After several years of small plot testing and acreage expansion, Celebration Hybrid™ Bermudagrass is now being installed at a number of golf courses in Florida for larger testing and evaluation for possible future renovations. This is the next major step for the Celebration Hybrid program to continue building awareness of the brand and getting it in the hands of end users who will ultimately be the ones that will judge the merits of the grass.
Celebration Hybrid was the first release from the Celebration X Breeding Program conducted in cooperation between Mississippi State University and Sod Solutions. The program was initiated in 2014 and was designed to cross Celebration with other bermudagrasses to develop improved hybrid varieties of Celebration. After years of research and testing, Sod Solutions chose Celebration Hybrid to be the first release from the program in Sept. 2022 because it was an aggressive growing turfgrass with finer texture, higher density, reduced seed head production, and improved drought and shade tolerance.
Star Turf Farms has the largest amount of Celebration Hybrid in production at this time. General Manager Jonathan Lallement said that they chose to produce Celebration Hybrid because of their success with the original Celebration Bermudagrass and have been very pleased with the density and color of Celebration Hybrid. They continue to receive inquiries about the grass and all of their customers of Celebration Hybrid have had nothing but good things to say about it. Lallement also commented that the grass has harvested very nicely as slabs, as well as rolls of sod.
Photos above show Celebration Hybrid™ being harvested at Star Turf Farms in July 2023.
Turf Production Division Manager at Quality Turf Glen Wotipka said they chose to grow Celebration Hybrid because it was a hybrid, intermediate grass similar to Tifway 419, which is right along the lines of what their customers want in the golf and sports field sectors. Wotipka said he has not seen very much of a thatch build-up for such an aggressive growing turfgrass. He also commented that he has not seen much disease occurrence with the grass, and it responds very well to fertilizer applications.
Matt Taylor, Director of Golf Course Operations and Facilities at Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples, FL was one of the first courses to look at selections from the Celebration X Program. He showed interest in Celebration Hybrid (known at MSB 1017 at the time) early on.
“Based on the performance of the Celebration Hybrid in the trial plots we had on the driving range for several years; it made logical sense to expand our trial and install the grass at our nursery complex for further evaluation. We first installed Celebration Bermuda in 2008. We have been happy with the grass and our membership also is in favor of staying with Celebration for future renovations,” Taylor shared.
“If the Celebration Hybrid is an improvement on what we currently have, it would only make sense to continue to explore that option. We are seeing darker green color and a little different texture as compared to Celebration. However, time will tell. So far, we are liking what we see,” he added.
Star Turf Farms has 3.25 acres of Breeder’s material at their Sebring Farm and plan on having an additional 30 acres of Foundation material by the end of the year. Star Turf Farms also currently has 65 acres of Celebration Hybrid in production at their Indiantown location. Quality Turf has 0.75 acres of Breeder material at their Fort Meade location.
If you are interested in licensing Celebration Hybrid and obtaining plant stock material, please contact Mark Kann, Director of Florida Operations at email@example.com or call him at 352-538-7462.
Click here to learn more about Celebration Hybrid.