Grassing gets underway this month at Bluejack National, located in Montgomery, just outside of Houston, Texas, on the very first Tiger Woods-designed golf course scheduled to open in the United States. All surfaces of the 18-hole golf course will be planted with two varieties of zoysiagrass—Zeon Zoysia and L1F Zoysia—developed by Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, Texas. The only exception is the greens surfaces, which will be grassed with TifEagle bermudagrass.
Eric Bauer, director of agronomy, says the fairways at Bluejack National are being sodded with Zeon Zoysia. The course will have no rough, Bauer says, because “the designer and the developer want golf to be more enjoyable and to increase the pace of play. We’re blanketing the entire fairway playing area with Zeon Zoysia. Tee tops and green surrounds are L1F Zoysia, a new variety that can tolerate lower mowing heights. It will allow us to take the height down shorter. This is based on the desires of the Tiger Woods design team to create a lot of different shot options.”
Bauer says “we are sodding a total of 97 acres” with the intention of having the 18-hole golf course grown-in and ready for play by the fall of 2015. The developer, Beacon Land Development, decided to sod the zoysiagrass, Bauer says, rather than sprig it because “we were tied to a residential component. It was more important to open next year, which sodding allows, rather than sprig and wait another year to open.”
Zoysiagrass varieties, such as Zeon Zoysia and L1F Zoysia, are known to require less water and less fertilizer than bermudagrass, a family of warm-season grasses widely used on golf courses. Along with zoysiagrasses’ lower input demands, another deciding factor in the selection of Zeon Zoysia and L1F Zoysia at Bluejack National, Bauer says, was their “shade tolerance. We kept a lot of significant trees. The course is severely wooded.”
Medalist Golf is constructing the golf course. The turf used to grass the golf course was grown by All Seasons Turf Grass in Brookshire, Texas. Scott Sipes, sales manager for All Seasons Turf Grass, says sodding the golf course will require 520 truckloads of grass equaling 4.2 million square feet of sod in the form of big rolls and slabs.
All Seasons Turf Grass has been in business for more than 35 years. A family-owned company, the sod producer is one of the largest in the state of Texas. All Seasons Turf Grass produces certified sod on a sand-based profile, the preferred growing medium for the golf course industry.
Even though the company has such a long history, Sipes says he recognizes the significance of growing the grass for the first Tiger Woods course in the United States.
“Anytime you work with someone in the industry and they are the number one name in golf—everyone in golf knows who they are—it’s a challenge, it’s prestigious, it’s quite an honor,” Sipes says.
All Seasons Turf www.allseasonsturf.com
Bladerunner Farms www.bladerunnerfarms.com