At a Glance
With a sod density that is three points higher than comparable Bermuda grasses, TifSport is a superior choice for athletic fields, golf courses, lawns and landscaping. It has good lateral growth and sod strength and density, which make it very traffic tolerant. These features also result in rapid grow-in and repair, better playing conditions and improved resistance to divot injury in golf, football and baseball.
Leaf features include an upright blade orientation, finer texture than most other grasses commonly used on fairways and tees, and a darker green color than Vamont and Quickstand. These features make TifSport preferable for athletic fields by providing better footing. TifSport is also well-suited to golf courses, where it appears to give a better ball lie in fairways and roughs and adds a more attractive appearance to the course.
TifSport produces a better quality, greener leaf blade than Tifway under low nutrition and minimal management conditions. It also demonstrated a significant non-preference by tawny mole crickets for TifSport compared to other Bermuda grasses, including Tifway, Tifgreen and Tifdwarf.
Management of TifSport is similar to that of Tifway (419). However, raising the height of cut before frost, starting in September will improve winter survival. TifSport becomes dormant after frost (like all Bermuda grasses).
TifSport can be planted as sod or sprigs (stolons). Sod can be installed during most months of the year. It is important to irrigate the sod as it is laid down.
Use only freshly harvested sprigs. Sprigs should be planted within 48 hours of harvest. Bulk loads of sprigs should be unloaded on a paved or concrete surface to avoid contamination from local grasses. Increase sprig rate as the growing season shortens. Sprigs may be planted from May through June at 150 to 250 US bushels/acre.
Overseeding is often not necessary, but managers can overseed with ryegrass or ryegrass blends.
It does require a higher level of management than common bermudagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass to maintain quality turf.
TifSport tolerates frequent mowing at lower heights. Mow at least weekly or more to prevent scalping.
Released by internationally recognized USDA/ARS plant geneticist Dr. Wayne Hanna, TifSport was bred against characteristic goals of superior color, cold hardiness and disease resistance. As a USDA patented variety, TifSport can only be sold as certified sod or sprigs and only by a licensed member of the Tift 94 Growers Association. TifSport also is available for international licensing through the International Turfgrass Genetic Assurance Program (ITGAP).
Dr. Wayne Hanna
In his turfgrass breeding program at the University of Georgia, Dr. Wayne W. Hanna focuses on developing seed- and pollen-sterile, low-maintenance cultivars with drought and pest tolerance.
He has developed popular forage cultivars such as Tifleaf 2 and Tifleaf 3 pearl millet, Grazer annual rye grass, TifQuik bahia grass, and Mott dwarf elephant grass. He has also developed commercial turfgrass cultivars including Tifton 10, TifSport, TifEagle and TifGrand Bermuda grasses and TifBlair centipedegrass. More recently he has released purplish/red ornamental Pennisetum hybrids (Prince, Princess, Princess Caroline, Princess Molly, Vertigo, First Knight, Tift 11, Tift 15, Tift 26, Tift 40 and Tift 118) and an ornamental perennial peanut, Cowboy.
Dr. Hanna’s research currently focuses on producing seed- and pollen-sterile ornamental grass cultivars (Miscanthus spp., Lovegrass, Rubygrass, Little Blue Stem, Pennisetum alopecuroides, P. hohenackeri, and P. orientale) and on coneless/pollenless pine trees (loblolly and slash) as well as seedless cultivars of cold-tolerant citrus (tangerine, lemon and grapefruit), a variegated Chinaberry tree, and pomegranate.
Dr. Hanna was an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida (Gainesville) from 1970 to 1971. He joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service at Tifton, Ga., in 1971, where he worked cooperatively with the University of Georgia until 2003. Since then, he has been a part-time Professor with the University of Georgia.
He received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Education, M.S. degree in Plant Breeding and Ph.D. degree in Genetics, all at Texas A&M University.