After successful projects to install zoysia grass into its green collars and bunker surrounds, Indooroopilly Golf Club Superintendent Charlie Giffard takes the AGCSA through the implementation and challenging next step of growing in its first zoysia green
Over the past couple of years, Indooroopilly Golf Club in Brisbane has been trialling the use of zoysia grasses to determine its potential as a playing surface going forward. As was reported in Australian Turfgrass Management Volume 18.5 (September-October 2016, p48-49), a 1.8-metre metre wide strip of Shade Tuff zoysia matrella was installed around a newly stolonised green to gauge its performance.
In time, this turned out to be very successful and in early 2017 we subsequently planned an all-out assault on couch encroachment around, and in some cases in, our 328 Tifgreen greens.
Initially concentrating our efforts on the newer West course, the programme embarked upon was to poison out the existing collar grass (Greenlees Park) and any adjacent encroachment in the green edges and re-turf with the new zoysia variety Sir Grange.
We were able to get some early release of this material to trial thanks to Simon Adermann from Lawn Solutions Australia.
Over the next two years we have successfully carried out the collar conversion to Sir Grange and to date we have been more than happy with the results.
The method employed to convert the surrounds was pretty straightforward. After spraying out the couch collar and removing the dead material, we levelled the area and then solid turfed with Sir Grange.
The zoysia grew in very quickly and due to its low growth characteristics we were able to mow it down to a collar height of 8mm within a month of laying it.
We have certainly noted its low growth rate and how this has been a great saving as the collars only require a mow every other week in the growing season and once a month during the winter.
This represents a real saving and our ‘return on investment’ ROI would be in less than five years’ time going by this indicator alone!
Asissting with putting together the ROI, other attendant benefits of the zoysia experienced so far include;
• High tolerance to salt (particularly beneficial as Indooroopilly uses effluent irrigation water)
• Low to nil disease and insect incidence;
• No dew formation;
• Upright growth habit effectively ‘perching’ the ball for an improved lie;
• Drought hardy;
• Low nutritional requirement; and
• Low seed head formation