The club decided it was time to make the switch to bermuda grass greens because of the region’s increasing heat and humidity.
Tuscarora Country Club, Danville, Va., has removed the long-time, commonly used bentgrass from its course and installed an ultradwarf mini verde bermuda grass. The type has never been tried in central Virginia and Tuscarora is one of only a handful of clubs in the state to have it, Zane Breeding, Golf Course Superintendent at Tuscarora, told GoDanRiver.com.
The club decided it was time to make the switch to the bermuda because of the region’s increasing heat and humidity, which is detrimental to bentgrass, Breeding said.
The past couple of summers were tough at Tuscarora CC, with Breeding and his crew having to skip mowing so that the bentgrass could dry out. This created an inconvenience for club members by shutting parts of the course.
“We needed to make a decision,” said Breeding. “Too much moisture can smother or drown bentgrass, causing wet wilt. And bermuda thrives in moisture, heat and humidity.”
What sets bermuda apart from bentgrass is its root structure, which is horizontal and vertical, making a heartier grass that will stand up to disease, moisture and heat, as well as cold weather.
The course will be closed for the next four to six weeks until the bermuda is ready for play. It will reopen in late September or early October and golfers will experience a rich green, plush texture and a smoother, speedier roll.
The new greens will also be a money saver for the club, requiring just 15 percent of fungicide needed for bentgrass, adding up to about $35,000 in savings, Breeding said. It also requires very little water, he said.
“It makes a whole lot of sense to us for a multitude of reasons,” Breeding said.
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