Overtime for overseeding Arizona golf courses
It’s that time of year again in Arizona when you need to call ahead for conditions at your favorite golf courses.
Because this is when superintendents overseed golf courses for the peak season. Many golf courses close for two or three weeks for this process, and it may be a few more weeks until greens are up to speed. It’s the price golfers and courses have to pay for beautiful late fall, winter and spring conditions.
What may surprise many is just how much work and expense goes into overseeing courses in places like Arizona and other winter tourist destinations. Mike Lindsey, director of golf at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, was interviewed during a recent segment on a local Arizona newscast. Lindsey talked about how the cost of seed has tripled in recent years.
These days resort courses in Arizona generally use about 500 pounds of rye seed per acre, and it can cost anywhere from $125,000-$225,000 to overseed 18 holes. In the old days according to the report, it wasn’t uncommon to use 1,000 pounds per acre.
To get these kinds of excellent winter conditions a course must be scalped first, then the new seed is sown into it. The reverse process (minus the seeding with the possible addition of a chemical transition tool) occurs in spring to bring the Bermuda back, which is not an easy task. That is why many Southern courses that are not tourist destinations choose not to overseed. It’s just not worth it.
But in Arizona, it’s worth every penny. There, it’s all about getting out of the snow and into the green. And the locals who have sweltered through triple digits most of the year look forward to this as well. Don’t expect this ritual to stop anytime soon.
|« Wow, what a surprise: Greg Norman and Chris Evert are already in murky waters||GCSAA hits the mark by tabbing Judy Rankin for Old Tom Morris Award »|