Turf Used At Southern Hills Created By Team At Oklahoma State University

Turf Used At Southern Hills Created By Team At Oklahoma State University

When golfers step onto the greens at Southern Hills this week, they are stepping on grass that was created and perfected in a lab at Oklahoma State.

The professor behind the blades said the grass is used at famous venues all over the country, including at Dodger Stadium and Churchill Downs.

"We watch the players, we watch the game, we watch the grasses," said professor Dr. Yanqi Wu.

Professor and creator Dr. Yanqi Wu said it all started in 2006, and by 2017 the grass had been created, examined, tested and ready to go.

He said it's a very thorough process.

"When we look at Bermuda grass we look at many things, like turf grass quality, color, leaf texture, density, many things, also look at, Bermude grass is drought tolerant, we look at how much water it needs," he said.

He said they've now licensed the grass to 40 different sod producers in 16 states.

Wu said it's been so successful and adapted so well that it's now used all over; in football fields, like at the home of the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, and inside also inside of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

"Grass not only adapted to Oklahoma, we look at other regions, many locations, these days it's growing even in Washington DC at Capitol Hill," he said.

Wu said it's exciting to see some of the world's most famous golfers walk and play on grass that was created just down the road in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

"We like golf game, we like to watch them, I play a little bit, but really like watching, there's many famous players here this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma," he said.

He said two new grass varieties have been created in the lab and they should be available for use in the next two to four years.