Golf Course Management

MAY 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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32 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.14 Turfgrass testing Selecting the correct species and ultimately the appropriate cultivar for each part of the golf course is challenging, but the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) is here to help. NTEP undertakes extensive testing of 17 species of turfgrass cultivars over a large geographical area that includes 40 states in the United States and six provinces in Canada. Ac - cording to the program's website ( www.ntep. org ), the test results can "be used to determine if a cultivar is well adapted to a local area or level of turf maintenance." NTEP recently released a preliminary re - port of its 2013 trial data for cool-season grasses ( www.ntep.org/reports/preliminary/2013/ preliminary13.htm ). The data include bent - grass fairway/tee trials and putting green tri- als as well as information on fne-leaf fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue cultivars. This report also includes in - formation on 11 of the 17 cultivars included in the 2014 Seed Update published in this issue of GCM (see Page 54). A fve-year data summary for the recently completed fne-leaf fescue and bentgrass trials (established in 2008) will be available on the website later this summer. New fne-leaf fescue and bentgrass trials will be starting in fall 2014, with 21 trial lo - cations for fne-leaf fescue and 19 locations each for bentgrass fairway/tee and bentgrass putting green trials. As part of the planning for these trials, surveys were sent to a wide au - dience, including golf course superintendents and others in the industry. After considering the survey results, the NTEP Policy Commit - tee recently approved some additions, includ- ing ancillary trials, to the fne-leaf fescue and bentgrass trials. All three of the trials that will begin in fall 2014 will include testing for traffc tolerance, and the two bentgrass tests will include re - duced irrigation (60-70 percent ETo) on golf course sites. In addition, all sites in the standard trials for the bentgrass fairway/tee test will be encouraged to allow some drought stress, and divot recovery and low temperature/winter tol - erance will also be examined. The fne-leaf fes- cue test will include trials for shade tolerance, no mowing once per season, and no traffc and summer survival under low mowing stress at fairway mowing height. Warm-season grasses are also on the agenda. Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass tri - als were planted in 2013, as was a three-species putting green trial that is being carried out in cooperation with the USGA and a generous donation of winter turf covers from Xton Inc. Eighty vegetative entries and 18 seeded ber - mudagrasses are included in the three trials. The bermudagrass test includes a total of nine ancillary trials investigating drought toler - ance, nematodes, winterkill, spring dead spot, traffc and divot recovery. The eight ancillary trials for the zoysiagrass include large patch and drought, shade and traffc tolerance. The warm-season putting green trial takes place in 11 locations in the South, Southwest and the transition zone, with the northernmost site in Bloomington, Ind. The greens in the Kevin Morris kmorris@ntep.gov study must be built to USGA specifcations or very close to them. The trial includes 15 ber - mudagrasses, 11 zoysiagrasses and two seashore paspalum cultivars. The goal of the putting green trial is to use maintenance practices like those for Tifdwarf, using a higher mowing height and reduced in - puts to produce a Stimpmeter measurement of 9-10 feet throughout the growing season. The recommendations for Tifdwarf man - agement include a mowing height of 0.140- 0.165 inch and less fertilizer, topdressing and verticutting than is generally used for ul - tradwarf bermudagrasses. However, NTEP expects management parameters to be altered over the length of the trial. The winter of 2013-2014 was espe - cially harsh, and some winterkill and other winter damage is expected in the warm-season turfgrass trials that were established in 2013. At press time, the damage to the warm-season trials is not known, but NTEP has planted trays of the cultivars being used in the trials and is prepared to repair or replace damaged turf as needed. Updates on winter injury in the warm-season trials will be available on the NTEP website. T e information in t is column was taken from NTEP's spring 2014 newsletter. Kevin Morris is the executive director of the National Turf- grass Evaluation Program in Beltsville, Md. At the USGA/NTEP warm-season putting green trial site at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Fla., the plots will be allowed to grow together and will be maintained as a putting green with higher heights than ultradwarf bermudas. Photo by Kevin Morris Presented in Partnership with Barenbrug (turf) 032-033_May14_Turf.indd 32 4/16/14 2:43 PM

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