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Carolinas golf courses changing greens to take the heat

On June 25, prime time in the Carolinas golf season, Verdict Ridge Golf and Country Club will close for about two months.

The club’s bent grass greens, which have been in good condition for months, will be sprayed with Roundup and die. What’s left will be scalped by greens mowers, and sprigs of a more heat-tolerant grass called Champion Bermuda will be spread across the green complexes using what’s called a no-till method.

Nothing will be dug up. One grass, long considered the best putting surface available despite its tendency to wilt and sometimes die in the summer heat, will be replaced by an ultra dwarf Bermuda that is transforming golf in the Southeast.

Eight weeks later – Aug. 25 is the target date – Verdict Ridge will reopen with new grass on its greens that looks as if it’s been there for years.

“We have to have quality greens, and this is the best product out there,” says Scott Knox, general manager at Verdict Ridge and son of former Charlotte Mayor Eddie Knox, the club’s developer. “It confirmed our decision when two of the top courses around here did the same thing. If you have good greens, people will come.”

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