It wasn’t just COVID-19 that closed down the Red and Blue courses at Streamsong for some seven months this year. The shuttering was also the result of the Central Florida golf resort instigating a complete re-grassing of its greens. The new turf is a strain of Bermuda called Mach I, and it is prized for the good roll it promotes as well as for not having so much break. Work on the project was completed in late summer (with the resort’s third layout, the Black, staying online the entire time). On Oct. 1, the Red and Blue reopened, to rave reviews.
“What had happened over the years was that different strains of Bermuda grass, what we call ‘off-types’ had started to grow on the greens of our older two layouts,” said Rusty Mercer, the director of agronomy at Streamsong. “You get places where the grass might be thicker and growing with different colors and blade thicknesses. As a result, the greens looked splotchy, and the ball did not roll as true or as consistently as we would have liked.”
Those developments prompted Mercer to start looking at different turfs to replace the MiniVerde Bermuda that had been planted initially on those greens.
“We ended up growing several strains in our nursery to see how they did and how they performed and created plots for each one 10,000 square feet in size,” he said. “Then we asked members of the Streamsong family to check each one out and give us their feedback.”
The resort’s director of golf, Scott Wilson, was among those who participated in the blind test.
“Rusty didn’t tell us what each one of the plots had, and we went out these on different days and in different conditions to see how our putts rolled on them,” he explained. “We all preferred the Mach I. By a lot. The roll was fantastic, and the ball sat up on the grass so nicely.”
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