Golf’s overseed season

Skip and Dreama Fumia

Quail Creek golfers, it’s that time of year. We’re in the midst of our course overseed season and you’re likely knee deep in projects that have been shelved for a while, perhaps since this time last year. Or, you’re doing your best to find other local courses and good deals to get your golf fix while we are closed. Don’t forget Tubac is giving us a great deal during overseed season. From September 7 to November 1, identify yourself as a Quail Creel golfer and receive discounted greens fees — $40 plus tax, includes cart. Thank you, Joel, for arranging this opportunity!

So, by the time you read this, the course will have been prepped and seed laid on the fairways and greens. We’ve just seeded winter rye grass to replace our summer Bermuda which will go dormant in the colder weather. Then come next May, we’ll stress out the rye to allow the Bermuda to flourish again in the summer. Unfortunately, there is currently no one grass that is in optimum health in both our summers and winters.

According to our grass growing experts, is it especially stressful for the Bermuda (Champion Ultra Dwarf) on our greens to be overseeded with rye year after year. In order to preserve the overall life expectancy for our greens, two years ago we began a long-term strategy of not overseeding our greens. As you’ll recall, they became dormant in about December, then started greening up again in the spring. Course Superintendent J.R. Kies and his crew used a dye/pigment application of these dormant greens during the winter to both produce a more desirable color and to insulate the greens from the cold. Ok, so you may have heard that we have decided to overseed our greens this year. Why the change in strategy?

It’s not an overall change in strategy, but a decision made for this year based on the current condition of our greens. Due to an unfortunate result of an application of one recommended chemical, portions of our greens recently required re-sodding. A subsequent inspection was performed by Jimmy Fox of Evergreen Turf. Both he and J.R. agreed that the sod seams and unhealed areas of our greens would result in playability issues if we did not overseed this year. After consultation with Jimmy Fox, J.R. Kies, Mark Giannonatti (RCI Golf Operations) and General Manager Mike Taylor, the Green Committee voted their recommendation.

As a result, when Mike Taylor asked for the Green Committee’s recommendation on this subject at the August 17 POA Board meeting, Green Committee Chair Ralph Scafuri recommended we overseed all our greens this year. After audience comments and questions, the Board voted to accept the recommendation unanimously.

What about the large practice putting green? Didn’t we just sod that? Yes, we will be overseeding the practice putting green as well. Since we sodded it with Bermuda, it too will need winter rye applied. The large practice putting green will be the last surface to be overseeded since we want the new Bermuda to have the greatest chance of success as possible. Finally, the small putting green by the Pro Shop will be overseeded as well. Plans to replace that putting green with another surface have been tabled until future restaurant expansion plans are known.