Answer: I wonder if those areas are compacted and the roots cannot grow deeply enough to get adequate water? I think it's worth renting an aerator and running over those spots. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs. You can then overseed just the bare areas, or your entire lawn.
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