Auburn University’s drought-resistant grass


A drought-resistant grass developed by Alabama’s Auburn University is seeing an upsurge in interest given the planet’s changing climate.

The bentgrass variety, named AU Victory, was developed in 2015 by Edzard van Santen, who studied the devastating effects of drought on the state in 1999-2000, which wiped out golf courses. 

Oregon-based Mountain View Seeds (MVS) have recently acquired rights to AU Victory and courses in nearby Georgia – and as far away as South Africa – have bought the grass seed.

American is suffering from a “megadrought” – global warming conditions not seen in more than 1,200 years – say climate experts, while regions in Europe are seeing unprecedented heat and consequent drought, 47% of the EU territory currently under Warning conditions.

“Dr. van Santen realized the need for an improved creeping bentgrass cultivar for golf courses, especially one that responds well to stressful climates,” said John Beasley, professor and head of the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science.

“If AU Victory continues to perform as we have initially seen, we expect it to become a turf cultivar that will be widely used on golf courses around the globe.”

Adam Russell, vice president of MVS subsidiary Mountain View Performance Genetics, said AU Victory is seen by many as the perfect solution for golf course superintendents looking for a putting surface that will thrive in the high humidity and heat.

“The sky is the limit with such a durable, heat-tolerant grass that has been rated as a superior surface by golfers around the world.”

Further details can be found here.