I am sure many of you have noticed the removal of sod from the tee boxes on #2, #8, and #11 on The PLAYERS Stadium. All of these tees are being stripped, laser leveled, and sodded with a new shade tolerant variety of bermudagrass, Tif Grand.
#11 Pro was originally renovated with Celebration Bermudagrass, a vigorous shade tolerant variety. Even though it was shade tolerant, the lack of sunlight from this past fall combined with extreme low temperatures greatly affected its vigor and growth density. Along with grass vigor, #11 Pro had become unlevel due to settling soil along the bulkhead. The amount of settling and unevenness was a great concern with the rules staff responsible for The PLAYERS; thus, requiring a renovation of this tee box. #11 Tee will be stripped, leveled and regrassed with Tif Grand.
#2 and #8 Pro Tees have been agronomically challenging since the renovation in 2006 when they were sodded with 419 Bermudagrass. These tee boxes are both located in a narrow tunnel of trees. These trees greatly reduce the amount of sunlight on these tee boxes. Even when the sun is the highest in the sky moving from East to West, these trees block the sunlight because of their location on the east and west sides of the tees. It would require significant amounts of tree trimming to enable Agronomy to adequately grow these tees year round. These tees with be stripped, leveled, and sodded with Tif Grand Bermudagrass.
Why not sod all of number 2 and 8 tee boxes? For your reference, because of shade, we resodded #2 Blue and White and #8 Blue, White and Green tees last year with Celebration Bermudagrass, a shade tolerant variety. These two tee boxes have withstood the shade extremely well. The condition of these tee tops is outstanding.
We believe this new variety of turf will reduce agronomic aggrevation and increase the playable surfaces on the golf course.