NFL’s Washington Redskins Select USGA-Funded ‘Latitude 36’ Bermudagrass for Home Field
Photo Caption: Latitude 36, a
new bermudagrass variety developed at Oklahoma State University and funded in
part by the USGA, is gaining popularity across the U.S. Here it is showcased at
Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., and will soon be installed at FedEx
Field, home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. (Photo by Steve McCormick)
When the NFL
season kicks off this fall, the Washington Redskins will be playing on a new surface
at FedEx Field. ‘Latitude 36’ bermudagrass, created by researchers at Oklahoma
State University and funded in part by the USGA, will be sodded in June on the
Redskins' home field. Since 1986, the USGA research program has supported the
development of cold-hardy, fine-textured bermudagrasses, including the turfgrass
breeding program at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
This is not
the first time that Latitude 36 bermudagrass has made headlines in the sports
world. The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have installed the new variety
on two practice fields, and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.) and
Bradley University (Peoria, Ill.) home football fields are sodded with Latitude
36 as well.
The grass is
ideal for use in parts of the eastern, western and southern United States for
golf course fairways and tees, sports fields, commercial grounds and
residential lawns, in part, because of its excellent traffic tolerance and
recuperation rate once it is damaged. It has improved cold hardiness, spring
greenup and excellent color.
was tested for seven years at Oklahoma State University before entering a
national testing phase. The grass then underwent rigorous independent
evaluation by researchers at land-grant universities across the southern United
States and the central transition zone through the National
Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP).
At the conclusion of the 2007-2012 NTEP bermudagrass trials, Latitude 36 claimed
overall top honors, beating out many strong competitors.
of Latitude 36 began last year after its release in 2010. Nine outlets across
the U.S. are currently licensed to produce the grass through Oklahoma State
University’s licensing firm Sod
information can be found at:
Washington Redskins Installing OSU Developed Turfgrass on Home Field.
Recent Progress in Turf Bermudagrass
Breeding Research at Oklahoma State University.
New Grasses for Golf.