Sports Turf Management

Course CodeBHT202
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Become Skilled in Sports Turf Maintenance

Sports turf must be more durable than lawns and ornamental grass surfaces. It is exposed to play and can be damaged. The amount of damage a sports turf suffers will depend upon the amount of use it gets, the type of games which are being played on it, weather conditions (e.g. it is more likely to be damaged in very wet weather), construction factors (e.g. soil type, drainage, and so on), the type of turf cultivars growing in the turf, the health of the turf, and the level of care and maintenance.

Branch out into green keeping

  • Gain specialised turf care knowledge
  • Increase the scope of your business
  • Learn maintenance, greens, sports grounds and cultivation techniques

This course assumes students possess a basic knowledge of turf care through experience or prior study (e.g. our Turf Care course). From there it develops your ability to manage the maintenance of sports turf. It is relevant to the maintenance of all sports turf including golf courses, bowling clubs, playing fields, cricket wickets and other sporting facilities.

ACS Student Comment: "Thanks for the videos, they are great! I got a lot of information from them. The Turf Management video is practical and easy to understand. Plant Propagation is a video every student should watch because out here in the real world no-one would give out such information. The Rose Growing Tape was very beneficial to me as I have about 60 odd roses. I thought I knew a little about them but this tape is a real eye-opener." (Kelvin, Sports Turf Management)

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Turf Variety Selection
  2. Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
  3. Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
  4. Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
  5. Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
  6. Turf Protection & Preservation
  7. Irrigation & Drainage
  8. Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
  9. Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
  10. Develop a Management Plan.


  • Select turf varieties to suit different sports surface requirements; including different climates & soil types.
  • Select turf varieties to suit different sports surfaces (eg. 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

Turf is Better for Sport

Sport is played on all sorts of different surfaces, but turf is a stand out choice for many types of sports, and for many reasons. This course will grow your realisation of what those reasons are.Grass is living. It is gentler on the human body when you run or fall on it. It breathes, creating increased levels of oxygen in the air. It absorbs rainfall, reducing the likelihood of flooding, and does much more.

Turf may be more difficult to maintain than concrete and other surfaces, but it remains the dominant sporting surface accross the world.

Some people avoid having turf so as to avoid the costs and challenges they bring; but a mown surface of grass is a necessary component for so many sports, from football to cricket and golf to lawn bowls.


  • Without a mown grass, how a game of football, golf or many other sports might be different?
  • What other surface is as good resilient and natural, for children to run and play on?
  • Would we sit or lay on the ground, if we were unable to sit on mown grass?
  • A good strong covering of ground help prevents soil erosion and wind erosion on bare earth.
  • A mown grass surface helps mitigate the effects of greenhouse pollution as it such in the carbon dioxide and cools the surrounding ground surfaces reducing heat( this is where the concepts of ‘green roofs’ come in)

Apart from the regular mowing watering is probably the largest expense for a lawn especially in dry rainfall and windy areas or during drought. Some turf varieties are much more drought tolerant and hardy than others. There are also types that suit sandy soils better than clays and also grow well ion salty areas.

What Varieties?

Some varieties of turf will tolerate dry conditions far better than others. Often these are not the high quality grasses which we are most used to, but you should consider whether it is better to have healthy green turf looking a little different, or sick or dead turf made from your preferred grass varieties. There are lots of choices. Here are just a few.

  • Creeping Grasses such as Buffalo and Kikuyu are relatively drought tolerant; and resist wear and tear of sports play.
  • Couch –most couch grasses are relatively drought tolerant, and resist heavy use, but some more so than others. Conquest Couch   Native couch in some areas is more drought resistant.
  • Some grasses from drier climates can produce a turf that is hardier and more drought tolerant than couch; but it is slower to establish (Maybe also non-invasive)
  • Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) –very salt tolerant, and can be watered with salt contaminated water. A variety sold under the name “Velvetene TM” is even tolerant of occasional watering with sea water

Fine grasses such as "bents" will produce better surfaces for a ball to roll on, such as a golf green. These fine grasses can be more difficult to establish and maintain though. Learning to better manage these finer grassed areas is just as much a part of this course as learning about the more hardy ones.

All are important for sports turf management.

Unexpected Conditions

Periods of flood, drought or other extreme conditions do happen, and a good turf manager will learn to respond to such times.

Drought for instance can create big problems for turf. At least most grasses are easy to re-establish and often instant rolls of lawn are available in a range of varieties, so these can be rolled out and a new lawn established fairly quickly in the original site. Covering dead grass with living rolls of turf is not a good idea though. Preparation needs to be done first. If the threat of further drought remains, replanting after drought with more hardy species would be a sensible response.
There are things you can do though; often more than most people ever think about! Studying this course will involve learning to think about and understand more options.


Where To From Here?

This course is of value to people who have an interest in sports grass and playing surfaces. It will also appeal to anyone with a general interest in turf care and repair. People who take this course are most likely those working in or aspiring to work in:

  • Sports turf maintenance
  • Green keeping
  • Lawn mowing
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Landscaping
  • Horticulture
  • Parks & gardens

The course will also be of value to people wishing to include a sports turf maintenance service as part of an existing mowing, turf care or landscaping business.



Associate Diploma in Turf

 Sports Turf Management

Turf Repair and Renovation

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