The effect of management practices on buffalograss divot recovery and tolerance to golf cart traffic



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Kansas State University


Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm] is a warm-season turfgrass species that is native to North America and requires minimal maintenance to survive. However, the use of buffalograss on golf courses throughout the transition zone is limited due to its appearance, growth habit, and lack of information available. Buffalograss is more drought tolerant than many other turfgrass species cultivated on golf courses, therefore, its drought resistance can lead to significant water savings. The objectives of these 2014 – 2016 field research studies were to evaluate: 1) buffalograss divot recovery as influenced by nitrogen source and application rate; 2) the influence of nitrogen application rate and simulated golf cart traffic on the wear tolerance of buffalograss; 3) the effect of simulated golf cart traffic on colorant treated buffalograss; and 4) buffalograss recovery from winter trafficking. When compared to untreated turf, divots in buffalograss treated with urea achieved 50% divot recovery 6.3 days faster when 1 lb N/1,000 ft² was applied, which was statistically similar to the 3 lb N/1,000 ft² rate. Applications of a slow-release polymer coated urea did not enhance divot recovery duration when compared to untreated turf. As nitrogen application rate increased in the presence of traffic stress, regardless of traffic rate, the green cover, quality, and color of the turf was enhanced. Percent green cover values for 0, 1, 2, and 3 lb N/1,000 ft² 10 weeks after initiation (WAI), regardless of traffic rate, were 60.2%, 69.0%, 75.5%, and 79.1% respectively. Regardless of nitrogen application rate, buffalograss receiving 16 passes/week of traffic never provided >72% green cover, while buffalograss receiving 0 passes/week had 74% green cover prior to the onset of dormancy. Endurant Premium turfgrass colorant in the presence of wear treatments provided >50% green cover 0 – 5 weeks after treatment in 2014 and 0 – 3 weeks in 2015. In general, as traffic rate increased, turfgrass colorant longevity decreased. Overseeded perennial ryegrass hindered buffalograss recovery after winter trafficking in comparison to untreated turf and colorant applications.



Turfgrass, Buffalograss, Nitrogen, Traffic, Divot, Colorant

Graduation Month



Master of Science


Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources

Major Professor

Jared Hoyle