Well, you know things are rough when the local media is writing about Pythium, aerification, and MiniVerde bermudagrass. Unfortunately that's where we are here in North Carolina and many other parts of the southeast. Check out the following article from last Thursday's Charlotte Observer:
Hot Weather Turning Putting Greens to Toast
Overall, I think its a pretty accurate description of the struggles that golf courses are facing in the region. I'd be curious to hear everyone's thoughts. There are also a couple of factual errors in the article. I'll give a prize to the first people to point them out by leaving a comment on this post!
A lot of people have been asking about converting their greens to ultradwarf bermudagrasses. They are definitely a good option in certain situations, and several courses in the area have made the switch with great success.
My only advice is this: if you can't maintain good bentgrass greens because of problems with shade, air movement, or soil drainage, then you won't be able to maintain good bermudagrass greens either. The courses that have been most successful in converting to ultradwarfs also removed trees, improved air movement, and corrected drainage problems. Who knows, maybe bentgrass would be doing just fine with these improved growing conditions?