The trend of ultrafine zoysias for use on golf putting greens is still going strong. Ultrafine zoysias offer a dense, smooth surface with less visible wear and much better winter color than their counterparts, ultra-dwarf bermudagrassses, which normally go dormant more rapidly in colder temperatures.
University of Florida Professor and Turfgrass Breeder Dr. Kevin Kenworthy is testing several experimental zoysia lines for greens. The focus is on developing varieties with less thatch, more winter color, fewer maintenance needs and high ball speed. These developing lines are being tested at several locations including Modern Turf in South Carolina and J.W. Turf in Florida. They are also being evaluated at Clemson University (Page ?) and at a demo site in Southeastern Brazil.
Growing and evaluating experimental ultrafine zoysias for greens is difficult and very demanding in terms of maintenance. All plots need to be maintained at greens height (below 0.125) with a reel mower and some locations do not have that kind of equipment at their disposal all the time. The climate also had an impact on the plots at the University of Florida. Last winter’s low temperatures left many entries with a high amount of winter damage, making it impossible to collect data from it this year. The plots are under recovery mode and should produce more info next year.