68th Annual Southeastern Turfgrass Conference April 1, 2014 By Patrick O’Brien and Chris Hartwiger

The Southeastern Turfgrass Conference is the oldest turfgrass event in the United States. The tour of the research plots at the University of Georgia’s Tifton Campus provides the latest information on warm-season turfgrass breeding and future new varieties for golf courses, athletic fields and home lawns.

Plans are set for the 68th Annual Southeastern Turfgrass Conference April 29 at the University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. Co-sponsors of this meeting include:

    University of Georgia Extension
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
    Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association
    Georgia Urban Agriculture Council
    University of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station

    This meeting will be enjoyable for anyone associated with golf including superintendents, club managers, golf professionals, golf course owners, architects, green and golf committees, and any golfer interested in the topics. This year’s format includes golf Monday April 28, followed by the meeting and tour of turf plots Tuesday April 29.

    The Lineup

    April 28 – E. Ray Jensen Memorial Turfgrass Scholarship Tournament

    The format is a two-person team scramble that will take place at The Golf Club of South Georgia located 10 miles north of Tifton. A nine-hole shotgun start will occur at 4 p.m. followed by a catered barbecue dinner and another nine-hole shotgun at at 8 p.m. Cost is $50 per player. Registration is limited to 33 teams. Everyone attending the conference is also invited to attend the complimentary dinner sponsored by Pike Creek Turf that will begin at 6:30 p.m. Please register for the golf tournament by calling Chesley Gunn or Chip Rainey at 229-386-4653.

    April 29 – Meeting at UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center

    The meeting will be held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The registration fee is $100 if paid before April 21 or $125 if paid after April 21. A special student registration fee of $10 is also available. The meeting features many distinguished speakers: 

    Dr. Maria Tomaso-Peterson, Mississippi State University — Emerging Diseases of Centipedegrass on Home Lawns in the Gulf Coast States

    Dr. Jason Kruse, University of Florida — Principles of Warm-Season Turfgrass Management: It’s all in the Details

    Dr. Patrick McCullough, University of Georgia - Griffin Campus — Warm-Season Turfgrass Seedhead Control: Research Update

    Kevin Morris, National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) — The Grass Roots Initiative at The National Arboretum

    Dr. Clint Waltz, University of Georgia - Griffin Campus — Surface Firmness: Can We Manage It?

    Dr. Wayne Hanna, University of Georgia - Tifton Campus — Developing Seedless Ornamental Grasses and Trees for the Landscape

    Chase Straw and Dr. Gerald Henry, University of Georgia — Performance Testing To Enhance Athletic Field Playability and Player Safety

    Dr. Tim Smalley, University of Georgia — Significant Trees in the Landscape: Documentation and Care

    Dr. Adam Toms, University of Tennessee — Performance of Bermudagrass Versus Synthetic Turf for Athletic Fields

    Dr. Jim Brosnan, University of Tennessee — Herbicide Resistance in the Southeast: An Emerging Problem for Turf Managers

    Bruce Allison, Pike Creek Nursery — No-Till Fairway Renovation

    Superintendent and University Panel — Keeping it Clean: Issues for Dealing With Off-Types in Modern Bermudagrass Turf

    Dr. Brian Schwartz, University of Georgia - Tifton Campus, and Patrick O’Brien, USGA Green Section — Game Changers: NextGen Turfgrasses Will be Here Sooner than Later

    April 29 - Research Tour – UGA Tifton Station

    Attendees are welcome to come out and see the latest research on warm-season turfgrasses. Tours will be conducted at the research plots beginning at 3 p.m. The discussions will include:

    Phillip Vines, Mississippi State University — Ectotrophic Root-Infecting Fungi on Roots of Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Putting Greens

    Eric Reasor, University of Tennessee — Exploring the Issue of Off-Types in Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Putting Greens

    Clint Steketee, University of Georgia — Dollar Spot Resistance in Seashore Paspalum

    Larry Baldree, University of Georgia — A Facelift for the Historic Turfgrass Plots in Tifton

    Dr. Brian Schwartz, University of Georgia — Developing New Turfgrasses in Georgia: Past, Present and Future

    Kevin Morris, NTEP— NTEP Ratings: What are They and how are They Collected

    How to Register

    Signup is best done by registration at the either of the websites below:  or

    Click on the events tab and register. Or you can contact Dr. Brian Schwartz at or 229-386-3272. Pesticide credits for superintendents will be available for attendees.

    Source: Patrick O'Brien ( and Chris Hartwiger (

    Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

    Contact the Green Section Staff