If it looks like yellow where green ought to be at Bakker Crossing Golf Course all of a sudden, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That’s the first step toward bringing the course back to its roots, with fescue replacing other grasses in the rough.

“Many years ago, we had a lot of fescue here, and it highlighted the holes,” general manager Jason Crisp said. “As you get deeper into the rough, this taller, lighter fescue will become more prominent in the course.”

What’s happening?

Crews are applying a chemical solution to the existing plants and will shave the treated areas down to between one-quarter to one-half inch and then plant fescue seed.

They’re doing almost 20 acres this year on the course south of Sioux Falls and will do the remaining 20 acres next year.

What are the benefits?

There are several.

“It’s more aesthetically pleasing, more well-defined target areas,” Crisp said. “When you’re standing on the tee, you can see where you want to hit it.”

Fescue also is a cold-weather, hardy plant that requires little maintenance. That frees up staff to focus on maintaining the greens, tee boxes and other areas.

“It also will be easier to play out of,” Crisp said. “The old rough is bluegrass and ryegrass mixed, and it gets really thick. If there’s any moisture, it’s hard to find your ball, and if you do find it, you’re taking a wedge and hacking to get it out. Because fescue is a lighter and thinner plant, you’ll be able to play it out and advance your ball much more easily.”

How long will it take?

Before the end of this year, you’ll start to see fescue growth on the course. The rest of the fescue will be planted next season, so it likely will take until the following year to really see the results.

In the meantime, the course will stay open throughout the planting.

“We’re having an awesome summer,” Crisp said. “We’ve always done well, but since becoming part of GreatLIFE, we’ve gone from about 25,000 rounds a year to 43,000. The course is always busy. We’ll still get you in, but summers go quick.”


This piece is presented by SiouxFalls.Business and the original post can be found here.