overseeding golf course greens

James Lindsay has been the course manager for more than a decade at Stirling Golf Club. The historic course was founded in 1869 and now faces the same challenges as more modern clubs. The need to routinely undertake overseeding golf course greens stands out in this case study.

Why overseed golf greens in spring?

James explains that a packed fixture list is his reason for seeding in spring. With seeds planted in cooler soil, they are ready to germinate and establish when the temperatures rise in summer.

Like other greenkeepers, James faces the challenge of enhancing the composition and density of the sward on greens by outperforming Poa annua. With fewer fungicides available, he recognises the need for integrating better grass species.

Spring overseeding carries two fundamental benefits for James: “To improve the species composition of our greens and to combat stress from disease and drought. Outcompeting Poa annua will help us with fertiliser inputs and the overall performance.”

Overseeding golf course greens process

During 10 years as course manager, James has seeded the greens twice a year. In fact, he is considering an increase in frequency in summer. Looking past the cooler months, he has also overseeded in April and August.

As for equipment, he uses a recently acquired tractor-mounted dimple overseeder. “This will enable us to overseed more frequently and possibly at lower rates each time to make sure we are applying evenly.”

James has also undertaken pot seeding with a shallow Procore tine and drop seeding. However, he finds it causes disruption and is time-consuming. “With our new dimple seeder, however, this will make the task easier and increase our results.”

Preferred golf grass seed mix

“We have used Germinal AberMajesty Browntop bent blend in the past,” James reveals. “Over the last two years, however, we have used Germinal ForeFront Greens blend, which includes Browntop bent and Creeping bent.

“We have had good results so far and we do like to keep up with modern mixtures that will help improve our sward, disease resistance and drought tolerance,” James explains, citing a desire for modern grass seed mixtures backed by proven research.

In the long-term, James is using Browntop bent and Creeping bent to achieve his goals: “We are striving for better species composition and density of the sward to compete with Poa annua for improved disease resistance and drought tolerance, ultimately giving us more manageable green surfaces.”

Proactive seeding: Seasonal overseeding for UK greenkeepers

proactive seeding