Nematode Damage in Golf Greens – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Nematode Damage in Golf Greens

We are suspecting more and more instances of actual nematode damage or at least secondary effects of nematodes in golf greens. Effects of nematode feeding would include yellowing, thinning, enhanced drought stress, and other symptoms reflective of a poor root system. Unfortunately, symptom expression may be enhanced or complicated by poor rooting from summer weather, compaction, Take-all patch, summer patch, natural decline of Poa annua, and other factors. The most common symptom of nematode damage is little or no response from fertilizer application. Nematode populations can vary from green to green and even within a green, which further complicates diagnosis. Though nematode damage is common in Midwest soybeans, we are unsure of the extent of nematode populations and damage in Midwest golf greens. We are working with the Nematology Lab at Purdue to survey IN golf courses with two objectives:

  1.  Better understand the nematode status within IN golf courses
     Develop a preemptive action plan if significant populations are found. Nemacure is the only current option and that will be going off the market soon.

Here’s what we need:

  1.  At least two cup-cutter samples 4 inches deep, one from a traditionally healthy area and one from a suspect area.
     Keep the samples cool and send them to us as soon as possible after collection. Avoid mailing on a Thursday or Friday to limit the chance of samples being delayed and stored in a post office somewhere.
     Fill out the attached .pdf form and include with the samples. You will receive the results, but your individual results will remain confidential when the survey results are released.
     Mail, FedEx, or Overnight Delivery to:
    Purdue University Nematology Lab
    Smith Hall
    901 W. State Street
    West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089.

Other than the cost of mailing or delivery, sample analysis is free (until further notice). This is a great way to determine if you have nematodes on your course. More importantly, it’s critical for us to determine if nematodes are a problem on our golf courses. For questions or comments, contact Jamal Faghihi at 765-494-5901 or More information on general nematology is available at

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