Abstract: Fairway edge modification involves the following procedures.
Fairway edge details have changed in the past fifty years. In the 1970’s, the favored mowing pattern had straight fairway edges. The 1980’s saw a change to heavily contoured forms that curved around bunkers and mounds.
I’ve seen a trend toward straighter fairway edges. To convert from fairway to rough, many superintendents raise the height-of-cut. A good method, provided the taller version of your fairway turf fits into your turf management program. Hitting from 2″ cut bentgrass can be difficult. Overseeding into the fairway grass before raising the height of cut will introduce cultivars that perform at rough height.
Conversion from rough to fairway involves methodical lowering of height-of-cut increasing the potential for unsightly scalping. This process assumes that the rough turf will tolerate fairway height-of-cut. This is rare with contemporary fairway mowing heights.
This leads to removal of the existing rough sod and replacing it with low-cut fairway turf. You can purchase new sod or relocate existing fairway turf. The existing fairway turf has the same mixture of grass cultivars and it will look better than newly purchased sod.
Measure the square footage, and develop a scenario for sod relocation. If you take out 2500 square feet of fairway sod, be sure to find a home for the same square footage. Assume that you will lose 15% of the sod in the cutting and transfer process. If the sod is in poor condition, buy new sod.
Don’t open up too much area. Cut the sod and store it in a shady area with the sod rolled out. Don’t make the sod rolls too long; 4 feet works for me. I know rolled sod is easy to rehandle but you may loose sod if you get delayed by weather. Rolled up sod only lasts a few days in New England. Roll it out and it will last for weeks if watered.
Fine grade the work area. This is a good time to remove water pockets, adjust irrigation head location, or create mounding. Install soil additives and the sod. If you need to purchase new sod, install it along the fairway and rough transition line.