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April 2009

Grass Variety Differences

Bermuda types 2
I was at the ATC Research Area this afternoon and was struck again by the dramatic differences in quality between the different grass varieties, particularly between the putting green bermudagrasses. I'm standing here on bermudagrass plots, and the different colors are the differences between the grasses. Whether we look at leaf texture, color, stand density and algal invasion, ball roll, or susceptibility to bermudagrass white leaf, there are some striking differences between the grasses we have planted side by side here north of Bangkok.
Bermuda types-1
One interesting thing we have observed, first on fairway height bermudagrass and now on putting green height bermudagrass, is that the bermudagrass white leaf infection seems to be variety-specific; some varieties are very prone to this infection, and others seem not to get the infection at all. Because the bermudagrass white leaf infection cannot be controlled with pesticides, it is important to choose a grass variety that is relatively resistant to this unsightly problem. In this photo (taken at the research area on 18 March 2009), note how the Novotek bermudagrass at left has none of the white leaf infection, even though it is adjacent to a heavily infected plot of what we think is a mutated selection from TifGreen 328.

We see huge differences in turfgrass performance when we grow the grasses here at our research area. It is very informative to view the performance of these grasses as they grow side-by-side.

Grass type 3

Seminar at University of Tennessee

Ut seminar 3

After my work at the Masters Tournament, I stopped at the University of Tennessee to meet with faculty and graduate students, to give a seminar about turfgrass management in Asia, and to look at some of the turfgrass research projects now underway at the university. I have been an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences since last year, and this was my first chance to meet with the faculty and to visit the campus. In the photo above, from left to right, are Dr. Tom Samples, Dr. John Sorochan, Dr. James Brosnan, and Dr. Micah Woods

Ut seminar 2

In my two day visit I had a chance to present my seminar, meet many of the faculty and turfgrass graduate students (out for dinner in Knoxville, above), see the turf at Neyland Stadium, look at the many turfgrass varieties and turfgrass experiments at the beautiful East Tennessee Research & Education Center, where many of the turfgrass plots are right along the Tennessee River.

Ut seminar

We discussed, among other things, possible collaboration between the Asian Turfgrass Center and the University of Tennessee in turfgrass research and turfgrass information transfer, and I am excited by the opportunity we have to work together on these endeavors.

Ut seminar 1

A Useful Analogy: Course Maintenance and the Human Condition

Occasionally I read an article that I find especially apt, and Steve Isaac's article about the human side of turfgrass management from the July/August 2008 Green Section Record is one of them. Isaac, now Director of Golf Course Management for The R&A, has years of experience working with turfgrass managers and with golfers, and in this article he explains how turfgrass managers can better explain the work they do, and the challenges they face, by describing the similarities between care of turfgrass and care of our human bodies.

Isaac the human side of turfgrass management gsr.pdf (page 1 of 3)