Glenelg Golf Club is in the Adelaide suburb of Novar Gardens and is a highly regarded 18-hole private course. The course has couch fairways and bent grass greens.
Recently, Glenelg Golf Course Superintendent Tim Warren has been undertaking what he believes to be the first ever zoysia trial on a golf course in South Australia. The zoysia being trialed is the Zoysia Matrella known as Sir Grange, or Zeon Zoysia as it is known as in the US.
Mr Warren first became aware of Sir Grange at their annual tri-club meeting with partner courses Woodlands Golf Club in Victoria and Bonnydoon Golf Club in Sydney. Bonnydoon had put in some of the Sir Grange on a championship tee and a practice green collar, with great success.
“We looked at it and thought gee, this might be worth having a look at!” Mr Warren exclaimed.
Mr Warren’s team were building a practice green with bent grasses already under trial. This area was shaded, incurred high traffic and suffered from extreme conditions, so they thought they should give Sir Grange a trial as well. They needed a grass that would perform in such conditions, but that was also low maintenance so hopefully Sir Grange would be the solution they were looking for.
Mr Warren found out Sir Grange was available in South Australia and contacted local Sir Grange turf supplier Sunnyside Instant Lawn. Andrew Rowett, Owner of Sunnyside Instant Lawn, made an appointment to visit the course and look at the area. After some discussions it was decided that they would proceed and 140sqm were installed. “Andrew was fantastic, very accommodating.” Mr Warren said.
Mr Warren put some organic fertiliser down and laid the turf with a turf starter. The first couple of weeks it was important to maintain watering as it was quite warm when it was established.
“We were rapt at how quickly it established after laying the turf” Mr Warren said.
“Its response so far through a summer that’s a fairly harsh summer in terms of temperature and what not – it thrived” he continued.
The Sir Grange is being trialed at two different heights, as a collar to the green at 6mm, cut twice a week. The other height is the unmaintained area, where it’s simply having a whipper snipper run over it just to tidy it up. It’s sitting at around 3 inches.
Mr Warren said Sir Grange has been great for the area – “it’s almost like a set and forget.”
“We’ve had a couple of warmish days where you see it go off in colour a little bit when we had the extreme dry heat we get here in Adelaide, but it perks up so quickly after a splash of water and away it goes” Mr Warren said.
“It’s copping a lot of wear from traffic and it’s standing up to that brilliantly. It’s handling the traffic with ease.”
The feedback Mr Warren has received from the committee has also been positive. He believes that they would have no objections to doing further trial work in other areas of the golf course.
“Like in tee surrounds or irrigated roughs where we don’t want to send guys in to be constantly whipper snipping, maintaining and having to water – that’s where I see it at the moment.” Mr Warren said.
“So far with the results we think it’s got some promise, we think it may be able to work well within our other warm season species that we run on our tees and fairways” he continued.
Sunnyside Instant Lawn have also now supplied some Sir Grange for trial on another course in South Australia, Sanctuary Gully Golf Course.
The key factor moving forwards for Sir Grange will be how it performs through winter. If it holds colour through winter like it’s believed it will, it will be a great option for bunker faces and green surrounds.