Way back in February during the Golf Industry Show, golf magazines and blogs declared 2016 as ‘The Year of Zoysia’. Industry insiders predicted then that the opening of the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games, (grassed with Zeon Zoysia fairways and tees), and Tiger Woods’ first U.S. design, Bluejack National, (also grassed with Zeon Zoysia fairways, and L1F Zoysia on tees and green surrounds), would have a significant impact on the game of golf. Now two major golf publications have confirmed those early predictions. In November, Golf Digest named Bluejack National the 2016 “Best New Private Course”, and the forthcoming January 2017 issue of GOLF magazine names Rio’s Olympic Golf Course as GOLF’s “Best New Course of 2016” with Bluejack National as GOLF’s “Best New Private Course.”
In the Golf Digest article, writer Ron Whitten notes that Bluejack National relies “on turfgrasses meant to be firm and resilient. Being in a Southern climate, the fairways at Bluejack are tightly bladed Zeon Zoysia, the same superturf used at Rio’s Olympic Golf Course (which wasn’t considered for 2016 Best New because it was closed for public play until after the Olympics). Bluejack’s tee boxes and green surrounds are an even newer Zoysia breed, L1F, for a shorter, tighter cut.”
In GOLF magazine, Joe Passov writes the “Olympic layout wowed the world with its versatility, playability and strategy-infused linkslike holes”, noting that the pick for Best Private Course, Bluejack National “took a page from the Augusta National playbook and created a fun, option-laden spread that emphasizes width, angles and recoverability on a handsome, oak-dotted canvas.”
David Doguet, founder of Bladerunner Farms and developer of the most widely used zoysia grasses in the world, including Zeon Zoysia and L1F Zoysia, has spent his professional career perfecting zoysia grass varieties that offer golf course developers, architects, owners and superintendents with grasses that are low maintenance, sustainable, beautiful and highly playable.
What’s next for zoysia grass? While zoysia is most commonly used on fairways, tees, green surrounds and roughs, Doguet said he plans to roll out two new ultra-fine zoysia grass varieties in 2017 suitable for championship-level tournament greens.
“We are making great progress with L1F and Zeon, and we feel the fine-textured zoysias for greens are the future of golf,” Doguet said.
With momentum like this, perhaps 2017 will also be the Year of Zoysia.
Bladerunner Farms, headquartered in Poteet, Texas, just south of San Antonio, is the world’s largest privately held zoysia grass and buffalo grass research and development facility.. www.bladerunnerfarms.com