Fairways: Dead or alive?
By Hans Kersting, Golf Professional
Friday, December 8th, 2017

We are in the time of year where many golf courses are changing colors.

I’m not only referring to the trees, but also to the grass. Back in late October, golf courses routinely do their maintenance work in preparation for the winter months ahead.

With the upcoming cooler weather, golf courses are forced to answer a simple question. Would you rather your fairways appear dead, or alive?

These days, it is common for many golf courses to over seed their fairways in October, that way they can present green carpet-like fairways during the winter months.

The golf courses look beautiful, and quite frankly, it helps clubs sell memberships to prospects.

As beautiful as these green fairways appear, I am not a fan of the over-seeding look at golf courses. If given the choice between perfectly manicured fairways in the winter, or dormant fairways, I prefer dormant.

Perhaps I prefer dormant fairways because that’s what I grew up playing on. My home state of New Mexico can get awfully cold in the winter, and I still have great memories of watching my golf ball bound down the firm, yellow grass.

The look of the grass just seemed to go with the crispness in the air.

I also love the contrast between the green tee boxes, the yellow fairways and the green putting surfaces. It looks cool because it doesn’t look perfect.

I play better when a golf course has gone dormant because my depth perception improves. It’s easier for me to see where the fairway ends, and the green begins.

Most golfers, on the other hand, tend to prefer a more manicured look of green fairways during the winter months. The grass is easier to hit from, and it just looks prettier.

However, this look does not come cheap. Over seeding is very expensive.

Show me a perfectly manicured golf course in January, and I’ll show you a line of people ready to purchase a membership to play.

A beautiful aspect of golf is that no two swings are exactly alike.

It is fitting that no two golf courses should look exactly alike, either. Whether you prefer the perfect look and feel of the green winter grass, or you prefer the yellow dormant grass, just make sure you take time to appreciate the beauty of each.

Walk slowly and enjoy the crispness in the air. That’s what I’ll be doing until the weather warms up again.

At that time, I’ll imagine being back in New Mexico on those dormant fairways waiting for that first blade of green grass to appear.
That’s when I know that everything is perfect.

About the author

Hans Kersting

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Fairways: Dead or alive?

We are in the time of year where many golf courses are changing colors.

I’m not only referring to the trees, but also to the grass. Back in late October, golf courses routinely do their maintenance work in preparation for the winter months ahead.

With the upcoming cooler weather, golf courses are forced to answer a simple question. Would you rather your fairways appear dead, or alive?

These days, it is common for many golf courses to over seed their fairways in October, that way they can present green carpet-like fairways during the winter months.

The golf courses look beautiful, and quite frankly, it helps clubs sell memberships to prospects.

As beautiful as these green fairways appear, I am not a fan of the over-seeding look at golf courses. If given the choice between perfectly manicured fairways in the winter, or dormant fairways, I prefer dormant.

Perhaps I prefer dormant fairways because that’s what I grew up playing on. My home state of New Mexico can get awfully cold in the winter, and I still have great memories of watching my golf ball bound down the firm, yellow grass.

The look of the grass just seemed to go with the crispness in the air.

I also love the contrast between the green tee boxes, the yellow fairways and the green putting surfaces. It looks cool because it doesn’t look perfect.

I play better when a golf course has gone dormant because my depth perception improves. It’s easier for me to see where the fairway ends, and the green begins.

Most golfers, on the other hand, tend to prefer a more manicured look of green fairways during the winter months. The grass is easier to hit from, and it just looks prettier.

However, this look does not come cheap. Over seeding is very expensive.

Show me a perfectly manicured golf course in January, and I’ll show you a line of people ready to purchase a membership to play.

A beautiful aspect of golf is that no two swings are exactly alike.

It is fitting that no two golf courses should look exactly alike, either. Whether you prefer the perfect look and feel of the green winter grass, or you prefer the yellow dormant grass, just make sure you take time to appreciate the beauty of each.

Walk slowly and enjoy the crispness in the air. That’s what I’ll be doing until the weather warms up again.

At that time, I’ll imagine being back in New Mexico on those dormant fairways waiting for that first blade of green grass to appear.
That’s when I know that everything is perfect.