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Turfgrass ecology, part 4: "the luxuriance of our meadows and pastures"

More about grasses on golf courses in Thailand: a Christmas Eve miscellany

Sunset_banyanGolf in Thailand at this time of year is really pleasant. I often use the words clement and salubrious, with additional modifiers, to express just how pleasant I find it.

Over the past 20 days in Bangkok, there has been no rain, and the temperature has ranged from from 19 to 34°C.

I've written about the grasses one finds here, and I have also put together this photo gallery of the typical grasses. Most putting greens are hybrid bermudagrass, and after that comes manilagrass, and there are comparatively few courses with seashore paspalum greens.

Through the green, the percentage of courses with bermudagrass goes down, and the percentage with manilagrass and seashore paspalum comes up.

At the Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia 2015 conference, we will be talking about these grasses, and we will have a pre-conference seminar in which we discuss the design and construction of golf courses in Southeast Asia.

Waterside

It hasn't rained in Bangkok for 20 days, yet on the seashore paspalum fairways I played today, this was the result from multiple shots that landed in the fairway: debris (organic matter, or mud?) on the ball.

2014-12-24 13.50.15 2014-12-24 11.20.57 2014-12-24 11.38.52
I think the cause of this is related to the grass species. In Southeast Asia, when one does not keep the soil wet, seashore paspalum will eventually be overtaken by better-adapted species that thrive in drier soils. So seashore paspalum fairways must be kept really wet if the grass is to persist. One can topdress with large amounts of sand to minimize that problem, but that is really expensive.

A recent post on GolfClubAtlas.com about seashore paspalum had some interesting comments from golf course superintendents and golfers and architects about this species. The consensus -- it requires a lot of inputs and can be very expensive to maintain.

I've got lots of ideas about grass selection and construction methods (especially sandcapping of fairways) and will be working on developing those for discussion at the upcoming conference. 

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