As any golf season progresses, many superintendents become hard-pressed to find an area of the practice tee where each hitting station can be set up in a location with complete turf coverage. Generally speaking, practice tees are undersized for the use they experience over the course of an entire golf season. While there are multiple factors that play a role in divot recovery on a practice tee, the turfgrass variety certainly has a major impact and it is something that superintendents have control over.
In locations where both cool-season and warm-season grass can be grown, some facilities have converted the practice tee to bermudagrass for rapid recovery during the summer when the range is busiest. Not only does bermudagrass thrive in summer, but viable plant tissue also remains throughout each divot that allows for faster recovery.
Another strategy that has been gaining popularity for practice tees is establishing new varieties of Kentucky bluegrass that can tolerate low mowing heights. Through plant breeding, Kentucky bluegrass varieties have been developed that have improved tolerance to summer stress and summer patch disease. They are an excellent option for practice tees in the northern portion of the transition zone as well as colder climates where bermudagrass is not able to survive.