North Carolina golf course Rivers Edge has closed for two months to convert its greens to SeaDwarf paspalum grass.
Operated by management company Signature Golf Group, the course was designed by Arnold Palmer’s practice. Poor water quality was having a negative impacting on the course’s existing greens, prompting the conversation to the salt-tolerant paspalum grass. “Rivers Edge has decided to change the putting surfaces to create more positive consistent conditions on the putting surfaces,” said Dave Downing, president of Signature Golf Group.
Although SeaDwarf has been planted on golf courses around the world, the renovation of Rivers Edge will be the first ever No-Till conversion done with the grass. No-Till is a process by which the new grass is planted without tearing out the existing surface, which maintains existing green contours and allows a faster renovation.
“The No-Till method of greens renovation is a very innovative process, and SeaDwarf is a very innovative turfgrass. The combination could be a game changer for golf,” said Stacie Zinn, president of Environmental Turf, the Florida company that licences production of SeaDwarf.
“This transition from bentgrass to seashore paspalum is a first. The use of a new grass to help adapt to an extreme environmental condition is the reason we grow grasses like SeaDwarf. It is far better to work with what nature gives you, than to try and control it. In the capable hands of John Shaver and David Downing I have every confidence this will be a successful venture,” said Hank Kerfoot, president of Modern Turf, the company supplying the sprigs for the project.
As a test, Rivers Edge converted the facility’s putting green last summer. The course is expected to reopen in August.