UMN and MTGF Virtual Field Day 2013, Fine Fescues for Golf Course Fairways

Maggie Reiter
Maggie Reiter

Graduate Research Assistant

Turfgrass Science

[email protected]






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Did you know?

Of the estimated 443,059 acres of fairway turf in the United States, only 1% of this is fine fescue species.

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Fine Fescues for Golf Course Fairways

Fine fescue species will be able to withstand the pressure from typical turfgrass stresses while producing acceptable turf and excellent playing quality, all with fewer inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. From the 5 primary fine fescue species used as golf course turfgrass—strong creeping red fescue, slender creeping red fescue, hard fescue, sheep fescue, and Chewings fescue—we developed 25 mixtures to evaluate. The mixture study has 3 objectives. First, to determine if the plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl will improve divot recovery in fine fescue fairways. Second, to determine if fine fescues can survive as fairway turf under acute drought. And third, to determine if fine fescues need fungicides at currently-recommended rates to survive snow mold pressure.

Action Items

  • Consult NTEP information to select the best fine fescue species and cultivars for your location
  • Promote dense establishment by controlling weeds and providing fertility
  • The creeping fescues have a higher thatch potential that demands management
  • Avoid using fine fescues in zones of severe cart traffic or waterlogged soils

Additional Resources

USGA Green Section article

NTEP Fine fescue data