Country Club under construction
For the first time in 40 years, the Carroll County Country Club is getting new seed and resizing the greens.
"Our greens dried out, and we struggle with them every year because they are old," clubhouse manager Dave Saab said. "This year we had a couple of hot days that really pushed us over the edge. We could have just stayed the course, not done anything. They would have stayed just like they were before, and they were pretty good before. But we decided the timing was right since they haven't been replaced in about 40 years that this would be the perfect time, not only to bring in the new strain of seed. Faster, stronger, better, greener, all of the above. We could also take our greens to the original size that they were. Over the course of 40 years, the way it works on greens, to keep the bermuda grass from creeping in, you have to score in from the outside. Every time you score it, you lose a little bit of green so some of these greens are 12 feet less in size over that 40-year span. Some even more."
The Country Club was torn between using a Bermuda grass and a bentgrass, but ultimately decided on the bentgrass.
"We are in this transition zone in northwest Arkansas where south of us they use bermuda and north of us they use bentgrass," Saab said. "It's a cooler grass so we went with the one that is most heat-resistant, humidity-tolerant, disease-resistant, yet gives you the best putting surface. Bentgrass is still considered by most experts the best putting surface."
The process of getting the bentgrass on the greens started about two weeks ago and it hasn't been easy.
"Last weekend we cut the perimeter of the greens and lifted sod up to get to the proper size we wanted," Saab said. "Now, we have applied a granule that will kill everything in that perimeter. Everything from nematodes, bugs, grass, everything we want to get rid of so we can start with new fresh soil without all the contaminants that have accumulated in there over the years. That's a seven-day process to 'fumigate' the greens if you will."
After the seven-day process, the new seed will be planted and Saab said the timing is nearly perfect to do this, as it will take six to eight weeks for the seeds to develop.
"You have to have the grass take roots," Saab said. "This is the time. If we waited, even another two or three weeks you are really rolling the dice because you are looking at the second or third week of November. It's the least risky time to plant seed."
The course will be open at a discounted rate while the greens are under construction. Temporary greens will be in effect.