This year we chose to not overseed our greens. There were several factors that lead us to this decision, the most important reason was to allow the newly sprigged greens ample amount of time to establish without competition from a cool season grass.
While our non overseeded greens have been well received, especially given their age, one major problem we are having is the stability of the sand profile when cutting cups each day. Because these greens are so young, they lack the organic material and root mass needed to hold together the hole throughout the day. Because of this, as the cup collapses slightly, sand falls down into the base of the cup, and doesn't allow the flagstick to be removed or replaced easily.
I don't believe this will be a problem going forward, once we have a full summer of growth and develop that layer of organic material and root mass. But we need to find a solution now, and I believe that solution might be plastic rings. While not the perfect solution, it's one that many clubs use to avoid using white paint and they are created specifically for this purpose. Our use would be solely to reinforce the sand layer to (hopefully) prevent sand from collapsing into the base of the cup.
In the coming days, you will see this plastic ring around the inside of each cup. And because this is a more experimental approach, I would greatly appreciate feedback on this strategy. Is it negatively impacting play? Is it helping with the collapsing cups throughout the day? Let me know! Any and all feedback will be quite helpful! This is not a permanent solution, once the greens have established roots to hold the sand together, we will remove the rings and move back to white paint.
I'm hopeful that this will help bridge the gap between now and late spring when the greens begin to grow again. And while we're not totally out of the cold-weather-woods, warmer days are near! Stay warm and dry (again) out there!