Paint helps keep golf courses green

By Tom Lollis

painting turfMore than 200 persons attending the annual Turfgrass Field Day in September saw a new way to keep the green in a bermudagrass putting surface over the winter. Paint it.

Special paints – which are dyes, not oil-based – are used on some courses in South Carolina, according to Haibo Liu, lead scientist for the study funded by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association.

“Over-seeding continues to be the dominant winter practice for areas like Myrtle Beach, since real grass is more attractive to people from northern states coming south for winter golf,” he said. Winter painting avoids the added cost of over-seeding, which can weaken the underlying bermudagrass during the spring transition.

Graduate student William Sarvis said that plots painted in December and in February greened up in spring before unpainted dormant greens due to higher solar heat absorption.

For information: Haibo Liu, 864-656-6367,, or
Bert McCarty, 864-656-0120,