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Alternative turfgrasses show potential for use on golf course fairways
Date:4/20/2010

llaris L.), and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) maintained acceptable quality in all treatment combinations. In 2007, Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. fallax) and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L.) were the top-performing species regardless of treatment. Hard fescue (Festuca brevipila Tracey) performed poorly the first year of the study, but performed well in the second year. The other species evaluated in the study did not perform at acceptable levels.

The test results indicated that sheep fescue, Chewings fescue, colonial bentgrass, and velvet bentgrass should be studied further for use on low-input golf course fairways in the northern U.S. "In this study, the fine fescue species showed the greatest potential for use on low-input golf course fairways. To our knowledge, this is the first report of sheep fescue being a successful fairway turf in the United States", noted Watkins. The research demonstrates that alternative cool-season turfgrass species may be able to perform adequately on golf course fairways under low-input conditions in Minnesota and similar areas.

The study findings may hold great promise for turfgrass professionals, but will the new grasses prove popular with golfers? According to Watkins, researchers in the United Kingdom acknowledged high levels of support for increased biodiversity among golf course superintendents, but found that there were conflicts between the golfers' preferences and the needs of conservation plans that promote biodiversity. "Similarly, we expect that resistance from golfers to new grass species may limit the use of low-input species on golf course fairways."


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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