B.S. in Plant Sciences: Turf and Golf Course Management
The Turf and Golf Course Management Program at the University of Maryland provides students with the broad based skills needed to succeed as a practicing turfgrass professional. The program focuses on golf turf management but also has been designed to expose students to all segments of the turfgrass industry.
Why Study Turf and Golf Course Management?
- Continued suburbanization of the United States has resulted in the ever growing presence of turfgrass in the American landscape. For example, in several states along the eastern seaboard turfgrass acreage now exceeds that of all agricultural crops combined. The turfgrass industry is devoted to providing the goods, services, and expertise needed to maintain turf areas. This industry provides multiple, well-paying career track opportunities for those possessing expertise in turf, golf course, and sports field management.
- Turfgrass is utilized in multiple ways to provide functional and aesthetic benefits to society. The intensity of management used to maintain turfgrass varies widely, and ultimately depends on the intended use of the turf. The skill set of today's turfgrass manager requires the individual to not only produce and maintain the desired appearance and functional capabilities of a turfgrass site, but also to meet the tripartite responsibilities of being a good steward of the land, an effective manager of people, and prudent user of resources. Successful development and integration of this skill set requires an in depth understanding of plant biology, pest management, soil science, and human resource management. The study of turf and golf course management provides the fundamental knowledge base for developing this skill set.
- Individuals having a passion for outdoor sports will find that pursuing a degree in turf and golf course management provides them opportunity to stay close to sport they love. Graduates in Turf and Golf Course Management typically track into entry level management positions in golf course management, athletic field management, and sport facilities management upon graduation.
- Not sure which direction you want to go? Internship opportunities to available students majoring in turf and golf course management far exceeds the number of students enrolled in this field of study. Where would you like to spend your next summer?
The required course work stresses an interdisciplinary science approach to turfgrass management. The curriculum's applied courses integrate new product and research information into real world turfgrass management programs. The use of new technologies and the impact of turfgrass management on the environment is also stressed in the curriculum.
The management of turfgrasses is a highly specialized profession with numerous career opportunities for those possessing degrees in turfgrass management. Traditionally, the number of opportunities available to Turf and Golf Course Management students has exceeded the number of graduates. This trend is expected to continue in the future. Turf and Golf Course Management Program graduates are commonly employed as:
- Golf course superintendent
- Grounds superintendent
- Stadium and professional sports facility manager
- Parks and recreational facility manager
- Regional sales or manufacturing representative
- Sod production manager
- Lawn care company owner/manager
- Turfgrass facility construction specialists
- Governmental or private sector turfgrass environmental specialists
See career opportunities and internships in other programs.
The University of Maryland is located nine miles from Washington DC in the heart of the turfgrass transition zone. The transition zone is widely viewed by turfgrass professionals as being one of the most difficult regions in which to manage turf. Our location provides unique opportunities for students to learn first hand how to manage both warm- and cool-season grasses in a challenging environment.The nearby cities of Washington D.C. and Baltimore are home to many golf and sports turf facilities recognized as being among the nation's best. These facilities provide numerous internship opportunities for our Turf and Golf Course Management Program students.
The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture is housed in the Plant Science Building and in H.J. Patterson Hall. Turf and Golf Course Management program courses are taught in both buildings. State of the art classrooms containing the latest in computer-aided teaching technology are paired with well-equipped teaching laboratories.
Students receive hands-on experience in many facets of turfgrass management in field laboratory exercises conducted at the University of Maryland Paint Branch Turfgrass Research and Education Facility. The Paint Branch facility contains 40 acres of turfgrass research studies and over 12,000 square feet of office, laboratory, conference, classroom and equipment storage space dedicated exclusively to turfgrass teaching and research. It is one of the largest on campus turfgrass research and education facilities in the nation.
The turfgrass faculty are involved in many aspects of turfgrass management. Each turfgrass faculty team member teaches within the program, conducts turfgrass research of regional and national significance and actively participates in providing advisory services to local and national turfgrass industry organizations.