Every year, as the temperature begin to get cooler the golf courses go from green to brown.
Desert golf courses have three seasons -- winter, summer and overseeding. Overseeding comes each fall and requires each golf course in the Coachella Valley to close for anywhere from three to four weeks to complete the transition from summer grasses to winter grasses.
That means that courses over the next few weeks will be closing, with those closures staggered depending on the golf course, weather and whether a facility has multiple courses. Many courses have already closed with the hope of re-opening in mid-late October.
Why do we overseed at all?
Each year golf courses go through the enormous effort to overseed their golf courses because people like green golf courses.
The base turf on golf courses in the desert is Bermuda grass, a warm-weather perennial grass that thrives in the summer but can go dormant and brown in the desert’s cooler winter nights. Tourists and snowbirds returning to the desert for the winter want green golf courses, so the Bermuda grass is forced into dormancy and then overseeded with cool-weather grasses, traditionally rye grass or bluegrass.
How much grass is needed?
Overseeding is not just pushing the Bermuda grass into dormancy but also getting the rye grass to germinate. That generally requires a focus not on daytime temperatures, but on nightime temperatures.
Isn’t there a way to avoid all of this?
Unfortunately, not yet. The dream is for someone in the turf industry to invent a grass that can tolerate the 120-degree days of the desert summer and the 40-degree desert nights in the winter and still be green and not go dormant and brown at some time during the year. Efforts continue to find the year-round grass, but the focus in recent years has been to make the transition from one grass to the other as smooth as possible.
My our Golf Courses return to their green beautiful state soon!