The Benefits of Celebration Bermudagrass

In 2001, Celebration® Bermudagrass immigrated to the U.S. A product of Australia and famed turfgrass breeder Rod Riley, Celebration was developed as an answer for trouble that often plagues the continent—drought. When Sod Solutions president Tobey Wagner was visiting the country in the late 90’s, he saw the grass and realized that drought toughness wasn’t Celebration’s only redeeming quality. Wagner worked with Riley to bring it to the U.S. because Celebration has a list of improved features over what was the most used bermudagrass in the world at that time, Tifway 419. Producers were interested in it and now, over 20 years later, Celebration has become one of the most used grass varieties in the world for golf, sports, commercial and residential landscapes. Its different, almost blue-grey appearance makes it standout on televisions sets and in person.

Celebration Bermudagrass LSU Football Stadium

Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, LA


Low Water Needs

Why has Celebration become a bermudagrass standard and why would someone use it over other grasses? For starters, Celebration is an exceptional grass for low water drought conditions and is well known around the world. One study that is often referenced to show its value was a test done in Texas by the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) in 2005 and 2006. 25 different grass varieties of grass including bermuda, zoysia and St. Augustine were put under a rainout shelter to see which varieties would survive without water for 60 days in the Texas summer heat. After the 60 day rainless period, Celebration was green and growing. Then the study allowed watering to return to normal for the next 60 day period and Celebration had recovered 100 percent. Celebration was the top grass in that research project.

San Antonio Water System Research Study



Another of Celebration’s strong points is its shade tolerance. Bermudagrasses in general aren’t the best grasses when dealing with shady landscapes. But research and real world applications have shown that Celebration will actually perform well with lower amounts of sunlight. Many golf superintendents and sports field managers have issues with areas of light deficiencies on tee boxes, in the roughs and with stadium overhangs. Typical bermudagrasses like Tifway 419 just don’t handle that well and thin out in a short amount of time. The same can be said of commercial and residential landscapes. But Celebration will remain thick and tolerate shade. In multiple university studies, Celebration has ranked the best for shade tolerance for a bermudagrass cultivar.

Celebration Bermudagrass Golf TPC Sawgrass

Shady tee box at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, FL


Damage / Divot Recovery

Why do people use bermudagrass in general? There are many reasons like the finer bladed look and the softness of the surface. Bermudas are nice barefoot grasses. But in the end, a majority of respondents would likely say it’s because they are a tough grass. And those people would be right. There is a reason that bermudas are used on golf courses and sports fields around the world. The damage recovery is rapid and Celebration is at the top of the recovery list. The wear tolerance of Celebration is among the best in the world. Its root structure is massive. The Celebration growth rate is why a sports field can be grown in ready to play in two months from sprigs along (sprigs are chopped up pieces of harvested sod). Divots on a golf course are gone before they have time to be noticed. In a University of Arkansas study, Celebration was the fastest to recover among 48 varieties tested. It is commonly used on polo fields where hooves on the end of 2,000 pound ponies regularly thrash up grass. That’s because it heals quickly. For the homeowner market, it’s just a great grass for handling the daily stressors of kid and pet play. Pee spots from dogs? They won’t be there long. Using Celebration for high traffic environments is what it is built for.

Celebration Closeup

New bermudagrasses are being developed on a more frequent basis in the U.S. but Celebration is still at the top of its game some 20 years later. Celebration’s features make it a proven winner. Whether you are golfing on PGA championship courses or watching outdoor sports, it is likely you have seen Celebration in action. The professional sports guys use it regularly around the world but it makes for an amazing backyard. Find Celebration around the country. Click here to learn more about this bermuda with Aussie roots.

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