We generally play our family reunion golf tournament at Mallard Head Country Club in Mooresville, NC, just outside of Charlotte. But last June, the course was closed. They were re-doing all their greens. I figured they had lost some to hot weather or had used the wrong chemicals, but they were putting in all new greens with a grass called Diamond Zoysia. Old Trail in Crozet and one of the Stony Creek layouts have Zoysia fairways and they are a joy to play, but Zoysia greens?
I was able to play Mallard Head in mid-August, just a few days after they re-opened and the greens were beautiful but slow as snails.
Over Thanksgiving, I played them again and they were much improved, still a little slow, but getting there. What impressed me was the lack of ball marks and the overall quality of the greens on this, a heavily used public course.
Currently, there are four turf species available for putting greens in the Southeast Region: Ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass, Creeping Bent grass, Seashore Paspalum, and Zoysia grass. A study by Clemson University states the Zoysia has a most promising future in golf course management.
A hybrid grass, Diamond Zoysia performs very well in shaded and semi-shaded areas. It also resists extreme heat and can prosper with less water. It requires fewer chemicals than Bent grass or Bermuda and this variety comes to life earlier in the spring and goes dormant later in the fall. Because the grass is thicker, there were few if any ball marks. As all golf superintendents will tell you, ball marks are the work of the devil and require lots of labor and repairs to correct.
Golf courses everywhere are under the gun to control expenses and Diamond Zoysia appears to offer a way to have quality, yet durable greens, even on high traffic courses. I enjoy playing on it and the folks at Mallard Head say it’s only going to get better.
Remember the name Diamond Zoysia and watch for it at a golf course near you.