Are You Immortal if You Name a Grass Variety?
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 Golfweek 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
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.
August 10, 2016: Unplayable Lies
Covering the Olympic Golf Course, Unplayable Lies refers to Zeon Zoysia this way: It’s the Frank Sinatra of turf grass…. If you can make it there…. Joking aside, it’s an interesting process and the turf’s ability to survive such harsh conditions is important in maintaining courses in a wide variety of locales.
August 9, 2016: The San Diego Union- Tribune
Sitting on the bank of a lake along the fifth fairway of the Olympic Golf Course on Monday afternoon was a capybara, oblivious to the orange lawnmowers rumbling past or golfers from Sweden or Indonesia or Paraguay hitting approach shots during practice rounds. It just sat there, happy as can be, not a concern in the world, like it owned the place.
August 9, 2016: SC Now News
RIO DE JANEIRO – Walking from the driving range to the first tee Sunday morning at Olympic Golf Course, Rickie Fowler passed by Gil Hanse, the architect who had designed the course. Hanse greeted Fowler, a friend from previous meetings, and shook his hand.
“Thanks for coming,” Hanse said. “It’s very cool. How’s it going?”
“Can’t complain,” Fowler said. “It’s been great. Just trying to make all the other boys jealous who didn’t come.”
August 9, 2016: Geoff Shackelford
August 8, 2016: Golf Business News
According to those who know what it has taken, golf course superintendent Neil Cleverly deserves his own gold medal for the job he’s done preparing a championship golf course at Reserva de Marapendi outside of Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Olympic Games.
“If there’s a gold medal for superintendents, he surely should get it,” said David Doguet, president of Bladerunner Farms, whose company supplied the specific zoysia grass for the job.
August 8, 2016: IGF
Also on stream is a Youtube channel which features dozens of short films about the players and the course.
August 8, 2016: Quartz
The work that went into preparing Rio’s competition facilities over recent months—and even years before Brazil’s Olympic bid—has been breathtaking. Below, take a look back at the dramatic evolution of six key Olympic sites, in stunning satellite view.
August 8, 2016: Golf.com
Hanse points out that August is winter in Rio—the coolest, driest time of year, which should allow for firm and fast conditions, not unlike a British Open. “One of the most striking aspects to the design is the short grass around the greens, with little, if any, rough,” Hanse says. “Having the ball move and roll off will be a big part of the experience.”
August 8, 2016: Superintendent Magazine
I’m sure that Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy — the four top-ranked golfers in the world — have no idea what it took to get the Olympic Golf Course built. If they did, I’d like to think they wouldn’t have bailed on competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics this month in Rio de Janeiro.
August 8, 2016: Golf Course Management
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio are in full swing. But for the golf industry, the real show begins Thursday with the first round of play in the men’s golf competition, the first time since 1904 that the game has been an official Olympic sport.
We are pleased to announce that we’ve been able to secure the assistance of several individuals who will have a front-row seat to the proceedings as members of the crew tending to the golf course in Rio. They’ll be GCM’s eyes and ears on the ground in Rio, and one of those individuals who knows the course as well as any is David Doguet, the president of Bladerunner Farms, the world’s largest privately-owned zoysiagrass research facility. His company, based in Poteet, Texas, developed Zeon Zoysia, the turf planted on the fairways, tees and rough at the Olympic Golf Course.
August 8, 2016: Golf Digest
August 8, 2016: Newsday
Designing the course for the first Olympic golf competition was supposed to be the most difficult part, yet Long Island native Gil Hanse overcame climate logistics and political roadblocks to pull that off, by all accounts, flawlessly. What happened after that was a course that no one could have or would have charted.
August 8, 2016: Golf Course Management
Superintendent Neil Cleverly seems to have been the right person at the right time to oversee the course that will host Olympic golf for the first time more then a century.
August 8, 2016: Cornell Chronicle
When some of the world’s best golfers tee off next month in the 72-hole Olympic competition, they will be navigating fairways and greens imagined and designed by a pair of Cornellians. One of them, in fact, was mentored early in his career by yet another Cornellian, who himself was among the finalists for the Olympic contract. Gil Hanse, MLA ’89, bested a field of 29 of the world’s top golf architects four years ago and won the job of turning an abandoned sand mine in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro into a golf course that could challenge the best players in the game, then be used as a municipal course for a city and nation just being introduced to the sport.
July 24, 2016: NEW YORK TIMES
From just two handfuls of Zeon Zoysiagrass, the Olympic Golf Course in Rio was born! Read the story in the New York Times as the efforts of David Doguet at Bladerunner Farms, Marcelo Matte of Green Grass Brasil, and Olympic Golf Course Superintendent Neil Cleverly are celebrated. Learn how the golf course was grown, the low fertilizer and low input benefits of the grass, and why Zeon Zoysia was the best choice for the Olympics … and for golf courses around the world.
Zeon Zoysia & Olympic Golf Course Earns Golf Digest’s Green Star Award for Environmental Stewardship
July 2016 – Golf Digest
When Green is Gold
What convinced us to honor the new Rio Olympic Golf Course with Golf Digest’s Green Star Award was a family of burrowing owls. These 10-inch long creatures carved out a home in, of all places, the face of a bunker left of the ninth green. It’s the perfect symbol of how golf can work in harmony with nature.
We were also swayed by the February 2016 report from Rio de Janeiro’s Department of Justice, which concluded the creation of the golf course has increased biodiversity in the area. Opponents were certain a swamp, known as Marapendi Lagoon, was being despoiled by the course, but the environmental-impact report established the opposite. Native vegetation has increased by 167 percent, and the number of animal species in the locale has more than doubled since June 2013.
Rio’s Olympic course is the first international layout to receive our annual award for outstanding environmental practices, and the first Green Star recipient designed and built under rigid sustainability guidelines. Architect Gil Hanse was given an abandoned sand mine turned into an illegal dump. Restrictions were so harsh that he wasn’t allowed to spray chemicals to kill unwanted vegetation, so crews hand-pulled 80 acres of weeds. He could neither import nor remove any soil from the property, so workers dug down to find decent sand for tees, greens, fairway contours and framing dunes, expanding natural ponds in the process.
Drought-tolerant Zeon zoysia grass was sprigged everywhere but on the greens, which are Seashore paspalum, a hedge against the possibility that pure groundwater might someday become brackish from the nearby Atlantic. Maintaining the turf is a major task for course superintendent Neil Cleverly, who has no access to slow-release fertilizers used on American courses, so he creates his nutrients and applies them with organic materials like liquid molasses to keep them from leaching through the sand too quickly. He’s prohibited from using herbicides and can use only agricultural fungicides and insecticides, which he applies sparingly.
A once-dead parcel of land is now lively with all sorts of fauna. Monkeys live in the cashew trees behind the 12th green. Yacare caimans (cousins of the crocodile) have been seen in the ponds. Sandpipers run the fairways, and egrets soar overhead. The far roughs are home to capybaras, which look like large hedgehogs.
There are also the owls. There are families elsewhere on the course, including a waste area dotted by cactus (yes, tropical cactus) between the 11th and 12th holes, but it’s the owls on No. 9 that captured our fancy. How did such tiny creatures tunnel such a big hole? Whether the owls maintain residency once golf activity begins in August is uncertain, but Cleverly and Rio 2016 officials don’t intend to involuntarily evict them. After all, the rules of golf have provisions for relief from holes of burrowing animals. —Ron Whitten
June 13, 2016: Golfweek
May/June 2016: Turf News
As golf returns to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after 112 years, David Doguet of Bladerunner Farms tells the history of how Zeon Zoysia was grown in Brazil and selected for the playing surface of at the Olympic Golf Course.
Golf Digest Names David Doguet, Founder of Bladerunner Farms, to list of Golf’s Top Innovators & Influencers of 2016
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
March 9, 2016: Back9 Network
March 8, 2016: Golfweek
At the Olympic Golf Course test event held in March, Brazilian pro golfers rave over the quality and conditions go the course, calling it “incredible.” The course is grassed with Zeon Zoysia.
March 8, 2016: BBC
March 8, 2016: Golf Channel
GOLF CHANNEL VIDEO: Rio hosts test event at Olympic golf course grassed with Zeon Zoysia. Players say it’s “perfect” and “amazing.” Architect Gil Hanse thrilled with the golf course.
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?
February 26, 2016: Rio2016.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
March 24, 2015: TigerWoods.com
Tiger Woods’ 1st US designed golf course, Bluejack National, has planted nearly 30 acres of beautiful green Zoysia grass on the course.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 13, 2014: The Golf Channel
Tiger Woods and developers select zoysiagrass for Bluejack National. Inside look at the course, video interviews with Tiger.
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.
December 2, 2014: Golf Course Industry
Tiger Woods-designed Texas course will feature Zeon Zoysia fairways.
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.
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.
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
Turfmate, September 9, 2014
Asia-based researcher Dr. Micah Woods says Zoysiagrass is suitable for putting greens
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.”
iSport Connect, Friday, August 15, 2014
Official update from the Olympic committee. Grass is growing in!
Golf Course Industry magazine, August 12, 2014
Zeon Zoysia is the grass of choice for the Olympics in Rio
Turfmate Australia, August 12, 2014
Golf course grassing has begun using Zeon for the Olympics
Golfdom magazine, August 13, 2014
Green Grass Brazil began installing Zeon Zoysia grass on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio.
Golf Course Industry magazine, February 7, 2014
L1F Zosyia could be a game-changer for golf.
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.
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.
KLRU-TV, Austin, Texas, February 2014
Habiturf native sod featured on PBS-TV. Watch the video!
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
Infographic, January 21, 2014
What a year it we had at Bladerunner Farms in 2013! This infographic offers a visual Year in Review.
Fox-TV 29 in San Antonio, Texas, December 24 2013
Bladerunner Farms connection with the Olympics in 2016 highlighted.
PGATour.com, December 19, 2013
Zeon Zoysia is “revoluntionary” and the Olympic golfers will love it, so says this article from the PGA Tour. Wow.
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.
San Antonio Express-News, December 8, 2013
A history of Bladerunner Farms, golf in the Olympics and watching grass grow.
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.
PGA.com, October 2013
PGA.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TURF NEWS magazine, July/August, 2013
Bladerunner Farms releases new Lowrider series of zoysia grass.
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.
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.
Golf Course Industry, March 18, 2010
The world’s best turfgrass breeding programs meets one of the world’s largest zoysiagrass collections.
TURF SOUTH, November 2012
Zoysiagrass poised for breakthrough as environmentally friendly go-to turf
Cybergolf, February 11, 2013
Zeon Zoysia grass chosen for Olympics in 2016.
NBC Sports, February 11, 2013
Zeon Zoysia chosen as grass for Olympic golf course to be built for 2016 Games in Rio.
Golf Course Industry, February 8, 2013
Zeon Zoysia chosen as grass for 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio.
Golf Course Management, February 7, 2013
Choice of Zeon Zoysia for Olympics revealed at Golf Industry Show in San Diego
NBC Sports, February 11, 2013
NBC Sports picks up on the story that Zeon Zoysia is the grass of the Rio Olympics golf course.
TURF SOUTH magazine, January 2013
Researchers focus on the environmental attributes of the Zoysia species. Of note, its lower water and lower fertilizer requirements.