Whether you want a job maintaining turf and grounds on a golf course, sports stadium, park, school, cemetery, or corporate facility, you need a solid foundation in turfgrass science, irrigation, ornamental plants, and more. In our online Three-Week Turf Course, you’ll get all of that, plus leadership skills and a respected industry certificate to help you move up the career ladder.
Course Objectives for the Online Three-Week Turf Course
This online turf management course will help you:
- Develop a better understanding of the science behind the cultural practices used by golf course superintendents and sports turf professionals.
- Refine and improve your technical skills in the art of greenskeeping, golf course management, and athletic field maintenance.
- Learn to better manage your employees and communicate more effectively with your staff, your supervisors, and your customers.
- Explore career opportunities in turf management and obtain the job you’ve always wanted!
Curriculum Topics for the Online Three-Week Turf Course
Learn the essentials of turfgrass management with the intensive curriculum of our condensed three-week class. Our focus is on practical knowledge and skills that will help you achieve your career goals.
Applications of Plant and Landscape Science
Learn how to manage and maintain landscape plants. This unit covers proper planting procedures, pruning techniques, and design basics. You’ll also learn to identify shade and small trees, deciduous shrubs, and groundcovers, and understand how best to use each type in your golf course landscape.
Basics of Golf Course Construction
Receive an introduction to golf course design principles and their effects on golf course construction, including contours, slopes, tee construction, and sand bunker construction. You will gain a sound, basic understanding of principles and methods for constructing ponds, cart paths, and greens as well as costs, scheduling, and contracts.
Introduction to Irrigation Principles
This unit takes the mystery out of even the most complex irrigation system. It presents fundamentals of components, installation, and repair, including sprinklers, nozzles, valves, wiring, pipes, control system components, and accessories. It also includes a review of winterization, spring set-up, and other practical aspects of an irrigation system.
Introduction to Soil Characteristics
To grow high-quality turf, you need to understand the physical properties of soils, including soil components, texture, structure, and density. In this lively and challenging unit, explore soil-water movement with applications in drainage and aeration; chemical properties of soils, including soil colloids; cation exchange capacity; acidity; and the essential elements of soil health.
Introduction to Soil Fertility Options
How and when you choose to fertilize can either help or hurt your turfgrass. This unit focuses on identifying and assessing fertilizers and how to use them for growing healthier turfgrass, trees, and shrubs.
Introduction to Turfgrass Diseases
If you want to be successful in the turfgrass industry, you must know how to identify and control the most common golf turf diseases. The information this unit teaches you about turfgrass diseases will be applicable every day your on the job. You’ll walk away with great information and even greater confidence in your ability to maintain outstanding turf for your course!
Managing Turfgrass Insects
Identifying insects, understanding their life cycles, and managing your “favorite” insect pests are reviewed in this very practical and entertaining unit.
Managing Your Golf Course Employees
Do you know what your management style is? Any successful golf course superintendent certainly needs to. Leadership dynamics, motivational strategies, and strategic planning on the golf course are critical to your success. Learn about these essential skills and how to make them work for you and your course.
Managing Your Most Challenging Turfgrass Weeds
Identifying, classifying, and understanding how weeds reproduce are all critical skills. Applying pesticides, calibrating your spray equipment, and controlling weeds on the golf course through cultural and chemical methods round out this stimulating unit.
Mowing Heights and Machinery Maintenance
What’s the perfect height for golf turf? The answer may surprise you! Find out what you’ve been doing right or wrong in this session. You’ll learn how to select the proper machinery for the correct cutting height and discover the ins and outs of the most common pieces of golf maintenance equipment.
Do you have lakes, ponds, or steams on your course? This unit will teach you how to keep the water clean, the nearby banks safe, and the surrounding areas playable.
Turfgrass Establishment Practices
This highly practical unit presents techniques, plans, and specifications for establishing turfgrass, including seeding, sprigging, and sodding.
Turfgrass Management and Maintenance Practices
Turfgrass management practices, including mowing, watering, fertilizing, cultivation, and controlling thatch in turf, are important for maintaining an outstanding course while managing your expenses. This unit covers how to maintain a great playing surface on established turf.
Turfgrass Morphology and Agronomic Principles
Understanding the different turfgrasses and their lifecycles helps you keep consistent appearance and texture on your course. Learn about the identification, morphology, and development of turfgrasses. Agronomic identification, characteristics and selection of grasses, seed production, seed certification, and grass breeding also will be covered.
Turfgrass Renovation Strategies
Renovating a golf course is different from maintaining it. Learn techniques and methods for improving turfgrass and for introducing new cultivars on your greens, fairways, and tees.
Turfgrass Species Comparison
Managing Bentgrass or Poa Annua on golf greens is difficult. During this lecture, you will learn how you can better manage each of these species and when it makes sense to use one species over another.
Reflections from Our Three-Week Turf Students
Ben Levine, 2016 Three-Week Turf Course Student
"I am glad that I started with the Three-Week class. This [the curriculum] was just about the right speed for me. It was just what I needed to get my feet wet. I learned a ton and am really excited to apply it all back on my course."
After taking the Three-Week Turf course, Ben went on to complete the Rutgers Two-Year Turf Certificate Program and graduated in 2017.
Jason Murphy, 2012 Three-Week Turf Course Student
Pudding Ridge Golf Course,,
"Having already held a turf management certificate from the University of Georgia and worked in golf course maintenance for almost 10 years, I probably had a deeper background in the 'turf science' part of the program than some of the other guys in the class. However, I don't recall ANY segment where I didn't learn something new!"
Leonardo Colin, 2018 Three-Week Turf Course Student
Bel-Air Country Club,
"I used to just mow. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know anything about macro or micro nutrients in soil. Now I know enough to be able to ask questions and keep learning."
After taking the Three-Week Turf course, Leo went on to complete the Rutgers Two-Year Turf Certificate Program and graduated in 2020.
Michael Colorusso, 2018 Three-Week Turf Course Student
Nashawtuc Country Club,
"I'm a bachelor degree graduate of a top 100 business school and think the amount of valuable information I pulled away from these three weeks is comparable, if not more valuable, to my career."
Michael Hyde, 2012 Three-Week Turf Course Student
"The amount of information covered was above my expectations, and I walked away with a wealth of knowledge that could be applied the instant I walked back on the job. I learned what diseases look like, how they infect turf, and the measures to eradicate them. I learned how to diagnose mowing patterns to discern equipment problems, properly set mow heights, and keep equipment in top shape."