A growing trend in cool season greens management is "total renovation of Poa / bent greens" and re establishing to a new "super bent" variety (007 or Tyee bentgrass).
Additionally, we are seeing more total course renovations with re grassing of greens, tees and fairways and re establishing with a "super bent" variety.
Below are some "case study" examples showing recent projects:
High quality sod of 007 bentgrass from:
East Coast Sod & Seed, Inc.
596 Pointers Auburn Rd.
Pilesgrove, NJ 08098
Sales: Kevin Driscoll 609-760-4099
Refrigerated delivery to any location. Historically have made deliveries from New Jersey to New England states, south to Georgia and west to Ohio.
007 sod specifications at East Coast Sod:
Greens height - .156"
Fairway and tee height - .315"
Four foot rolls availe
Washed sod available
Sod of 007 and Tyee creeping bentgrass available upon request from:
West Coast Turf
Various California farm locations
Will custom grow to requested variety specifications.
In Canada sod of 007 creeping bentgrass available from:
Bos Sod Farms, BC Canada http://www.bossod.com/products/
Bos Sod is located in Coaldale, AB and grows sod for the Southern Alberta & South Western BC market. Bos Sod Farms is owned and operated by Bert and Debbie Bos, a reputable company growing a high quality products since 1981.
In Europe turf of 007 creeping bentgrass availble from:
Richter Rasen, Vienna Austria
Contact: Alex Richter email@example.com
007 bentgrass turf grown on a sand base.
Refrigerated delivery to any location throughout Europe.
The following is an example of a 100% "in house" renovation using "home grown" bentgrass sod. That is five month old bentgrass sod grown on the golf course property. Most amazingly, there were no outside contractors hired to work on the following greens renovation project.
Metedeconk National 2012 Greens Renovation Project:
1. Strip greens, sterilize the soil, and seed to bentgrass: Nine holes were closed August 1, greens were seeded on August 15.
2. Strip greens and resod with bentgrass: Five greens sodded, using "home grown" sod from an on site nursery, starting October 16 and completed in late November 2012.
Summary results for 2012 include fourteen greens regrassed, from August through November. Additionally, fourteen greens approaches stripped and regrassed with drainage added to approaches.
Note: In 2011 two greens were regrassed using "home grown" bentgrass sod with two new practice greens seeded.
With the above 18 greens were renovated and will be open for play in the spring of 2013.
Starting the project: Stripping sod from a greens approach in early August 2012.
Photo right: Stripping nine greens in early August 2012.
The plan: Nine greens aerified in mid August, sod stripped on nine greens, three inches deep, sod removed from the surface, greens soil sterilization using Basimid.
Smile drains added to low points around each green the year before renovation.
Additionally, greens approaches stripped, drainage installed to approaches and sodded using 50% 007 50% A -1, A-4 bentgrass.
Photo left: Stripping greens, three inch thick sod, August 2012.
Soil on greens surface was sterilized using Basimid at the rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
Photo right: Seedbed preparation...raking with leaf rakes.
The 10th green, seeded August 15 to 50% 007 25% A-1 25% A-4 at the rate of six pounds per 1,000 sq. ft (not a typo, yes, six pounds per 1,000).
Photo left: 10th green seeding at the rate of six pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. with 50% 007 25% A-1 25% A-4 bentgrass
After seeding the greens the next step is to roll to firm the surface of the greens, August 15.
After seeding the greens, light, frequent irrigation is applied to the surface.
Photo right: Germination on the green seven days after seeding to 50% 007 50% A-1, A-4 bentgrass.
Photo left: Preping the soil for installing a bluegrass sod step cut around each newly seeded green.
Golf course maintenance crew installing bluegrass sod around each green.
The bluegrass turf will serve as the step cut collar around each green.
Photo taken twelve days after seeding the green.
Photo below: Marking areas for sodding tall fescue around a bunker and also marking where the tall fescue hydroseeding of roughs will start.
Bluegrass step cut sod installed and bentgrass germination progressing on the new green.
Early September, the greens surrounds were hydroseeded to a seed blend of 100% turf type tall fescue, seeding rate 8 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
Germination of turf type tall fescue, in the rough, around greens.
Greens approach: Marking drain lines with spray paint prior to starting installation.
Installation of drainage to include pipe,stone, backfilled with sand, on all approaches to greens.
Cutting “home grown” bentgrass sod, five months old, at the Metedeconk National Golf Club.
A 50,000 square foot sod nursery was built, for greens use, and seeded, on site, at the golf course.
The sod nursery was established on a modified sand based nursery.
Cutting five month old sod from the Metedeconk bentgrass nursery, rolled up on 16-foot long strips onto pieces of PVC pipe -- use a bar placed into the pipe, one man on each side of the roll, will lift the sod rolls into trailers and then located them at a green to be sodded.
Sod installation on a greens approach after the drainage installation.
All sod was “home grown”,on site, at Metedeconk from a 20,000 sq. ft. nursery for use with re grassing approaches – bent sod was five months old, 50% 007 25% A-1, 25% A-4.
Approaches were not sterilized prior to sodding.
Metedeconk National Golf Club renovation eleven weeks after seeding greens to 50% 007 and 50% A-1, A-4 in early September 2012, turf – type tall fescue sodded around bunker faces. Approaches sodded using “home grown” 007 and A’s bent sod. The golf course will be open for play in the spring of 2013.
Most impressively, no outside contractors were used for the renovations. All of the work was accomplished by the golf course maintenance crew under the direction of Ryan Oliver, superintendent.
Pat Finlen, golf course superintendent at the Olympic Club, directed the total renovation and regrassing of his greens using custom sod grown from West Coast Turf. The sod used for re grassing the greens was seeded to 70% Tyee and 30% 007 creeping bentgrass varieties during the fall months in 2009 and winter of 2010.
Some have referred to the varieties Tyee and 007 as the new "super bents" recently developed at Rutgers University. Why are the bentgrass varieties 007 and Tyee called "super bents?" Simply, 007 and Tyee bentgrasses far exceed the overall turf performance that one would expect from Penncross, Penneagle, and Pennlinks. Additionally, both 007 and Tyee bents have proven performace for use on greens, tees, and fairways that significantly exceed the A and G varieties.
Photos above and below were taken in March 2009 during the rebuilding process for new greens surfaces at the Olympic Club.
The turf used for re grassing the greens was a combination of Tyee / 007 creeping bentgrass varieties. The Tyee / 007 sod was custom grown by West Coast Sod.
The photo below taken August 30, 2009 approximately five months after renovation of the new Tyee / 007 bent greens.
Superintendent Chris Randolph has developed a plan to totally renovate his first nine greens and the putting green. This plan includes removing the soil layer and replanting with seed of 007 creeping bentgrass.
007 is one of the new "Super Bents" developed out the the Rutgers University breeding program and marketed by Seed Research of Oregon. Chris selected 007 bentgrass because of it's proven heat tolerance and knowing it will provide a far superior putting surface compared to Pencross.
The photo below shows the soil layering problem in the greens at The Trails Club in Norman, Oklahoma. The justification for the greens renovation is understanding that soil layering is one reason why a golf course green may fail or provide conditions not condusive to water movement through the soil profile.
Chris explained, "The first step in the renovation process was to kill the existing Penncross green." In August 2012, "All geens on the front nine and the putting green were sprayed with Round-Up Pro-Max and Fusilade." The total kill herbicide spray was allowed to sit on each green for four to five days before cutting the sod and removing the old Pencross bentgrass turf.
The old Penncross sod, from each green, was cut at a two inch depth and removed.
Photo below shows a green after removing the two inch thick sod from the surface.
Chris reported, "We cut an additional two inches of soil off the green to make sure we removed the entire layer that was present. So, in total the amount of material removed from the surface was four inches. Edges were dug out with small excavator to remove Bermudagrass contamination."
The construction crew (photo below) is shown placing greens mix back in the green cavity. Once leveled the surface will be graded to contour, floated with water to pack and firm the surface, leveled with a sand pro, hand raked prior to seeding the 007 bentgrass.
The schedule is to have all of the new surfaces on the front nine and the putting green seeded by the first week of September.
Seeding new 007 bentgrass greens;
Seeding rate for 007 would be 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet (non coated seed). Chris has some 007 that is coated, with this I would adjust the seeding rate to 2 1/2 to 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
With a early September seeding date, if there is perfect fall weather, there is a chance the front nine greens may be open for weekend play in late fall. The most likely situation will be a spring 2012 opening of the new greens.
Chris explained his process for adding sand and mixing peat into the sand;
New coarse sand was brough in at a depth of four inches replacing the four inches of old soil removed from the surface (of each green). Dakota peat was added to the sand surface and was then spread uniformly over the top of the green with a sand pro.
After the Dakota peat was smoothed across a green using a sand pro, each green was tilled five times, in different directions, tilling the peat into the new sand at a depth of 6-8 inches, using a tractor driven tiller (high PTO speed and low travel speed).
Prior to seeding 007 bentgrass a contractor floated greens and shot grades for surface drainage.
The new greens at the Trails Club were seeded on September 8th 2011.
Chris observed germination of 007 bentgrass in three days with a green fuzz found on all greens after five days.
The first mowing of greens was seventeen days after seeding at .250 inch height of cut.
Chris advised, "My new 007 greens are coming in very nicely. The roots of the 007 seedlings are five - six inches deep, photo right, at twenty eight days old."
Chris reported, "Today (photo below), the greens are thirty three days old (October 10, 2011) with a mowing height of .200 inch, mowing four days a week, topdressing every Monday and fertilizing greens every Friday with .71 lbs. / Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet."
A late summer 2010 greens renovation produced excellent 007 bentgrass greens in April 2011. I visited Burning Tree GC in early April and toured the property with golf course superintendent Dave Kardos. I was amazed with the maturity, quality, uniforminty, color, fine leaf, dense texture of the new bentgrass greens. Every golf course with Poa annua greens should consider Dave's example for a 71 day bentgrass conversion.
Prediction: "Total renovation of Poa annua greens and re seeding with a new super bent" will be a growing trend for dealing with old Poa annua greens. Why not!
How did Dave Kardos accomplish the conversiton? Read the time line and proceedures as described below:
Burning Tree Golf Club, Washington, DC, USA - Gas and regrass existing greens and re seeded to 100% 007 creeping bentgrass (August - October, 2010). Dave Kardos, Golf Course Superintendent, explained the time line and process with his total greens renovation and seeding with 007 creeping bentgrass.
August 7, verticut greens, .120 inch (3 mm) blades, one inch (2.5 cm) deep. Quadratine aerification with half inch (13 mm) hollow tines, remove plugs.
August 8, bury green with sand, ½ kilo, to fill holes and cover the surface. Aereify with one inch (2.5 cm) hollow tines, down ten inches (25 cm) deep, on 3 x 3 inch (7.5 cm X 7.5 cm). Broom the sand to make a smooth surface.
August 9, cover each green with plastic cover and use methyl-bromide gas to kill weeds and seeds in the soil.
August 12, removed the cover
August 15, Seed greens with 007 bentgrass at 1.5 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. (7.5 grams per square meter).
August 17, verticut and reseed greens - after heavy rain - with .5 lb (2.5 grams per square meter) of 007 seed / 1,000 square feet due to rain wash out.
August 20, verticut and reseed greens - after a second heavy rain - with .5 lb (2.5 grams per square meter) of 007 seed / 1,000 square feet due to rain wash out.
August 30, cut greens first time at a .200 inch (4.9 mm)
September 11, lower mowing height to .190 inch (4.75 mm)
September 13, lightly topdress greens with sand
September 15, lower mowing height to .170 inch (4.4 mm)
October 19, new 007 greens open for play with a cutting height of .155 inch (3.95 mm). Seventy three days from the start of renovation – August 9 – to re opening on October 19.
Kirt Phillips, Golf Course Superintendent, at the Dallas Country Club (Dallas, Texas) has been kind enough to provide the following information about the renovation and re grassing of his new greens.
Kirt states, "We are going to seed the 70% / 30% blend of Tyee / 007 on our greens". Kirt reported that he seeded the front 9 on September 6th and mowed them for the first time September 24th, 2010. The remainder of the greens were seeded from the 9th-15th of September. As a side note all the greens have fans, otherwise there would be limited air circulation due to heavy tree cover and the environment close to downtown Dallas.
Photo below, drop seeding Tyee / 007 creeping bentgrass on the new greens.
Photo right, raking the surface after seeding, photo below rolling after raking, both processes assist with providing direct seed to soil contact - to improve seed germination.
A September seeding date in Texas will provide ideal temperatures for the grow in of a new putting green. Expect the green to be ready for play in the spring of 2011.
Photo left, Tyee and 007 creeping bentgrass germinating on a new greens ten days after seeding in September at the Dallas Country Club.
Photo right, Tyee and 007 green ten days after seeding. Once the surface is completely covered with seedlings the maturation process will begin.
It will take approximately four months for the green to become established but a year or more to provide a mature turf.
For the first summer after seeding (2011) the new greens should be mown a little higher than normal to minimize the summer stresses on a young bentgrass green.
Photo below is the 18th green at the Dallas Country Club taken on October 18, 2010 thirty eight days after seeding.
Photo below taken on October 18, 2010 - Green seeded on September 10 with a current height of cut of .190 inch, mowing 5-6 times week, superintendent Kirt Phillips reports "we started topdressing lightly every week when the greens were about a month old."
The close up photo below - October 18, 2010 - shows the density and texture on a seeded thirty eight day old 70% Tyee and 30% 007 creeping bentgrass green.
I want to thank Nathan Neumann, Grounds Superintendent, Wichita Falls Country Club for sending me an ongoing report on his almost two years old 007 putting greens.
Nathan's November 2010 report includes, "When I am asked about the performance and qualities of the 007, it has good density, very uniform, extremely fine leaf texture, and aggressive growth habit, but the one area where I believe 007 excels is because of the broad genetic base. The 24 parents of 007 gives the diversity to help adapt and deal with environmental extremes that are faced during the year, along with qualities to provide a superior putting surface. The climate I am in has very extreme weather conditions, and the 007 provides excellent winter color with no purpling and held up very well in the extreme heat we faced this summer. I have been extremely pleased with the performance and qualities of the 007 since I planted the greens over two years ago."
During the heat of summer the following comments were sent to me by Nathan on August 13, 2010 and relate to the extended heat experienced during the summer of 2010.
"As far as the other courses in this immediate area, the public golf course across the street from me has xxxxxx greens and they are not handling the summer stress very well at all. Most of there greens have a good amount of stress. I have heard of some bentgrass golf courses in the Dallas (100 miles away) area having some stress with some closing due to stress. We are far ahead of any course around this area (two year old 007 greens), and in fact some of the stressed areas I am starting to see some recovery on these areas. Most of the spots that I have are from the LDS / Fairy Ring or the areas that do not get any air, and most of these areas are confined to a couple of greens which do not have the best air movement."
Nathan's comments on some maintenance practices, "FYI, as far as water management, we have been hand watering throughout this heat stretch to help control moisture. We would deep water on Mondays with the irrigation heads, and then hand water the rest of the week. Any spots that have developed have recovered pretty well even during this heat.
The photo below is a two year old 007 green from the Wichata Falls CC taken on August 13, 2010 after excessive and extensive summer heat.
Photo below was taken on September 2, 2010.
The close up photo below was taken on September 2, 2010 and show's the end of summer density of 007 after extensive summer heat.
007 is proving to be one of the best new bentgrasses on the market today based not only on NTEP variety testing but from results in the field, on the golf course, and in the heat and cold.
More comments from Nathan about his 007 greens, "Growth wise has still been good, they seem to grow even during this heat. I have backed off on the primo apps slightly, and just foliar feed light amounts of N to keep the growth under control. This week I did not spray primo, and I did not lightly topdress them since I vented on Monday. I plan to get back on my regular program as soon as we get a slight break in the weather."
Thank you Nathan for your commentary on 007 creeping bentgrass.
Russ Myers, Director of Golf Course Maintenance at the Los Angeles CC reported "We seeded 70% Tyee / 30% 007 creeping bentgrass at different times throughout summer. The first set was seeded on April 4th . We open on 28th of October (2010)…..greens have been ready for at least a month…… We were mowing with 18” Jac with solid rollers at .115 about a month ago and switched to Baroness at .135 right now (October). We should open up at around .125 with wiehle rollers."
Russ commented, "The new bentrasses grew in excellent…..regular grooming has the texture pretty incredible. We were not grooming cleanup pass and difference was incredible. Strong root base, making use of moisture meters to hand water anything 4% or below in mornings. Meters go to 0.0% at 4.7” before wilting."
Back from Japan - January 19, 2011 - after presenting two seminars to golf course superintendents on "How Best to Manage Bentgrass Putting Greens in a Hot Climate". During my tour of the country I had the opportunity to talk to the golf course superintendent at the Tokyo Golf Club.
The Tokyo Golf Club is the most prestigious and famous golf club in Japan and is know as "The Augusta National of Japan". Golf course superintendent Tomohiko Shibanuma supervised the renovation and American golf course architect Gil Hance was hired to totally renovate 18 green sites that included new bunker designs surrounding each green site.
The selection of the bentgrass variety for use in seeding the new greens was the decision of Mr. Shibanuma after on site plot testing of the creeping bentgrass varieties 007, Tyee, T-1, CY-2, A-1 for consideration. 007 performed best in the on site testing conducted at the Tokyo Golf Club facility - providing turf qulities that impressed Mr. Shibanauma.
The new 007 greens were seeded in April of 2010 and opened for play by the membership of the Tokyo Golf Club in mid August of 2010.
New 007 / Tyee Bentgrass Greens Seeded at Cuscowilla GC in Georgia.
River Bend Country Club, Great Falls Virginia, is undergoing a total renovation of the golf course under the direction of golf course architect Keith Foster. Golf course superintendent, Tom Lipscomb has planned extensively for this total renovation of greens, tees, fairways, and roughs with construction starting in February 2010.
The first four photos - left and below - were taken on June 21, 2010.
Included as part of the project is a new maintenance building, new irrigation system, extensive pond and stream restoration.
The original routing of the golf course has been maintained with major modifications made on six holes.
For regrassing the golf course Tom selected 007 creeping bentgrass sod for the fairways. Twenty three acres of 007 (big roll) sod has been contract grown by East Coast Sod in New Jersey.
Tall fescue sod for the roughs and short cut bluegrass sod for the intermediate cut - adjacent to the bentgrass fairways - is the plan.
The greens will be seeded in late August with 007 creeping bentgrass.
Tom stated, "I did my homework and visited East Coast Sod many times to see the 007 bentgrass as well as visiting Tavistock CC (NJ) and the Wilmington CC (DE) as these course also used 007 for their renovations. I consulting with Dr. Hurley and had extensive discussion on the qualities of the new bentgrasses being developed at Rutgers."
The general contractor for the project is Chip McDonald who has vast experience with total renovation projects on Mid Atlantic golf courses. Construction started in February 2010 and is scheduled to be completed by early October.
August 19, 2010 site visit to River Bend:
The following photos were taken August 19, 2010 that show prepping greens for seeding with 007 creeping bentgrass. Green sites were shaped during the summer and individual green cavities were filled with a sand based growing medium and allowed to settle for four to six weeks.
Use of GPS to determine percent slope on the green.
Percent slope is recorded on the green surface using paint.
Adjustments are made to the surface with low spots, excessive slope, drainage concerns, future mowing issues, and to conform to the golf course design concepts of Keith Foster.
Use of a digital level is used while adjusting the percent slope on a small portion of the green. One guide is to keep locations that are to be used for placing the cup at three percent or less.
Checking grade after adding sand to adjust the green surface - slope.
Water is used to pack and firm the sand during the finishing process.
Use of a sand pro with a board wrapped in plastic to assist with smoothing the surface. A level surface is very important when finishing a green prior to seeding.
Golf course architect, Keith Foster, will approve each green site prior to giving the go ahead to finish seeding the green. Once approved for seeding the green surface is raked leaving grooves.
Soil amendments and fertilizer being applied to the surface of the green after the light raking.
007 creeping bentgrass is applied to the surface of the green using a drop spreader.
Seeding the green with 007 creeping bentgrass on August 19, 2010. The 9th green was the first green to be seeded followed by six more greens the following day.
After seeding the green a machine with "dimple tire tracks" pass over the entire green surface to implant the seed into the sand. The dimples will hold moisture which assists with gemination of the seed.
Water is applied to the green immediately after seeding. Light frequent, every two or three hours during the day, irrigation will be applied for the first week after seeding. Germination is expected three to five days after seeding each green.
The total renovation project was completed at the end of October with punch list items completed by the end of 2010.
Photo below was taken November 10, 2010 approximately ten weeks after seeding greens with 100% 007 creeping bentgrass.. The roughs and fairways were sodded, roughs to turf type tall fescue and fairways to 100% 007 creeping bentgrass
Photo below - November 10, 2010 - is the par five 9th hole at River Bend. Fairways sodded in late summer 2010 using 100% 007 creeping bentgrass.
The River Bend golf course will re open for members play July 2011.
Golf course superintendent Dan Pierson recently completed (2008) a total turf renovation at the Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. The greens were seeded to Tyee creeping bentgrass which is one of the new "state of the art" bentgrasses developed by Dr. Leah Brilman of Seed Research of Oregon working in co operation with Rutgers University.
The fairways were seeded to 007 creeping bentgrass developed by Rutgers University working in co operation with Dr. Richard Hurley and Seed Research of Oregon.
See photos below,
I often am asked the question of "What is the best way to introduce new varieties of bentgrass into older varieties" (i.e., Penncross).
First is timing of the introduction of seed into an existing green, tee, or fairway. The best time of the year to spike and seed is the months of June and July. My suggestion is to spike and seed every other week starting in early June and continue through to August. The seeding rate should be in the range of 0.25 lb / 1,000 square feet (1.25 gram / meter square) every other week.
The spiking should be with the use of a "Job Saver" or "Speed Seeder" seeder with "cone shaped" spikes that penitrate approximately one to one and one half inch deep. If you do not have one there are many makes and models of spiking equipment that can produce a small hole in the surface for seed to fall.
When seeding greens I suggest applying a light application of topdressing to the surface and brush the sand into the thatch / mat.
Adding a new improved variety of creeping bentgrass (i.e., 007) will add to the seed bank and gradually incorporate the new genetics into the turf stand. You can expect that after two to three years of interseeding 007 into a Penncross green the turf will show the qualities (i.e., over all density and texture) of the new variety. That is not to say that all of the Penncross will be crowded out as I expect that some Penncross will remain. What I do anticipate is that the new 007 will become the dominant grass on the green, tee or fairway.
Interseeding new varieties of bentgrass will not solve poor drainage, poor air circulation, low light intensity, poor watering practices and other maintenance issues. If any of these factors are limiting the potential turf quality of a green, you MUST first solve these problems before you can expect significant improvement to the turf.
In January I visited Japan to conduct two seminars on bentgrass greens management to golf course superintendents. The following information on interseeding bentgrass greens was presented by a Japanese superintendent who was a part of the same educational program where I was speaking. I thought it was very good informaton to share with others, so, the following is a summary of what was offered.
Golf course superintendent Takaaki Nimori of the Kobe Golf Club in Kobe, Japan recently presented how he acheived good success with interseeding 007 creeping bentgrass into his established Penncross greens. Over the three year period of interseeding 007 into Penncross greens the surface became denser while displaying a finer leaf texture.
Below is the timeline for the 007 interseeding the process.
Kobe Golf Club interseeding time line:
2006 September 007 @ 10 Grams per square meter (2 pounds per 1,000 sq.ft)
2007 March 007 @ 10 Grams per square meter
2007 September 007 @ 8 Grams per square meter (1.6 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.)
2008 March 007 @ 5 Grams per square meter (1 pound per 1,000 sq. ft.)
2008 June 007 @ 5 Grams per square meter
2008 September 007 @ 8 Grams per square meter
2009 April 007 @ 5 Grams per square meter
2009 June 007 @ 8 Grams per square meter
2009 September 007 @ 8 Grams per square meter
A total of nine solid tine - interseedings over a three year period.
Interseeding process conducted at the Kobe Golf Club, Japan:
The first step in the process was to open the surface with a solid tine machine. The holes should be close enough to provide as many openings as possible without damaging the surface. The holes do not have to be more that 2.5 cm (one inch) deep.
The objective is to have sufficient openings in the surface for the seed to fall into the holes so the seed comes in contact with the soil. Seed simply deposited on the surface of the turf will not germinate. For best results practicing interseeding multiple times a year in conjunction with use of solid tines, or spiking or hollow tine aerification is recommended.
Depost the seed using a drop spreader or look to purchase equipment that will spike and add seed at the same time or poke a hole and seed in one operation.
After depositing the seed on the surface use a drag matt to move as much of the seed - that was deposited on the surface -into the holes.
A light sand topdressing may be desireable if applied after the seed is applied and be for the drag mat operation.
Rolling the greens after use of the drag matt is the final operation in the process.
Interseeding following this plan is relatively non disruptive and is a proceedure that can be accomplished in one or two days (18 greens).
The photo to the right shows the surface of the green after punching the holes, applying seed, use of the drag matt and rolling the surface.
The above described process will provide limited disrutpion to the green allowing golfers to play immediately after the green is rolled.
The photo to the right is a green at the Kobe Golf Club in August of 2009 after three years of interseeding with 007.
Close up of the green (below) in August 2009 after three years of interseeding with 007 creeping bentgrass. Note the fine leaf texture and excellent plant density of the putting surface.
There is no question that interseeding into a Penncross green can improve the over all quality of the putting surface. The key is to follow the interseeding guidelines and be patient as it may take two to three years to see a significant improvement.
I was in Japan to meet with Mr. Hanzawa and his Royal Turf Ltd. team that offers grass seed and fertilizers for sale to the golf course industry throughtout Japan. On this trip we visited golf courses and superintendents who have used 007 creeping bentgrass or are evaluating 007, Tyee, and other newer creeping bentgrasses for use on their putting greens.
With over 2,600 courses in Japan golf is a major sport played not only by men but is also very popular with women. Having visited Japan more than fifteen times since 1985 I always enjoy the country, hospitality, food, and golf. The Japanese people are quite friendly and very accommodating. I want to say thank you to Mr. Hanzawa for inviting me to visit a few golf courses and provide turf seminars to golf course superintendents in Japan.
In Japan, golf course superintendents have less turf management educational opportunities, as universities in Japan do not offer basic turfgrass management educational programs and conduct limited or no turf research for golf courses. Also, there is no equivalent of the USGA agronomic consulting service that many American superintendents enjoy. So, Japanese golf course superintendents look forward to the opportunity to meet an American turf specialist such as myself. Thank you to the superintendents I visited in Japan for the kind reception they provided me.
The above sign states that 007 was used on the putting greens for the Nojigigiku Open Golf Tournament in 2008, a professional golf event on the Japanese golf tour.
For this summers visit most of my discussions with superintendents revolved around qualities of new creeping bentgrass, especially 007, and comparisons with older varieties.
It is important to note that Tokyo is a hot humid climate making it a challenge to sucessfully maintain creeping bentgrasses during the humid summer months of June, July and August. Maintaing creeping bentgrass greens near Tokyo is similar to what golf course superintendents encounter when managing bent greens in climates such as Washington, DC, Charlotte, NC, or Atlanta, GA.
On August 11 we visited Kiyokawa Country Club in the Tokyo region. This golf course recently completed a greens renovation project and re-sodded with 007 creeping bentgrass. Their sodding was finished in May 2009.
Below is a photo of me (center) looking to show the thatch layer that was brought to the golf course with the sod. I always recommend that sodded greens be aerified six times a year for the first two years to eliminate the thatch layer. This added aerification is extremely important to provide long term health for a sodded green.
The knife identifies the thatch layer that can restrict rooting and water movement into the soil.
During a long hot summer with high humidity and considerable rain use of solid tines to punch a hole through the thatch layer is desireable.
In the photo below the solid tine holes can be observed just after use of the machine shown above. The holes will allow gas exchange into the soil making oxygen more readily available to the root system. This process of poking solid tines into the puttting green surface is called "venting". It is very important to "vent" greens during July and August while maintaining creeping bentgrass greens in the hot humid climate.
Another popular method of breaking through a tight sealed surface is the use of spiking each week during the months of June, July, and August. Spiking does not interfere with the putting green surface and is commonly recommended to improve water infiltration and gas exchange, including oxygen. Superintendents can use both solid tine and spiking as a part of their summer turf maintenance program. Whenever the surface appears sealed, holds water, or shows algae or moss, slicing and venting is a must, on a weekly schedule during the months of June, July or August.
Below is the result of spiking in two directions on a putting green. The slice marks seen below will not be observed by golfers after one or two days for each spiking event.
The next day on August 12 we visited the Hirakawa Country Club in the Tokyo Region. This golf course has, for a long time, used the two green concept. Yes, many of the older golf courses in Japan have two greens on each hole. One is grassed with creeping bentgrass and one is grassed with a fine textured warm season Zoysiagrass.
Recently, the golf course superintendent on this course has been interseeding his Penncross greens with 007, during the month of August. The method used to interseed 007 is with a spiking - seeding machine (see photo below) followed by sand topdressing.
Five days after spiking, seeding, and topdressing the 007 seed is observed germinating in the photo below.
The second green on each hole traditionally was maintained with warm season, fine textured Zoysia. In concept, the warm season Zoysia would be used mainly during the warm months and the Penncross greens used primarily during the cooler months.
As a growing trend in Japan golf course managers who have Zoysia greens are eliminating the warm season turf in favor of a second bentgrass green. At Hirakawa the turf on the Zoysia green was removed and seeded to 007 bentgrass. The 007 now provides the new putting green turf (see photo below) - on this second putting green for each hole.
Sounds confusing? Not really; simply each hole now has two greens, one is 007 and one is Penncross interseeded with 007. The two bentgrass greens will now be used on a four day rotating schedule.
The history for having two putting greens goes to not having confidence that the bentgrass green would be in acceptable condition during the summer and the Zoysia grass green used during the summer was not an acceptable surface during the wnter.
On day three, August 13, we took a two hour train ride to the Kashima Minami Golf Course located in Nagano prefecture (our equivalent of a county), host of the 1998 winter olympics. This golf course is located in the mountains at a site where cool season grasses are well adapted. This area of Japan is a much cooler climate compared to Tokyo.
The golfers at Kashima Minami currently play on twenty five year old Penncross greens. Two years ago the golf course superintendent established a new putting green with one third of the green seeded to the variety 007 (see photo below - note no thatch present), one third to Tyee, and one third to the variety Kingpin. The turf on this new putting green now provides a side by side variety comparison and a reference to the Penncross greens currently being used on the golf course.
The 007 looked exceptional with bright attractive green leaf color (see photo above and below), fine textured leaves, and with a uniformly dense turf. The day I observed the two year old putting green the 007 produced the most desirable putting surface, closely followed by the variety Tyee. Tyee also produced similar turf qualities as the 007. The variety Kingpin was less dense, with a coarse leaf blade and a less pleasing blue - green color.
We discussed with the superintendents at the seminars to expect good color retension on 007 during the cooler fall months and find early spring green up for this creeping bentgrass variety.
During my visit to Japan there was great excitment for use and acceptance of the new bents (See 007 putting green below).
Have been going to Russia since 2004 consulting with one of my former turf students at Rutgers, Michael Puchkov. Michael is an Alumni of Rutgers Professional Turf Management School, class of 2002, who has been working with Protecion LTD since 2003 on the development and construction of golf courses in Russia. Michael is a native Russian and Protcion LTD is a Russian owned development company. In June and July, 2010, was my sixth and seventh visit to Russia consulting on new golf course construction.
It is gratifying to be a part of the developing golf market in Russia. At this time there are approximately seven completed golf courses in all of Russia with another five or so currently under construction. As golf grows in Russia they will need trained turf managers to administer the golf courses as golf course superintendents.
We currently have three Russians who are graduates of our Rutgers Professional Turf Management School - Dmitry Butyrin (Class of 1999), Michael Puchkov (Class of 2002), and Eugene Semenov (Class of 2008). I am very proud of these three Alumni and think of them not only as turf managers but as friends.
The first course developed by Protcion was the Pestovo Golf and Yacht Club (Moscow region) built in 2004 - 2006 and designed by English architects Dave and Paul Thomas. I first visited Russia in 2005 when Pestovo was under construction. I consulted with Michael on the agronomy for the golf course, selecting the grasses and assisting with the grow in and golf course maintenance decisions. Michael and I have been training his staff on best practices for golf course maintenance for five years and now have some of his best employees moving on to assist with the construction and grow in of other new golf courses in Russia.
For Pestovo The greens, tees, fairways were seeded to SR 1119, the primary roughs to SR bluegrasses and the secondary roughts to SR fescues. I can report that this golf course is in excellent condition for the 2009 golfing season which spans from May thorugh September.
The Pestovo Golf and Yacht Club has shown to be the most successful country club gated community in Russia with all of the housing lots being sold shortly after the golf course was completed. In July 2008 the Pestovo club hosted the Russian Senior Golf Tournament won by Ian Woosnam.
At this time, summer 2010, Protcion has completed two new projects in the Moscow region and one in Ekatinburg (eastern side of the Ural Mountains - not far from Western Siberia).
Forrest Hills Golf Club, outside of Moscow, Russia
I visited the new Forrest Hills golf course near Moscow which was finished this summer . The last five holes were seeded this summer and be ready for play with the 2011 golfing season. The greens are seeded to Tyee creeping bentgrass with the fairways and tees seeded to 007 creeping bentgrass. Seed Research bluegrasses and fescues are being used for seeding the roughs. The photo below shows Michael sitting on a 007 tee seeded in the late summer of 2008 on the Forrest Hills course. Golf course architects: Steve Forrest and Art Hills. The Forrest Hills golf course is part of a gated community housing project with over 125 lots available.
Links National Golf Club, outside Moscow, Russia
Below is a picture of the Links National golf club near Moscow. Construction / shaping started in April of 2009 with one third of the holes roughed out by the end of June 2009. The plan is to have all of the holes shaped by early October. As the summer progressed the hills and mounds were hydroseeded with a combination of Seed Research fine fescue varieties - Chewing's, hard, and creeping red. Michael Puchkov is directing the project with Brian Smith and Mark Lawson responsible for shaping the golf course.
As the "Links" name implies, this will be the first links style course to be constructed in Russia. Fescues on hills and mounds and Chewings fescue / Colonial bentgrass fairways and tees will be seeded, consistant with true Scottish / Irish links specifications. The greens will be seeded to 007 with Seed Research varieties of fescues and colonial bent used on this project.
Above fine fescues are germinating (June 27, 2009) in the track marks of the large equipment used to mould and shape the hills and slopes for the links design. No irrigation is present at this time, so to aid germination the tracks assist by holding water and conserve moisture during establishment. In a cold climate with a short summer you need to use all the tricks to expedite construction of the golf course.
The photo above is a 007green being mown for the first time, August 2010, on the Links golf course site. The seeding of the golf course is now complete and will be ready for play for the 2011 season.
Pine Creek Golf Club, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Seeding the new Pine Creek Golf Club near Ekaterinburg (east of the Ural Mountains, close to Western Siberia) has just been completed. Construction started in the fall of 2007 with most of the shaping completed in the summer of 2008,. Six holes were seeded in July - August 2008. Seeding was stopped in mid September 2008 as cold weather set in.
I asked Michael to dormant seed in October. With dormant seeding the seed is applied to the surface after temperatures have dropped to a point where germination would not occur prior to the expected snow. Using the dormant seeding plan three holes - fairways, tees, and roughs - were seeded in mid October when temperatures were around freezing. Michael was skeptical, I was not. This spring (2009) the three dormant seeded holes displayed germination in May. The results of dormant seeding were very impressive with these three holes showing uniform establishment and maturity (June 28, 2009).
Nine of the holes shaped but not seeded in 2008 were seeded in June of 2009. With long days of more than eighteen hours, seeding in June provided fast germination - two to three days - with rapid growth and establishment.
The golf course was routed by golf course architect Paul Thomas, under the direction of Michael Puchkov with on site shaping by Brian Smith and Mark Lawson. The greens were seeded to 007 creeping bentgrass, fairways to Chewings fescue and Colonial bentgrass and roughts to a combination of Seed Research fine fescues. Below is a photo of Michael Puchkov on a 007 creeping bentgrass tee. The Pine Creek Golf Club is the first golf course in the Ural Mountain region of Russia and is part of a gated community with over 125 housing lots as part of the project.
As you would expect the winters are long with a golfing season from mid May through the month of September. From October through April snow and extrememly cold weather is expected. The summers are warm to hot which is a challenge for turf maintenance considering the extremes that occur at this location.