POTEET, Texas – David Doguet at Bladerunner Farms is pretty proud of his grass. As far as the eye can see, there are 900 acres of it growing to help landscapers, sports field engineers and, yes, golf courses.
One of Doguet’s sellers in Brazil, who had just signed on to see their specialty, Zoysia grass, got the job of setting up the new golf course at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. And just like that, Bladerunner in Poteet had a piece of the Olympics.
"They are not able to use additional methods for weed control or fertilization, so any weed that comes up, they are picking by hand," explained Doguet, who noted that the new course is fraught with special issues that made this version of Zoysia work.
Pesticides are prohibited in the area of the course.
"It's a really fine-textured Zoysia, and the manner of growth is really nice for golf. The leaves grow straight up and down, and the ball just sort of keeps up on top. It's a nice surface to play, so everybody seems to like it a whole lot," Douget said.
It’s the first time since 1904 that golf is being played as an Olympic sport. It’s expected that the grass will hold up especially well, even if drought conditions threaten the area.
Irrigation is not a sure thing in Rio and the proximity to the ocean makes the water quality questionable. It took four years to finish of the course.
For more information on the Olympic grass story, visit www.bladerunnerfarms.com.