first to do it a couple of years ago. Soon, virtually every course in the Charlotte area -- public and private -- will have bermuda greens. Quail Hollow Club has already announced it'll change to bermuda prior to the 2017 PGA Championship.
   I'm writing a bigger story about what's involved and why it's so popular. It's not a trend. The USGA Green Section representative for this area says we'll hardly see any bentgrass around here in 10 years.
   Welcome to the future.