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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn to Become a Greenkeeper

Special Offer - Enrol today at a reduced price - plus 6 Free eBooks when you enrol

Sports turf is different to other types of turf in various ways but in particular because sports turf may suffer more wear and tear than ornamental lawns.

  • Study sports turf management - specialise in the selection, application and maintenance of turf for the sporting environment.
  • Develop your ability to manage the maintenance of different types of sports turf such as golf courses, bowling greens, playing fields, cricket wickets and other sporting facilities.

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Learn the management and maintenance of sports turf

Reduced Course Price for a limited time only

  • Learn about the differences between sports turfs and ornamental ones.
  • Learn about a range of different grass species used in sports turf and reasons to choose them.
  • Find out about different types of mowers and other turf care equipment and their use in maintaining sports turf.
  • Build your knowledge of cultivation methods and timing, special techniques to prepare surfaces for play, methods to minimise damage and repair sports turf, fertilisers, drainage and irrigation, control of pests, as well as how to plan a maintenance program.   
Study this course to: 
  • Gain specialised turf care knowledge.
  • Increase the scope of your business or employment opportunities.
  • Learn about maintenance of greens and sports grounds.
  • Discover cultivation techniques.
  • Find out how to make the right decisions - tools, machinery, irrigation, nutrition, pest and disease control.

This course is relevant to the maintenance of all sports turfs including golf courses, bowling clubs, playing fields, cricket wickets and other sporting facilities.

Course Structure and Lesson Content

The course requires 100 hours of study and has ten lessons.  The ten lessons are as follows:

Lesson 1. Turf Variety Selection
  • Introduction
  • Turf Varieties in Parks
  • Sowing
  • Feature Lawns
  • Picnic Areas
  • Sports Grounds
  • Gardens
  • Parks
  • Turf Species: Bent, Fescue, Rye, Kentucky, Couch, etc.
  • Turf Cultivar Selection Criteria
  • Mixing Varieties
Lesson 2. Mowing
  • Introduction
  • Types of Mowing Equipment
  • Mower Types: slasher, cylinder, flail
  • Preparation before mowing
  • How to Mow
  • Leaf Rakes and Vacuums
  • After Mowing
  • Changing Mower Blades
  • Mowing Sports Turf
  • Sports Turf Mowers
  • Problems that can Occur when Mowing
  • Edging
  • Options for Mower Power Systems: 2 stroke, 4 stroke, electric
  • Hover Mowers, Ride on Mowers
  • Choosing a Mower
Lesson 3. Cultivation Techniques
  • When to Cultivate
  • Methods of Cultivation
  • Spiking, coring, drilling, grooving, forking, raling, air blast, etc
  • Coring and hollow tining for Sports Turf
  • Scarifying (Grooving)
  • Dethatching (Vertical Mowing)
Lesson 4. Preparing for Play on Sports grounds
  • Introduction
  • Dew Removal
  • Water Removal
  • Combing
  • Vertical Mowing
  • Mowing
  • Rolling
  • Marking for Play
Lesson 5. Preparing for Play of Greens
  • Golf, Croquet, Lawn Tennis, Lawn Bowls
  • Cricket Wicket Preparation
Lesson 6. Turf Protection and Preservation
  • Managing Use
  • Minimising Damage on Turf
  • Why Repair Turf
  • How to Repair Turf
  • Reconditioning Soil
  • Reducing Weed Populations in Turf
  • Managing Turf Pests
  • Managing Demand
  • Repairing Turf
Lesson 7. Irrigation and Drainage
  • Introduction
  • Travelling Sprinkler Systems
  • Quick Coupling Valve Systems
  • Manually Operated Irrigation Systems
  • Semi automatic Irrigation Systems
  • Automatic Irrigation Systems
  • Sprinklers, Valves, Controllers
  • Management of Water Features on Golf Courses
  • Improving Surface Drainage after Construction
  • Understanding Soils and Drainage, and Soil Compaction
Lesson 8. Soil Treatment and Sprays
  • Major Nutrients and Trace Elements
  • Fertilizer Types
  • Fertilizer Application
  • Soil pH and Soil Amendments
  • Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Pest Control: ants, beetles, caterpillars, grasshopers and crickets, leatherjackets
  • Disease Control: viruses, bacteria, fungi
Lesson 9. Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
  • Bent Grass for Bowling Greens
  • Couch Grass Greens
  • Analysis of Park Maintenance
  • Park Maintenance Tasks
Lesson 10. Develop a Management Plan
  • Common Environmental Problems: folia burn, pollution, lack of water
  • Drainage Problems in Turf
  • Frost
  • Temperature
  • Wind
  • Varying Tolerance Levels in Plants
  • Programming Works: maintenance, new works, construction crew
  • Weeds
  • Weed Control Methods
  • Developing a Management Plan for a Specific Site

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading. 

You will learn to:

  • Select turf varieties to suit different sports surface requirements; including different climates and soil types.
  • Select turf varieties to suit different sports surfaces (e.g. lawn bowls, fairways, greens, league football, cricket).
  • Identify turf blends, their application and reason for use.
  • Explain alternative procedures for sports turf maintenance, used for different types of facilities.
  • Explain specific wear problems and solutions for the five types of turf facilities.
  • Evaluate procedures being used to maintain different types of facilities.
  • Determine the resources required to maintain a selected sports turf.
  • Develop management plans for different types of sports turf facilities.
  • Explain the management of a turf nursery to produce a reliable supply of sod.
  • Explain the irrigation and drainage requirements for sports turf fields.
  • ... and much more!

Our Students Say

"It did [meet expectations]. It was well compiled, the lessons followed on from each other logically and by completing each lesson in order I was able to better understand the theory of greenkeeping. The subjects, ideas and theories of all the lessons were well presented and easily read and understood. The set tasks were a good way to prepare for the assignments. Sometimes I was a bit daunted by some scientific descriptions, but by taking my time re-reading those items and getting a different view via the internet I was able to grasp their meanings and relate them to my job."
Darrell Murdoch, Sports Turf Management

You can enrol today

You can enrol on Sports Turf Management today - save money on the regular course price by enrolling today!

If you have any questions about the course, or studying with ACS please get in touch with our specialist Horticulture tutors today- they will be pleased to help you.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

Getting Work in a Modern WorldGetting Work in a Modern World is a must read; for students, parents, the unemployed, careers advisors or anyone interested in changing or forging a sustainable career. This is realistic guide to getting a job or starting out in business and understanding different industries. Topics covered in this book include 1/Career Myths, 2/ Finding Your Path, 3/ Understanding Employers, 4/ Preparing for a Job, 5/ Jobs to Consider: Looking to the Future, 6/ Information Technology, 7/ Business, Management and Sales, 8/ Health and Wellbeing, 9/ Horticulture, 10/ Wildlife and Environmental, 11/ Animal Care, 12/ Agriculture, 13/ Hospitality and Tourism, 14/ Media and 15/ Education.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
WeedsThis book helps you understand different types of weeds, and how to control them. Many of the more commonly occurring weeds around the world are both illustrated and described.
Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...