New Texas A&M Zoysiagrass that Performs as Ideal Putting Surface Licensed by Bladerunner Farms

A golf ball sits on a section of DALZ 1308, the new putting green zoysia grass variety from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeding program in Dallas. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Gabe Saldana)

AgriLife Today | January 12, 2018 | Gabe Saldana

DALLAS — A first-of-its-kind zoysia grass hybrid promises superior putting green performance and quality while requiring fewer inputs compared to other warm-season turfgrasses on the market, said Dr. Ambika Chandra, Texas A&M AgriLifeResearch turfgrass breeding program leader in Dallas. The new variety, tested as DALZ 1308, is licensed by Bladerunner Farms. 


The grand tour: Zoysia experts travel through Southeast Asia

Golf Course Management: Dec 06, 2017  | Milt Engelke, Ph.D. 

During two-week journey, Milt Engelke and Doug Doguet explore how the turfgrass variety is impacting golf courses in the region.

teamzoysia1An invitation to speak at the 11th-annual Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS) turned into a nearly two-week journey of zoysiagrass discovery around Southeast Asia for two pioneers of that turfgrass variety — Milt Engelke, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Texas A&M, and David Doguet, the owner of Bladerunner Farms, who together are co-founders of Team.

In addition to their appearance at APGS, where they were featured presenters to leading golf influencers in the Pacific Rim, Engelke and Doguet worked in a host of other stops while they were there. Those stops included a presentation at a zoysiagrass field day hosted by Brad Burgess, the owner of Sports Turf Solutions, which is Team Zoysia International’s exclusive licensee for Zeon zoysia in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam, along with tours of several high-profile golf development projects in the region featuring zoysia varieties, including the Ernie Els Performance Golf Academy in Hanoi, Vietnam; four other golf courses in that country; and Ayutthaya Golf Club near Bangkok, Thailand.

This story is the first of a four-part series.**



November 22, 2017 | Milt Engelke, Ph.D.

Zoysiagrass is different from other salt-tolerant species. Discover the science behind how this game-changing grass thrives in salt-heavy soils.

With zoysiagrass, salts are absorbed by the roots, are moved into the plant without tissue injury, and accumulate on the leaf surface through the biological characteristic of having very active salt glands — a characteristic unique to zoysiagrass. Photos courtesy of Team Zoysia.

The Paspalum problem

The science behind dealing with salinity has been somewhat heavily skewed toward containment or mechanically moving excessive salts through the soil profile through leaching, flushing and/or chemical treatment. Paspalums are known halophytes — they exclude salts from concentration in the leaf tissue to avoid salt tissue injury, and, as such, they can tolerate exceptionally high concentration of salts in the root zone and soil profile, at least up to a point.



November 23, 2017 : Golf Course Architecture 

A renovation and restoration project at the historic Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas, is close to completion. 


Led by architect Tripp Davis, the project has aimed to renovate the infrastructure of the course, which was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in the 1920s.

GCA caught up with Davis to discuss the project, and find out how he looked to incorporate Tillinghast’s design tendencies into the recent work.

“The course had reached a point that it needed to have a lot of the infrastructure renovated, like the greens, bunkers and tees,” Davis explained. “The course needed to be regrassed with the best modern turf types for the area. The club needed their practice facilities enhanced, and there was an opportunity to restore some of the subtler elements to give the course more of a classic Tillinghast feel.”

Oak Hills hired Tripp Davis & Associates a few years ago to prepare a masterplan to organise various projects at the club. This ultimately led to a campaign to develop a financially sustainable way to move the golf course, and the club, into the next 30 years.


NTEP, USGA in Turf News Calls Zeon the Standard

In the most recent issue of Turf News, the results from trials of 35 bermudagrass and 35 zoysiagrass established in 2013 have been reported. In conjunction with the United States Golf Association (USGA), a unique trial of 15 bermudagrasses, 11 zoysiagrasses and two seashore paspalum grasses were evaluated as well.

Setting the standard for zoysiagrass were Zeon and Meyer.

“Zeon is a standard for use on golf course fairways and tees because it can develop a dense turf at mowing heights of 0.5” or lower. Both grasses are included in the new trial as standard entries,” as reported in the July/August 2017 issue of Turf News.

Among the many experimental grasses in these categories, Zeon performed well and held its own at Fayetteville, AR as well as other locations.

About Bladerunner Farms

Bladerunner Farms is the world’s largest privately held zoysiagrass and buffalograss research and development facility. Current releases include: Zeon Zoysia, L1F Zoysia, Lowrider Zoysia, Y2 Zoysia, JaMur Zoysia, Density Buffalograss and Eco Buffalograss, Cutlass Zoysia and Habiturf. Bladerunner works in conjunction with the University of Georgia to conduct research. Grasses are licensed for sod production by Doguet Ventures, and The Turfgrass Group and outside of the U.S. by Team Zoysia International. Bladerunner Farms is headquartered in Poteet, Texas, just south of San Antonio. 830-276-4455, ,

 Media Contact:

Stacie Zinn Roberts
What’s Your Avocado? Marketing Agency

Are You Immortal if You Name a Grass Variety?

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 4.14.47 PMFrom Golfdom Magazine

Some people believe that the good product names have all been taken. Is that true? Who knows? But have you ever wondered how new grass varieties are named?

Well, wonder no more – and perhaps become a variety namer – because on the show floor this week Team Zoysia (booth 432) will take suggestions from GIS attendees to name two new zoysiagrass putting green varieties. And you could win a new Scotty Cameron putter for your trouble.


The Cat’s Meow: Tiger Woods Kicks Off US Design Efforts With Augusta-Inspired Bluejack National

CatsMeowArticle 0aea3a948d8e528f4ece6bf9f7d0ea95Golfweek Magazine features an article on Tiger Woods’ new course, Bluejack National, which is grassed with L1F and Zeon zoysia. The article comments: “The tight, firm Zeon Zoysia fairways ensure a lot of roll when the ball lands.” It also mentions L1F zoysia: “Here at Bluejack National, recovery is played from firm, fast L1F Zoysia grass that frames the greens.”


For Arthur J Milberger — It All Starts With Grass

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 2.35.20 PMTPI Magazine features an article on Team Zoysia co-founder Arthur Milberger and tells the story of his business ventures, life, and the way it all comes back to turfgrass.


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Golf Digest Names Bluejack National Best New Golf Course

November 29, 2016: Golf Digest

Golf Digest named Bluejack National Best New Private Golf Course. In the article by Ron Whitten, the course is described this way: Being in a Southern climate, the fairways at Bluejack are tightly bladed Zeon Zoysia, the same superturf used at Rio’s Olympic Golf Course (which wasn’t considered for 2016 Best New because it was closed for public play until after the Olympics).


Bluejack’s tee boxes and green surrounds are an even newer Zoysia breed, L1F, for a shorter, tighter cut. Says Woods: “This will allow the ground to be used as a friend on approach shots and create lots of options for recovery shots around the greens.”

One of the panelists judging the competition said of Bluejack and its zoysiagrass: “greenside areas are seeded with L1F Zoysia to promote firm, fast roll.”

Making a Case for Zoysia and Sports Fields


November 2016: Sports Field Management Magazine

Sports Field Management editor-in-chief Robert Meyer visits Poteet, Texas, home of Bladerunner Farms, to meet David Doguet and learn more about Zeon Zoysia at the Zoysiagrass Field day held there in September. He reviews the popularity of zoysiagrasses and the history of their development, and interviews Brian Schwartz of the University of Georgia on what makes the grass exceptional.

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Golf Digest Names David Doguet as Top Innovator & Influencer of 2016

Golf Digest Names David Doguet, Founder of Bladerunner Farms, to list of Golf’s Top Innovators & Influencers of 2016

Improving Lies

Story by Ron Whitten


If the business of breeding better grass is a turf war, no one is more competitive than David Doguet. His complex in the San Antonio suburbs is called Bladerunner Farms, apropos of its sod-provider origins and sci-fi-like cross-pollination operation.

Doguet (pronounced dough-gay) has made zoysia golf’s new super grass. Yes, zoysia, once characterized by quarter-inch-wide blades that provided indestructible hairbrush lies but wouldn’t green up until early summer and reverted to tan at first frost. Traditionally, the coarse grass was used only for tees and fairways in transition-zone climates—where the winters were too cold for Bermuda and the summers were too hot for bent. Never was it the ideal choice.

But Doguet’s various crossbred strains—finer-bladed, more disease- and insect-resistant, less thirsty—have changed that. His latest creation, L1F zoysia, is a sensation. It has been chosen by Tiger Woods for the tees and green surrounds at his first American course, Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw used it for the tees, fairways and green surrounds at their new Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, a future PGA Tour stop. Gil Hanse planted it at the 2016 Olympics golf course in Brazil. But only the renovated Golf Club of Texas has used L1F on the greens, making the Roy Bechtol design the first all-zoysia course in the United States.

In June, Doguet will roll out M85 zoysia. He calls it the ultimate, a near grain-less strain suitable for fairways yet capable of handling the lowest mowing height any PGA Tour official might prescribe. It keeps its color without fertilization and is salt tolerant, so it’ll remain healthy despite poor water quality. Because its blades grow very slowly, Doguet predicts M85 fairways and greens will need mowing just once or twice a week.

Of course, the proof is in the practice, not the test plot. Doguet hopes the first course to try M85 is a low-budget public course, to demonstrate that quality playing surfaces can be achieved even with modest maintenance. If that happens, Douget might have won the war. —Ron Whitten

Read the full story in Golf Digest

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Hole in 1 At Tiger’s Playground – Bluejack National

March 3, 2016 – USA Today

Tiger Woods is upstaged at the grand opening of The Playground at Bluejack National when a child prodigy makes a hole in one! Could it be the excellent playing conditions of the Zeon Zoysia and M85 Zoysia that helped make that possible?


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Sustainability: Zoysia Golf Course Adds to Biodiversity at Olympics

February 26, 2016:

Olympic Golf Course grassed with Zeon Zoysia improves biodiversity, green space, sustainability of the site of the 2016 Olympic Games. Positive report from Olympic officials praises the golf course, dispelling months of controversy.

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The Year of Zoysia

February 11, 2016: Golfdom

Ed Hiscock thought 2016 was going to be his year. Turns out, it’s the Year of Zoysia. Here’s why—4 of the most high profile courses in the world right now are all grassed with zoysia. And there’s more to come.

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Zeon Zoysia Impressive, Great Lies says The Accidental Golfer

November 18, 2015: World Golf’s The Accidental Golfer

The hook was that the fairways are Zeon zoysia, the same grass that will be used at the new Olympic course being built in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for 2016. (Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, Texas, is supplying the zoysia for the Olympic course and also supplied it for Cordillera Ranch.) I had played on this grass before, and it is impressive. It’s not like the Meyer zoysia you find commonly on courses in the middle of the country. This is a finer blade, but in zoysia fashion, is a stiff grass that perches the ball up like it was on artificial turf. If you like to pick the ball, you’ll really love the lies.

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Celebrate 2016: The Year of Zoysia at the Golf Industry Show

February 3, 2016

The biggest projects in golf this year are grassed with Zoysia. Find out why at the Team Zoysia booth at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.

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VIDEO: Hanse on Pros/Cons of Designing Olympic Golf Course

October 2015: Golf Channel

Watch the Video: Gil Hanse, designer of the Olympic Golf Course, says “grass is coming on.” Talks details on the challenges and benefits of designing what will be soon the most famous golf course in the world

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Bladerunner’s Zeon Zoysia Shines at Olympic Golf Course

October 2015: USA Today

Olympic golf course, grassed with Zeon Zoysia developed by Bladerunner Farms, ready for the sport’s return in Rio Games

Ten months from now, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and the world’s best golfers could be battling on another links-style course. But this time Olympic medals will be up for grabs at a unique setting that is a compelling story in itself.


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Golf course superintendent Neil Cleverly tackles Olympic golf task in Brazil with sense of adventure

June  2, 2015, GCSAA

Former British military man prepares Rio golf course for world stage in 2016 Olympic Games


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50 Shades of Zoysia

February 24, 2015: GCM Blog

At the Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour, Dr. Engelke told attendees he wasn’t exaggerating much when he told them that, when it comes to zoysiagrass, “Don’t fertilize a thing and mow it right.”

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Zooming into the Zoysiagrass Era

February 24, 2015: Golf Course Industry

A turfgrass variety developed in Texas and made for the world entered the industry spotlight in San Antonio. On a blustery Monday away from the conference rooms of the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, more than 100 superintendents participated in the “Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour.” Team Zoysia, an affiliation of producers, scientists, golf course superintendents, equipment managers and distributors, staged the event in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show.

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Tiger Woods’ Bluejack National planted with Zoysia

March 24, 2015:

Tiger Woods’ 1st US designed golf course, Bluejack National, has planted nearly 30 acres of beautiful green Zoysia grass on the course.

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L1F Zoysia for greens, tees and fairways

February 25, 2015: TurfNet

L1F zoysia is Bladerunner Farms’ latest innovation in zoysiagrass for golf courses. Traits include fine leaf texture and upright growth habit, making it suitable for use on greens, tees and fairways.


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Postcards from the GIS – Zoysia Tour!

March 26, 2015: Superintendent magazine

Superintendent magazine posts digital postcards from the Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour at Bladerunner Farms during the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio

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Zoysia as a Game Changer

January 2015: Golf Course Management magazine

With its drought tolerance, low fertilizer needs and the advent of cultivars that can be used on every surface of a golf course, including greens, zoysia is changing the game of golf.



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VIDEO – GCSAA-TV Coverage of the Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour

GCSAA-TV covers the Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour at the 2015 Golf Industry Show. Hear from Dr. Milt Engelke, Olympic Golf Course Superintendent Neil Cleverly, Texas A&M’s Ambika Chandra and many other experts as to why zoysia is poised to change the game of golf.


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Field trip offers glimpse into Olympic Golf Course

January 21, 2015: Turf Net

Team Zoysia, as part of the ‘Zoysia as a Game Changer’ tour will offer, during this year’s Golf Industry Show, an inside look at the construction of the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro.

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Zoysiagrass event scheduled for GIS

January 22, 2015: Golf Course Industry magazine

Experts involved in the building of the Olympic Golf Course in Rio are participating in a zoysiagrass educational event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23 as part of the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio. In addition to meeting those involved in the building of the Olympic course, “The Zoysia as a Game Changer Tour” includes visits to a zoysiagrass breeding facility and the country’s first 100 percent zoysiagrass golf course as well as discussions with researchers.

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Zoysia backers to host Olympic course panel during San Antonio GIS

January 22, 2015: Golf Course Architecture

A panel of experts, including several of those involved in the construction of the recently-completed Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, will host an educational event during the forthcoming Golf Industry Show in San Antonio. The event is intended to promote the use of zoysia grass, which has been planted in Rio.

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Video: The Golf Channel, Tiger Woods & zoysia at Bluejack National

November 13, 2014: The Golf Channel

Tiger Woods and developers select zoysiagrass for Bluejack National. Inside look at the course, video interviews with Tiger.


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First Tiger Woods Course Built in US Grassed with Zoysia

December 3, 2014: Golf Business News

Grassing gets underway with Zeon Zoysia and L1F Zoysia this month at Bluejack National, the first golf course designed by Tiger Woods to open in the United States.

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Grassing set to begin at Bluejack National Tiger Woods course

December 2, 2014: Golf Course Industry

Tiger Woods-designed Texas course will feature Zeon Zoysia fairways.

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Zoysia: Golf Club of Texas in Midst of Big Renovation

October 24, 2014: Cybergolf

Set in the booming southwest corner of San Antonio, the Golf Club of Texas is undergoing a major renovation utilizing zoysia grass under the guidance of its original architect Roy Bechtol-designed. The renovation, which stripped the site down to the dirt, is costing more than $3.5 million.

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Major zoysia grass facelift for Golf Club of Texas

October 23, 2014, San Antonio Business Journal

Golf Club of Texas is undergoing a $3.5 million renovation that will transform the 1,900-acre property in Southwest San Antonio into an eco-friendly golf course using zoysiagrass.

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A Golden Touch – an interview with Rio 2016 Architect Gil Hanse

September 2014, Golfdom

Golf Course Architect Gil Hanse mentions “Zeon Zoysia, the primary grass on the site” in this cover story about the building of the Olympic Golf Course for Rio 2016

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Zoysia on Putting Greens

Turfmate, September 9, 2014

Asia-based researcher Dr. Micah Woods says Zoysiagrass is suitable for putting greens

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Grassing of the Olympic Golf Course in Rio is Well Underway

Golf Business News, August 19, 2014

The introduction to this issue held a note from Golf Business News Publisher Geoff Russell: “It’s good to have some positive news to report about the construction of the golf course for the 2016 Rio Olympics – including photographs of the work in progress. We acknowledge the assistance of Marcelo Matte, owner of Green Grass Brazil, who provided these images and send best wishes to everyone concerned with bringing the course to Olympic Championship standard over the next two years, not least the golf course superintendent, Neil Cleverly.”

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Rio Golf Course 59% Complete

iSport Connect, Friday, August 15, 2014

Official update from the Olympic committee. Grass is growing in!

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Zeon Zoysia is the Grass Used for Olympic Golf Course

Golf Course Industry magazine, August 12, 2014

Zeon Zoysia is the grass of choice for the Olympics in Rio

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Olympic Golf Course Grassing

Turfmate Australia, August 12, 2014

Golf course grassing has begun using Zeon for the Olympics

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Grassing of the Olympic Golf Course in Rio Underway

Golfdom magazine, August 13, 2014

Green Grass Brazil began installing Zeon Zoysia grass on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio.

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Bladerunner Farms Announces L1F Zoysia

Golf Course Industry magazine, February 7, 2014

L1F Zosyia could be a game-changer for golf.

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Australian Sod Producers Tour Bladerunner Farms

TurfCraft magazine, Austria, February 21. 2014

A group of more than 60 sod producers from Australia toured the Bladerunner Farm in Poteet, Texas, to investigate new zoysiagrasses.


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Exclusive Interview with Olympic Golf Course Superintendent on Zeon for Rio 2016

Golfom magazine online, February 24, 2014

In this exclusive interview, Golfdom magazine interviews Neil Cleverly, the golf course superintendent growing in Zeon on the course under construction for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.


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Habiturf Native Sod featured on PBS Station

KLRU-TV, Austin, Texas, February 2014

Habiturf native sod featured on PBS-TV. Watch the video!

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From High School to the Big Leagues: Zoysiagrass for Sports Turf

Sports Turf magazine, February 2014

Everyone from Major League Baseball sports turf managers to high school coaches believe that zoysiagrass is the wave of the future for athletic fields

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2013 Bladerunner Farms Year in Review

Infographic, January 21, 2014

What a year it we had at Bladerunner Farms in 2013! This infographic offers a visual Year in Review.

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Man Wins Olympic Gold – in Growing Grass

Fox-TV 29 in San Antonio, Texas, December 24 2013

Bladerunner Farms connection with the Olympics in 2016 highlighted.

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PGA Tour Calls Zeon Zoysia the ‘Secret Weapon’ of the Rio Olympics 2016, December 19, 2013

Zeon Zoysia is “revoluntionary” and the Olympic golfers will love it, so says this article from the PGA Tour. Wow.

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Exceeding a Homeowner’s Expectations: Zeon Zoysia

TURF SOUTH magazine, December 2013

A Zeon Zoysia lawn installed by Earthscapes Landscaping in Bluffton, SC, adds the finishing touch to a majestic private residence in Berkeley Hall.

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Poteet grower to supply grass for golf course at 2016 Summer Olympics

San Antonio Express-News, December 8, 2013

A history of Bladerunner Farms, golf in the Olympics and watching grass grow.

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Lowe High on Outcome: Greensboro CC Converts to Zeon Zoysia

Carolinas Green magazine, November 20013

Doug Lowe, CGCS, director of grounds and maintenance at Greensboro Country Club talks about the successful conversion of his golf course to Zeon Zoysia.

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Cordillera Ranch now using same turf as Rio Olympics course, October 2013 notes that players can try out the grass on the Olympic golf course being built in Rio now at a golf course in Texas. The grass is Zeon Zoysia from Bladerunner Farms.

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Turf for 2016 Olympics in Brazil is also used in San Antonio course

CBS Sports, October 24, 2013

CBS Sports notes that the grass on a golf course in San Antonio, Texas, is the same grass to be used on the Olympic golf course in Rio. That grass is Zeon Zoysia.

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Licensed to Grow

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center newsletter, October 2013,

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center awards Bladerunner Farms license to Habiturf™ native lawn grass for sod production.

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World-Class Turf: Zeon Zoysia to be featured at Olympics

Urban Ag Council magazine, September 2013

The Olympic golf course in Rio is the biggest golf project in the world. Bladerunner Farms, David Doguet and Zeon Zoysia are right in the middle of it.

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Finding the Middle Ground: Zoysia in the Mid-Atlantic States

Golf Course Management magazine, August 2013

Golf courses in the Mid-Atlantic states are turning to Zeon Zoysia for its looks, playability and environmentally friendly properties.

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Bladerunner Releases Lowrider Zoysia Series

TURF NEWS magazine, July/August, 2013

Bladerunner Farms releases new Lowrider series of zoysia grass.

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A Zeal for Zoysia

Landscapes magazine, Summer 2013

On one of the sports world’s biggest stages — the Summer Olympic Games — Turf Breeder David Doguet of Bladerunner Farms hopes to shine a spotlight on zoysia grass.

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Hawaiian Turfgrass Named Exclusive Licensed Producer of Zeon Zoysia in Hawaii

TURF magazine, April 29, 2013

Hawaiian Turfgrass has been named the state of Hawaii’s exclusive licensed sod producer of Zeon Zoysiagrass. The grass is grown at the Hawaiian Turfgrass sod farm in Miliani on O’ahu. Zeon Zoysia sod will be ready for harvest in the summer of 2014. Zeon Zoysia is suitable for use as a home lawn yet is fine-textured and durable enough for use on sports fields and golf courses.

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Zoysiagrass for the future

Golf Course Industry, March 18, 2010

The world’s best turfgrass breeding programs meets one of the world’s largest zoysiagrass collections.

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Trends in Warm Season Turf

TURF SOUTH, November 2012

Zoysiagrass poised for breakthrough as environmentally friendly go-to turf

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New Rio Olympics Course to use Zeon Zoysia turf

Cybergolf, February 11, 2013

Zeon Zoysia grass chosen for Olympics in 2016.

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Zeon Zoysia, golf grass of the Olympics

NBC Sports, February 11, 2013

Zeon Zoysia chosen as grass for Olympic golf course to be built for 2016 Games in Rio.

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2016 Olympics to use Zeon Zoysia for Fairways

Golf Course Industry, February 8, 2013

Zeon Zoysia chosen as grass for 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio.

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Grass Selections for Rio Olympic course revealed

Golf Course Management, February 7, 2013

Choice of Zeon Zoysia for Olympics revealed at Golf Industry Show in San Diego

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NBC Sports Touts Zoysia as the Grass of Olympic Golf

NBC Sports, February 11, 2013

NBC Sports picks up on the story that Zeon Zoysia is the grass of the Rio Olympics golf course.

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Zoysia’s Future Arrives

TURF SOUTH magazine, January 2013

Researchers focus on the environmental attributes of the Zoysia species. Of note, its lower water and lower fertilizer requirements.