Zeon Zoysia enters Southeast Asia

Thai International Turf Farms licensed to grow, harvest and market variety.

May 11, 2015

Brad Burgess has appreciated the benefits of zoysiagrass since he first encountered this family of grasses when he was a young superintendent working at a golf course in a remote location in Indonesia back in the mid-1990s. A native variety of zoysiagrass was discovered growing well throughout the local villages nearby the golf course, which was planted at the time with 419 Bermudagrass.

Burgess noticed that the Bermudagrass struggled on certain parts of the golf course, and transplanted some of that native zoysiagrass material onto the course in areas that were not doing well. Quite quickly, it became evident that the zoysiagrass thrived where the Bermudagrass would not. Burgess realized he was onto something.

“Since then, I’ve been a fan of zoysiagrass. I thought I discovered it,” Burgess said.

Fast-forward 20 years. Burgess, who is now the managing director of Thai International Turf Farms, based in Bangkok, Thailand, partners in the company with Thai Local, Minachai Srichanya, and his Thai wife, Ning Burgess. The company is licensed in Southeast Asia to grow, harvest and market an improved variety of zoysiagrass called Zeon Zoysia. This variety is much finer in texture, with better color and fewer maintenance requirements than that first zoysiagrass Burgess encountered all of those years ago.

Zeon Zoysia was developed by Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, Texas. Zeon is a fine-textured, drought and shade tolerant, proprietary turfgrass suitable for use on sports fields, golf courses and lawns. Thai International Turf Farms is inspected and certified for production under Team Zoysia International’s stringent certification protocols to ensure the finest quality grass possible. Zeon is available as sod and sprigs, not seed.

Zeon Zoysia is well known as the grass selected for the golf course constructed for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as for Tiger Woods’ first US golf course design, Bluejack National. The grass is popular for its playability, exceptional color and striping ability. It also has low fertilization requirements, stands up to drought, and tends to choke out weeds because of its dense canopy.

Thai International Turf Farms licensed Zeon Zoysia for production in June of 2014. The sod farm harvested its first grass in December. Burgess said he’s excited to offer the grass to the golf industry in Southeast Asia.

“I think the golfers will be impressed by the playability of it, the superintendents will be grateful for the ease of maintenance, and the golf course owners will be impressed with the low cost to maintain it,” Burgess said.