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Zoysia; the proof is in the putting

Holing Out Test shows great reliability from Zoysia greens.

The Greenstester ready to undertake the Holing Out Test at Keya Golf Club.  

Bermudagrass is the most common putting green grass in hot climates and cultivated dwarf varieties are believed to play as well as creeping bentgrass. The advent of growing issues with water quality has led to the establishment of a sizeable niche market for seashore paspalum.

The other main warm season turfgrass, zoysia, has mostly been ignored as a putting green grass though its use has increased as a fairway turf with excellent shade tolerance, high disease and pest resistance and low resource needs. Japan is an exception to this rule, where korai (scientific name Zoysia matrella, also known as manilagrass) has long been one of the grasses of choice for putting surfaces because of its excellent adaption to the humid subtropical climate of East Asia. The putting surfaces at the Kawana Hotel’s Fuji Course, for example, are korai.

Fuji Course
The 16th green on the Fuji Course, with the 15th in the background.

Now, from Dr Micah Woods of the Asian Turfgrass Center, comes further evidence that zoysia can present high quality putting surfaces.  In a short video, he introduces korai greens as used at two well-known Japanese courses: the aforementioned Fuji Course and Keya Golf Club in Fukuoka.

Using the R&A Holing Out Test, the Keya Golf Club greens achieved 100% reliability with every ball from 10 feet running straight into the cup.  “We couldn’t miss”, was Dr Woods’ reaction.

To see how well the korai greens were rolling, watch this  video clip produced by Dr Woods.