The Turfgrass Solution for Croquet Lawns as Well
At The Oaks Club in Osprey, Florida, the crack of a mallet can be heard almost as often as a golf club connecting with the ball. Besides golf and tennis, members at the coastal club just south of Sarasota also have croquet to choose from. And what sort of surface does The Oaks Club trust for their croquet lawn? The same turfgrass used on golf courses and sports fields around the world: Platinum TE Paspalum®.
Covering a fraction of the space that a golf course or sports field requires, the croquet lawn at The Oaks Club measures 105 feet long by 84 feet wide, meeting championship size regulations. Though smaller than some other playing areas, what is essential is a smooth surface for consistent ball roll. As with golf greens and soccer pitches, surface smoothness in croquet affects play, and croquet enthusiasts expect a true, dependably uniform lawn.
Gregory Jack, Director of Greens and Grounds at The Oaks Club, considered uniformity when choosing a turfgrass for the lawn’s conversion. He selected Platinum TE Paspalum and has been pleased with the results.
“The balls roll true without grain,” said Jack.
Not every turfgrass is suitable for croquet lawns. With mowing heights usually between 3/8” and 1/4”, a greens-type turfgrass or highly versatile variety provides the best surfaces. Platinum TE is among the most versatile turfgrasses, achieving mowing heights as low as 0.08”.
The croquet lawn at The Oaks Club receives a good bit of shade, so this consideration was also critical when selecting a turfgrass. Platinum TE offers exceptional shade tolerance while delivering superior turf performance. In addition to addressing shade problems on the croquet lawn, Jack found uses on the golf course as well.
“I made the decision to change [the croquet lawn] to Platinum because of shade issues in the area. We have been sodding shaded areas and other areas around the course also,” said Jack. “Platinum has a better survival rate when properly maintained.”
When asked to compare maintenance requirements of the golf course greens and the croquet lawn, Jack noted some similarities.
“[The croquet lawn] is mowed a little higher than a green but gets foot compaction like a green.”
The durability and wear tolerance of Platinum TE comes into play in this regard. And while divots are not as much of a problem on croquet lawns, the rapid recovery from injury of Platinum TE is a bonus.
And, of course, aesthetics also matter to Jack, who appreciates Platinum TE’s shiny, dark green color.
“[Platinum TE] makes for a great view out of our clubhouse.”