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Turfgrass at Southern Hills created at Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma 2022-05-20 13:57:38 –

Okra, Stillwater — All eyes are on the Southern Hills Country Club PGA Championship..

“There are a lot of great players here. It’s fun,” said Dr. Yanqui Wu.

If possible, Dr. Yanqui Wu will follow the PGA Championship round. It’s really grass, it caught his eye.

“It’s especially good to see the grass, its place,” said Wu, a professor and grass breeder at Oklahoma State University.

He was one of the researchers who spent years working on the turfgrass used in Southern Hills, Dodger Stadium and Churchill Downs.

“It’s a long time. It’s plant breeding, grass breeding work,” Wu said.

Researchers began working on the Tahoma 31 Bermudaglass 15 years ago. They took samples from Africa and China, crossed them and tested them in 20 different locations across the country.

The test took 10 years.

“We focus on the quality, color and uniformity of the turfgrass,” says Wu. He also says they are also testing for freeze tolerance, drought tolerance, and traffic tolerance.

“Because of its top level of traffic tolerance, it is used in many soccer fields and golf courses.”

In 2017, OSU began licensing Tahoma 31 to local farmers and businesses. About two years ago, Southern Hills started using it.

That’s not the only OSU research team. They are preparing for commercial production of the other two new grasses.

Wu says that for the Oklahoma people every day, the grass they grow saves water and fertilizer and benefits the entire community.


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