Trip Captain’s Log
Welcome to the Trip Captain’s log our hope is this blog becomes a source of information for our group leaders. We plan to include tips for booking golf trips and insights about our golf destinations and other things that go a little deeper than the standard marketing you find on websites, golf brochures and advertorials. Please let us know if you have any questions and we will do our best to answer them. So here goes…
Golf Date 03-08-16: When do Virginia Golf Courses reach peak conditions and what is the best time to play in the spring?
The weather is starting to break in southern Virginia, temperatures for the next week expect to be above 70 degrees each day hitting the 80’s at least once. Nighttime lows should stay above 50 degrees. This means soil temperatures will rise and the bent grass found on 95% of the greens in southern Virginia will begin to grow at a very high rate. This is the weather that the bent grass greens prefer. Most courses aerify in late February and early March to clear organic material and prime the greens for their optimal growing season. By the third week of March most greens are healed from spring aerfication.
While a large majority of greens are bent grass almost all of the fairways are Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass requires higher soil temperature than bent grass and will not begin to “come in” or awake from their dormant state until mid-April and not be consistent and in good condition until mid to late May. Some are as late as June and this depends a lot on how much a course fertilizers how good a base they started with, weather and a lot of other factors. Several of the premium courses over seed their fairways with cool weather grasses so golfers can play off green grass in the spring.
So when is the best time to plan your sprig golf trip to Virginia? Well, It depends on what you want. If you want courses in their premium conditions, temperatures consistently in the mid 70’s then Late May is the best time to plan your spring golf trip to Virginia. But the courses will also be charging their highest rates during that time frame as well.
Prices start low in March and generally increase each month through the spring at both the golf courses and the hotels. There are nice value ads in early spring like free replays, lunch, etc. to entice golfers. If you want a lot of extras and you want to keep the price down but don’t mind that the fairways will be mostly brown and weather could be 50 degrees one day then 70 degrees the next then March is the time for you. If you want optimal playing conditions and perfect weather and don’t mind paying a little more, then late May is the best time for you. April is the busiest month, with the last 2 weekends in April typically being the busiest. Hotels are still using shoulder season rates and while most courses are passing on their higher rates at that time many courses are still providing nice value ads as well.
Please let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions you would like us to answer about golf in Virginia or booking golf trips for you and your golf buddies.
Chris Hartig PGA