Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oversecretive About Overseeding

There's nothing secretive, of course, about the need for many golf courses in places with warm summers by cool winters to overseed during winter months, in order to switch to a winter grass as their bermudagrass goes dormant. (If you don't understand why overseeding takes place, here's a good primer from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America).

What I don't understand is why some golf courses are so secretive about their overseeding schedules. You know the ones: you call for a tee time, they don't say, "hey, we just overseeded"; you show up and pay, they don't say, "hey, we just overseeded"; you reach the first green before you realize, "hey, they just overseeded!"

I got an email recently from a local course that I play often, announcing that they have completed their overseeding and, boy, are the greens in great shape! Funny, I don't recall getting an email from them before they started overseeding, saying, "Hey, we're starting our overseed ..."

Golf courses would generate a lot of goodwill with their customers, especially regulars, if they were open about their overseeding schedule, announced it to everyone who called for a tee time, and offered a discount during the overseed period.

Many golf courses already do that, and massive kudos to them. But many more don't. A few years back, I helped a Texas newspaper compile a chart listing the specific overseeding periods (start dates) of area courses. I called about 40 courses to get the info. Many of them were up-front and quick to reply. Some refused to say anything. Others wouldn't talk until they'd found out if their competitors had admitted to anything.

That's silly. We all know they do it. We all know they're going to do it. So just tell us when you're doing it (or while you're doing it). (And a corollory - golfers need to be more understanding about overseeding every time a putt breaks the wrong way on bumpy or furry overseeded greens.)

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