As we inch closer to the first U.S. Open played on a fescue grass course, Craig Smith in the Seattle Times files a primer on what makes this strain of turf different.
Thanks to Larry for sending this in...and this about superintendent Josh Lewis and the key trait of fescue (bounce) was interesting.
The “they” he refers to are course owner Pierce County, operator Kemper Sports and the Chambers Bay greenskeeping crew headed by director of agronomy Eric Johnson and superintendent Josh Lewis.
The relationship between golf turfgrass and the professionals is fine-tuned. Lewis said he makes it a point to walk a lot on the course and said his feet transmit information to his brain about the health of the grass. He said when he was an intern Gilhuly told him, “Don’t ever stop walking around.”
One trait of fescue is that it doesn’t stay green in hot months. It can turn brown but still be playable. Chambers Bay was brown in 2010 when the U.S. Amateur was played in August. June is a transitional month, so it should be more green than brown. Still, don’t expect fans to say, “I want my lawn to look like that.”
Gilhuly noted that fescue isn’t as dense as other grasses and said, “You can’t mow this grass low.”