The Future is Now: Zoysia for Green a Reality Today
David Doguet has preached the gospel of the benefits of zoysiagrass for more than three decades. And now, after more than 30 years of research and real-world application, it appears the golf industry is made up of zoysia true believers. Doguet, president of Bladerunner Farms and recognized worldwide as an expert on zoysiagrass, now has four new varieties on the market suitable for use as greens grasses. Primo, Lazer, Prizm, and Trinity Zoysia, with their low inputs, drought tolerance, and superior playability, are no longer a promise for the future, they are available today. The future of greens grass, it appears, is now.
Some of the golf industry’s highest-profile new projects are grassing with zoysia greens, utilizing varieties developed at Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, Texas:
Houston: The very first golf course to be grassed wall-to-wall with Primo Zoysia—tees, fairways, and greens.—begins construction spring 2019, grassing starts spring 2020. Developers Tour 18 and The Caldwell Companies are creating a 2000-acre master-planned community with a golf course (as yet unnamed) in North Houston, Texas.
Bahamas: Jacks Bay, the new short course designed by Tiger Woods, will have nine greens planted in Primo Zoysia. It is growing in now.
Other recent projects now open and with zoysia greens grasses developed by Bladerunner Farms include:
Georgia: Crooked Creek Club in Atlanta was recently renovated with Primo Zoysia on all greens
South Carolina: Spanish Wells in Hilton Head planted Primo Zoysia on its 9-hole golf course
Jamaica: White Witch Golf Course planted 10 golf greens with Primo Zoysia so far with remaining holes grassing this summer
Texas: Bluejack National, designed by Tiger Woods, was planted with Trinity Zoysia on the short course greens; and Golf Clubs of Texas in San Antonio has all 18 greens planted in Trinity Zoysia
In addition, in California, the very first Bladerunner zoysiagrass golf course on the west coast broke ground last fall in Middletown near Napa Valley. To be called The Bramble, Zeon Zoysia will be used on fairways with a decision to come on tees and greens. The Bramble is designed by Coore-Crenshaw, who are already big fans of Bladerunner’s zoysiagrasses since they used Trinity Zoysia at Trinity Forest, the new home of the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. Doguet reports that James Duncan, part of the ownership group for The Bramble, has told him that Zeon is “doing better than their expectations.”
Even with four new greens-grade zoysias in the Bladerunner portfolio, research and development continue. In the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program’s (NTEP) 2013 National Warm Season Putting Greens Test, Bladerunner Farms sponsored seven of the 10 zoysia varieties in the trials with two released to the public as DALZ 1308 (Lazer) and L1F (Trinity).
Bladerunner Farms, along with Team Zoysia and Team Zoysia International, works with Dr. Ambika Chandra at Texas A&M University and Dr. Brian Schwartz at the University of Georgia to develop and continue to test these new zoysia varieties. At the University of Tennesse, Dr. John Sorochan is doing grow-in and maintenance studies on the Bladerunner greens-type zoysias.
In the U.S., Bladerunner has more than 50 test sites from coast to coast. These sites are at leading golf course facilities with experienced golf course superintendents giving real-world feedback on what they are observing. Grow-in, mowing, water use, disease or insect problems, cold tolerance, shade tolerance, etc, are all under review. Even the PGA Tour Agronomy department at the TPC Sawgrass has a Bladerunner Farms zoysia test site. Multiple U.S. test sites use zoysia for the tees, fairways, rough, and greens.
Along with the United States locations, Bladerunner Farms has ongoing real-world and research trials in nine international countries:
• South Korea
Some of the industry’s most respected sod producers grow the Bladerunner greens grass Zoysias including Bladerunner Farms, Buy Sod, Pike Creek and now, Southland Sod in California.
Bladerunner Farms is the largest supplier of zoysia for greens in the world. Said Doguet, “I have dedicated my life’s work to the development of zoysiagrass as a sustainable, drought tolerant, highly playable, beautiful grass with low inputs. This grass has the capacity to help the golf industry reign in maintenance costs to secure the longevity of the industry for all who love to play the game of golf.”
To learn more about the Bladerunner Farms greens-type zoysiagrasses, visit the Team Zoysia Booth #1825 at the Golf Industry Show, February 6 – 7 in San Diego.
Online at BladerunnerFarms.com.