JF Champion2The use of turf-type perennial ryegrasses for golf course fairways, from the transition zone northward, continues to grow at an astounding rate. The ability of the new ryegrasses to establish quickly and produce dense, tough turf is the main reason for their success story. This ability to establish quickly, at most times of the year and over a broad range of environments is crucial to their performance. Many of the new perennial ryegrasses also have excellent cold tolerance.

Turf experts agree that the best way to use turf-type perennial ryegrasses is in a carefully formulated blend of improved varieties that are well adapted for the area of use.

Most of the new ryegrasses are good, but if you have a choice, why not choose the best? At Seed Research, we have developed CHAMPION® G.Q. (Golf Quality) The components have been carefully selected based upon actual testing and evaluation by local universities, golf courses and other test sites. The emphasis in selection has been on qualities superintendents have told us are most important: rapid establishment, stress and disease resistance, and rapid recovery.

CHAMPION® G.Q. is composed of the SR 4000 series of perennial ryegrasses. The newest members include SR 4200, a lower growing dwarf-type with a dark green color, reduced mowing requirements, and excellent tillering ability; SR 4400, a unique ryegrass developed from material collected from an unirrigated cemetery; and SR 4010 developed for improved turf quality, brown patch resistance and high density.

The SR 4000 series perennial ryegrasses have excellent resistance to common turf diseases including: crown rust, winter netblotch, large brown patch, leaf spot, red thread and good resistance to stem rust. Their broad genetic base and high disease resistance contributes to their superior performance.

The SR 4000 series perennial ryegrasses contain very high levels of viable endophyte. A broad range of endophyte sources in the different varieties are used so these also have a broad genetic base. Due to these very high endophyte levels, CHAMPION® G.Q. shows enhanced resistance to a number of important insects including: billbugs, sod webworms, chinch bugs, armyworms and aphids. The presence of the endophyte also contributes to improved stress tolerance with better summer survival, enhanced fall recovery and reduced weed invasion. These very high levels are maintained through proper storage of breeder, foundation, and certified seed.

CHAMPION® G.Q. has the ability to establish quickly and suppress the growth of Poa annua. Many golf courses have been using turf-type perennial ryegrasses for several years with outstanding results. Their fairways have been converted from Poa annua to perennial ryegrass in a very short time. In addition to beautiful turf that can be mowed at 1/2 inch, the superintendent will have much lower maintenance costs. As one superintendent stated after converting all of his fairways to perennial ryegrass, "Now I can manage my golf course instead of my golf course managing me."

Another use for CHAMPION® G.Q. in combating Poa annua is mixing it with bentgrasses, like SR 1020 and Providence, for fairway overseeding. The ryegrasses compete with the Poa annua and allow the bents to establish. The ryegrass can be selectively removed producing an excellent stand of bent. The SR 4000 series varieties were developed with a dark green color, but without extreme darkness that makes Poa annua more obvious. They can be mowed at 1/2 inch while still maintaining high stress tolerance and density.

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