Tony Butler Golf Course bounces back from damage

HARLINGEN — The beauty of a yard, or even a golf course, is that with a little coaxing, it really tries to come back.

Several months ago, a handful of fairways at the Tony Butler Golf Course were damaged when a weedkiller application went awry in an effort to stamp out crabgrass and goose grass on the course. The only spot that’s still not in play due to the herbicide is a brownish-green landing area on the par-five 1st hole.

Eddie Medlin, the director of golf who runs the facility, said the grounds crew mixed two chemicals to apply to the fairways, a not uncommon practice. Medlin added that he and the superintendent have concluded there was a buildup of one of the chemicals inside the applicator, which threw off calculations on the proper mixture.

The herbicide killed the crabgrass and goose grass, but also sent some of the fairway Bermuda grass into a dormant spin.

As Medlin walked down the fairway on the first hole, he kneeled down to pull a sprig of Bermuda grass from a greenish-brown area that had been damaged by the herbicide but was now recovering.

The runner — those horizontal shoots Bermuda grass spreads out in all directions — was light green, a sign of new growth.

“Most of the coverage has come back very nicely, and we’re excited coming into the summer.”

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