When Johnny Miller retired from the NBC telecast in February, greenskeepers around the globe had hoped the term “grain” would fade into obscurity. While the term is generally overused to describe missed putts, it can be an accurate way to describe the lateral growth habit produced by ultra-dwarf bermudagrasses. If left unattended, these stems grow in abundance down slopes creating an obvious surface pattern. While playing either of the courses at Colleton River, from time to time, you may notice small parallel lines running across the green’s surfaces. The fine lines evident on the putting surfaces are a result of recent verticutting/grooming procedures. Rather than cutting on a horizontal plane like a normal mower, these cutting units rotate vertically into the turf surface. Set slightly below the height of cut, these blades penetrate the turf, severing stolons (plant shoots along the surface) and thinning the leaf canopy. Following the grooming, we topdress the greens to fill any voids and further smooth the playing surface. These cultivation techniques optimize putting quality, reduce grain, promote an upright growth habit, alleviate spongy surface conditions, and enhance surface smoothness. Immediately following this process, the greens may slow down slightly and appear scarred from the disruption. These procedures are normally completed during course closures, and in approximately seven to ten days following the process the greens will be smoother, faster, and firmer. We hope everyone enjoys Colleton River Club over the holiday weekend, and I hope to see you on the course.