There is probably no sport in which the quality of turf is more important than golf. At every level of play and each part of the course, the lay of the grass is crucial. The quality of the turf directly affects gameplay, difficulty, and performance. If the grass is not full and dense, or if the mowing is not correct, it can throw off a whole round. That’s why more and more golf clubs are turning to Zeon Zoysiagrass as the best turf for golf course fairways.
Selecting Turf for a Golf Course
The maintenance team in charge of a golf course is responsible for the quality of the turf year-round. It is their job to make sure that the turf is just right in each part of the course. The perfect turf for any course is going to be hardy, dense, and able to handle high traffic. But the exact type of turf to use on each part of a course must take into account the climate and other local variables.
Maintenance crews in charge of a course need to maintain their grass in a way that maximizes the playability of the course. But maintenance crews can also fine-tune a course to be easier or harder to play based on how often they irrigate, how they mow, and the length of the grass at each point in the course. For instance, at the Augusta National Golf Club, each green is treated slightly differently to account for the difficulty of its slope and other characteristics.
The most important and primary concern of the maintenance crew at each course is that the turf throughout the course is in good condition. But in addition, the crew and club management need to monitor costs for irrigation, reseeding, and other maintenance. Perfect turf is the goal, but no one works with an unlimited budget—except, maybe, the Augusta National Golf Club!
One of the most significant factors in selecting a turf option for a golf course is the local climate. Some types of grass do better with cool summers. Others are better suited for warm, wet summers. And wherever you are, drought is always a concern. The less it rains, the more you have to irrigate, and that can quickly blow up a club’s budget. The ideal turf has to be suited to the local temperature and sunlight conditions. It should also be relatively low-maintenance and thrifty with water. Finally, it needs to bounce back quickly from heavy use. Golf courses put up with a lot of foot traffic and damage from players’ clubs. It is critical that any turf can handle that kind of abuse.
Here in the Southeast, we have warm summers that lead into cooler autumns. While summers can be rainy, we also experience significant periods of drought. Luckily, Zeon Zoysiagrass can handle all of those conditions.
The Science of Zeon Zoysiagrass
Zeon Zoysiagrass can only be produced and sold as a Certified turfgrass variety. That sets it apart from many other zoysia varieties, which can vary in terms of purity, quality, and production. In the Southeastern US, Hawaii, and Australia, The Turfgrass Group, Inc. and its sub-licensees hold the exclusive license to Zeon Zoysiagrass.
In 2007, studies at North Carolina State University pitted Zeon Zoysiagrass against several other zoysiagrass varieties. The studies compared several zoysiagrass varieties that are commonly used in residential and commercial settings. Researchers planted all of the turfs from sod, as it would be in the real world.
The primary goal of the testing at NC State University was to evaluate how well the different varieties did with minimal fertilization. At the highest fertilizer levels, all of the varieties performed well. But as the researches reduced the amount of fertilizer, almost all of the varieties showed a serious decline in quality—all, that is, except Zeon Zoysiagrass.
In addition to testing how well varieties performed with limited fertilization, researchers made another discovery almost by accident. As the researchers recuded the level of fertilizer, the turfs began to show evidence of Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homeocarpa), a pathogen that can kill off sections of turf. Zeon Zoysiagrass was the only variety that stayed healthy.
Best Practices for Zeon Zoysiagrass
To keep your Zeon Zoysiagrass looking best, give it 1” of water a week. In drought conditions, that can increase to 2½” of water a week. You can mow Zeon Zoysiagrass to anywhere from ½” to 2”.
At 1”-2”, Zeon Zoysiagrass can look and feel similar to bermudagrass varieties. It provides a thick, soft feel that is perfect for bare feet. If you are installing sod at home, you can get a great yard with Zeon Zoysiagrass cut at the upper end of its recommended height.
For professional groundskeepers working on golf courses, Zeon Zoysiagrass is an excellent fairway variety. On a golf course, goundskeeprs can mow Zeon Zoysiagrass as low as ⅜” and it will remain healthy. It stands up exceptionally well to heavy use and wear. Zeon Zoysiagrass can quickly recover from the constant parade of golfers through the fairway. It also requires less fertilizer than other varieties. Over the many acres that comprise an entire golf course, fertilizer saving can add up quickly.
Zeon Zoysiagrass also shows less thatch than almost any other variety. In fact, the only other variety with less thatch in controlled testing was JaMur, another of The Turfgrass Group, Inc. varieties.
Zeon Zoysiagrass at Home
Zeon Zoysiagrass is a tested and trusted turf for many golf course groundskeepers. It stands up to heavy use and grows well in many conditions. For the homeowner, Zeon Zoysiagrass is also a wonderful backyard turf. It grows thick and healthy in many conditions. It also uses fertilizers you can get at any gardening store and can withstand herbicides labeled for any zoysiagrass. Best of all, a thick mat of Zeon Zoysiagrass mowed to 1”-2” rivals any luxury carpeting for the soft feel under bare feet. Zeon Zoysiagrass will keep your yard green and your family happy. You can find a Zeon Zoysiagrass grower here.