On-Site Testing

On-Site Testing of Bentgrass and Bermudagrass Cultivars for Golf Course Putting Greens

There is growing interest within the golf industry to develop on-site testing of turfgrass cultivars. This concept is not new, but has not been a common practice in recent years. Therefore, the United States Golf Association (USGA), the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), and the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) agreed to revitalize on-site testing of turfgrass cultivars on golf courses, particularly on putting greens. This project conducts evaluations of new commercially available bentgrass and bermudagrass cultivars on USGA specification putting greens constructed at golf courses across the country. This on-site testing program is designed to provide scientific information of a more applied nature about putting green turfgrass cultivar performance.

Information from this project is valuable to the golfing industry. These studies will determine the adaptation of grasses for golf course use. In addition, information obtained from on-site testing will be of particular value to plant breeders, researchers, extension educators, USGA agronomists, golf course architects, and superintendents, who need to select the best adapted putting green cultivars for a particular regional climate.

A five-person committee composed of Dr. Jeff Nus, GCSAA Research Director; Dr. Mike Kenna, USGA Research Director, Mr. James Moore, USGA Construction Education Director, Mr. Kevin Morris, NTEP Executive Director; and Dr. Bob Shearman, NTEP Special Projects Coordinator determined the trial site locations and the trial specifics. Input from golf course superintendents, USGA agronomists and turfgrass researchers assisted the committee members' decision making process.

Location and Number of Trials



These cultivar evaluation trials are located on golf courses near a land grant university with a turfgrass research program or in a major metropolitan area that is readily accessible to a university turfgrass scientist. Sixteen (16) regional evaluation trial sites have been established. Trials are located in : a) northern locations for bentgrasses, b) southern locations for bermudagrasses, and c) transition zone locations for both species. Trials are located where golfers practice putting and/or chipping. Host clubs provide daily maintenance of the putting green site at their own expense.

Trial Specifics

The NTEP functions as the coordinating agent for the cultivar trials. These trials are five years in duration. Trials are conducted under mutually agreed upon guidelines, procedures, and funding outlined in a research agreement agreed to and signed by the appropriate representatives of the USGA, GCSAA, NTEP, each research cooperator (i.e., university turfgrass researcher), and golf course site. Trials are conducted at each location under the leadership of the assigned research cooperator. These persons are responsible for establishing and conducting the trial, and collecting and transferring the data to NTEP according to the research agreement.

Trials are maintained by the golf course superintendent at each location using management procedures common to their own golf course, the geographical area and in consultation with the research cooperator. No special management practices are prescribed as these trials are intended to receive real-world golf course conditions and stress.

These trials are conducted principally with commercially available, named cultivars. Experimental lines that will be commercially available in the near future (i.e., before the end of the five-year test cycle) also were included at the sponsoring company's discretion.

The NTEP administers the program and its funding, sets advisory committee and gathers their input and recommendations for each species trial. The NTEP organizes and distributes the seed and vegetative materials that constitute the entries for each trial location. The NTEP provides the maintenance and data collection protocols to each site; collects, analyzes and disseminates the performance data in annual and final reports; and conducts an annual site visit for each trial.

This article was adapted from the printed annual report, "On-Site Evaluation of Creeping Bentgrass for Putting Greens - Progress Report 1998" prepared by Kevin Morris, NTEP Executive Director. For more information or copies of reports, please contact:

Kevin Morris, Executive Director
National Turfgrass Evaluation Program
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center - West
Building 002, Room 013
Beltsville, MD 20705

NTEP reports also can be found on the World Wide Web at www.ntep.org/ntep.


The information provide on the NTEP web site or in published reports contain data collected during only one year of a multiple year investigation. Seed is used from one seed lot, therefore data for an entry is from only that one seed lot. For these reasons, interpretation, publication, or display of data should be done with caution because the results may vary with additional experimentation.

On-Site Putting Green Entries

Entry No. Name Sponsor
1 L-93 AgriBio Tech, Inc.
2 Putter Jacklin Seed Company
3 Cato Pickseed West, Inc.
4 Crenshaw Lofts Seed, Inc.
5 Grand Prix (LCB-103) LESCO, Inc.
6 Penncross Standard Entry
7 Backspin Turf Merchants, Inc.
8 Trueline Turf Merchants, Inc.
9 Providence Seed Research of Oregon
10 SR 1020 Seed Research of Oregon
11 SR 1119 Seed Research of Oregon
12 Viper International Seeds, Inc.
13 Century Burlingham Seeds, Inc.
14 Imperial Burlingham Seeds, Inc.
15 Penn A-1 Tee-2-Green Corp.
16 Penn A-4 Tee-2-Green Corp.
17 Penn G-6 Tee-2-Green Corp.
18 Penn G-1 Tee-2-Green Corp.



Entry No. Name Sponsor
1 MS-Supreme Mississippi State University
2 TifEagle Georgia Seed Development Commission
3 Mini-Verde Thomas Bros. Grass Co.
4 Tifdwarf Standard Entry
5 Champion Coastal Turf, Inc.
6 Tifgreen Standard Entry
7 Floradwarf Florida Turfgrass Foundation


On-Site Putting Green Test Locations
Bentgrass only

Golf Course Location Superintendent Research Cooperator

Crystal Springs Golf Course

Burlingame, Calif.

Ray Davies

Dr. Ali Harivandi
California Cooperative Extension

Fox Hollow at Lakewood

Lakewood, Co.

Bruce Nelson

Dr. Tony Koski
Colorado State University

Lassing Point Golf Course

Florence, Ky.

Jerry Coldiron

Dr. A.J. Powell
University of Kentucky

North Shore Country Club

Glenview, Il.

Dan Dinelli

Dr. Clark Throssell
Purdue University

Purdue University Kampen Course

West Lafayette, In.

Jim Scott

Dr. Tom Voigt
Unversity of Illinois

Snoqualmie Ridge Country Club

Snoqualmie, Wa.

Tom Wolff

Dr. Gwen Stahnke
Washington State University

Westchester Country Club

Rye, N.Y.

Joe Alonzi

Dr. James Murphy
Rutgers University

Westwood Golf Course

Vienna, Va.

Walter Montross

Dr. David Chalmers
Virginia Tech University


Bentgrass and Bermudagrass

Golf Course Location Superintendent Research Cooperator

Bent Tree Country Club

Dallas, Tx.

Keith Ihms

Dr. Milt Engelke
Texas A&M University

Country Club of Birmingham

Birmingham, Al.

Lee McLemore

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal
Auburn University

Country Club of Green Valley

Green Valley, Az.

Mike Bates

Dr. David Kopec
University of Arizona

The Missouri Bluffs

St. Charles, Mo.

Mike Vogt

Dr. John Dunn
University of Missouri

SCGA Members Club


John Martinez

Dr. Robert Green
University of California-Riverside


Bermudagrass only

Golf Course Location Superintendent Research Cooperator

Country Club of Mobile

Mobile, Al.

Ron Wright

Dr. Bryan Unruh
University of Florida

Jupiter Island Club

Hobe Sound, Fl.

Rob Kloska

Dr. John Cisar
University of Florida

Lakeside Coutnry Club

Houston, Tx.

Mike Sandburg

Dr. Richard White
Texas A&M University


Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image