In March of 2014 Champion Turf Farms celebrated their 48th year of business in the golf course industry. Morris Brown founded the company as Coastal Turf Nurseries in March of 1966 and the original cultivars produced were Tifdwarf, Tifgreen, and Tifway.
The Brown family has played an instrumental role in the development of this industry from its earliest days. Grass from their farms has been planted on hundreds of courses in 16 states over the last 48 years. Many of the techniques commonly used in the industry today were developed years ago by Mr. Brown.
From the beginning until today Champion Turf Farms has always done things differently in that the principals in the company have always been the ones to go out into the field to install their turf. The perspective that comes from working out on hundreds of courses alongside hundreds of superintendents over a 46 year period gives the Browns a unique approach to the business because every job reflects on a reputation that has taken four decades to build as well as a family legacy.
In 1987 Brown began to develop an extensive grass collection in hopes of developing improved cultivars. The first grass to be developed from this collection was the Champion Dwarf Bermudagrass, which was the very first ultradwarf cultivar and has now been planted on well over 500 courses over the last decade. Brown has marketed four new bermudagrass cultivars since Champion and is currently working on the next generation of putting green cultivars.
Champion Turf Farms is unique in the industry in that they are the breeders, producers, and installers of their grasses. This unique position, combined with their decades of experience lead them to develop their own support network for their grass. Nobody else in the industry can claim to have a knowledgebase developed from 48 years of traveling the country planting and studying grass, and all of this experience is available to the superintendents who have their turf. In addition they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on research as a part of developing the best management practices for their grasses. To help disseminate and update this knowledge, they continually revisit courses that they have planted every month of the year.
The thinking behind this approach was articulated by Morris Brown, “The only way that we can truly succeed is if the superintendents who have our grass are being successful. So we determined years ago to do whatever it takes to ensure their success with the belief that our success will inevitably follow. If we visit a course we planted many years ago and the client is not happy with the turf we planted for him, then we have not been successful.”