Local News

Golf greens not up to par after hot summer

Posted September 7, 2010 10:42 p.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2010 11:49 p.m. EDT

— Many golf courses around the Triangle aren't looking so green these days. Excessive heat and humidity during the summer months has taken its toll on the greens.

The Raleigh Golf Association (RGA) is among the golf courses with dying grass.

“This is by far the worst summer that we've had,” RGA Superintendent Nick Lentz said. “We had a wet spring, and then in June it turned hot, like hot that you would get in August. It got hot and it stayed hot.”

Golfers say RGA is doing better than most courses, having lost the grass on only four of 27 greens.

“On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being as bad as it can get, probably about an eight,” golfer Billie Angle said of the greens at RGA.

Bentgrass, considered the best putting surface, has suffered the most. Bentgrass thrives in cooler temperatures and can easily dry out during high temperatures.

“It’s not only RGA, but it's also the other golf courses that we play in this area. It’s just been a tough, tough summer for greens,” golfer Horace Graham said.

With nearly 600 courses North Carolina, golf is one of the biggest industries in the state. According to a 2007 study by research institute SRI International, golf contributes more than $5 billion to the state's economy every year, and is responsible for 70,000 jobs.

To keep up business as usual, golf course superintendents are doing whatever they can to keep the greens green and the fairways full.

“Everybody’s just trying to ride the summer out. Get through the heat and try to re-seed or re-sod the grass that they have lost and kind of move on,” Lentz said.

RGA has establishing temporary greens on its four holes without grass. So golfers can still play the course if they don't mind the minor inconvenience.