Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Natives, Fine Fescue Areas, Out of Play Areas and Secondary Rough

As we are well on our way of seeding these large bare areas throughout the golf course I thought it would be good to step back and define exactly what they are called. The most common name I hear is "Native Areas". This is a name that to me makes it sound as if these areas have little to no maintenance done to them. In fact, as can be observed from the past year these areas require intense maintenance. The links courses of Scotland and Ireland and even on Long Island in New York have an ideal setting for the long, wispy Fine Fescues that many of us see while watch the British Open. The soil and climate make it optimal for these grasses to grow with little to no input. The soil and site conditions at Fieldstone Golf Club make it anything but optimal to grow these grasses here. Therefore, I would like to get away from calling them "Native Areas".

The grasses seen at the links courses in Ireland, Scotland and some of the classic courses throughout the United States are actually from a group of fine leaved grasses called Fine Fescue. Within this group are creeping red fescue, chewings fescue, hard fescue and sheep fescue. Sometimes a mix of these grasses are used and other times only one. Each having specific characteristics. Since our primary rough includes Turf Type Tall Fescue, Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass which contrasts what we are seeding it is fair to call these newly seeded spaces "Fine Fescue areas".

Since the areas that we are seeding are generally not in the line of normal play they may be referred to "Out of Play Areas". However, judging from the amount of golf balls found while prepping for seed I would not say they are out of play at all.

Finally, a term I feel most describes what we are trying to do is "Secondary Roughs".

In this picture the Primary Rough, made up of Turf Type Tall Fescue, Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass is in the foreground while the secondary rough, which is taller, is in the background.

This is an ideal look for us and one that we are tying to achieve.

In the next blog post I will describe how we get from what we have now to what is in the above picture throughout the golf course.

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