Bentgrass or Bermuda?

Several McConnell courses have converted from bentgrass to dwarf Bermuda grass greens. If grown and maintained in the right circumstances, dwarf Bermuda greens offer a better-quality putting surface and consistent greens speed for more days with less inputs, such as fertilizers, growth regulators, and water. Factors to consider when making the switch include course location, history of the current grass, weather, number of quality play days, play trends, water quality, amount of sun and shade, and the severity of the greens’ surface. So why don’t we convert all of our greens to Bermuda grass?

Most of our courses experience hot summers and cold winters, for which there is no perfect grass. Many courses across the Carolinas that convert to Bermuda grass suffer from winter kill caused by extreme cold. In the Carolinas, it’s too hot in the summer for successful bentgrass, and in the winter, we have to cover the Bermuda grass to protect it from the cold and the threat of winter kill. We continue to keep up with the current research on newer cultivars of more heat-tolerant bentgrass and more cold-tolerant dwarf Bermuda grass.