Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School:
Two-Year Certificate Program

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Curriculum

Wondering what it takes to do well in the two-year turf program? Get advice from recent graduates so you're prepared to succeed before you even pack your bags for Rutgers.


Learning Objectives
  • To develop a better understanding of the science behind the cultural practices utilized by golf course managers
  • To refine and develop technical skills that are applicable to the art of greenskeeping and are immediately useful in the management of golf turf
  • To develop and justify budgets that will best serve the needs of both your golf course customers and your facilities
  • To improve critical skills in personnel management and communication
  • To learn about ongoing golf turf research activities, their applications and benefits at Rutgers

Browse Curriculum Subject Areas

Click on the headings below to view the subjects covered in the first and second years of the Two-Year Certificate Program.

First Year Curriculum

Botany of Turfgrass and Ornamentals
Introduction to the structure, function, physiology, growth and development of higher plants.

Business Communication
Techniques to improve your written communication skills, including resume building.

Effective Communications
Instruction and practice in public speaking. By making presentations to your classmates, you will learn to enhance your presentation skills.

Golf Course Construction I
An introduction to golf course design principles and construction, including contours, slopes, tees and sand bunker construction.

Introduction to Soils
Physical properties of soils, including soil texture, structure, density, soil water and drainage, and soil surveys are explored.

Irrigation Principles I
Through lectures and hands-on exercises, learn the options and proper procedures for repair of pipes, wires, valves, sprinkler heads, and controllers. Troubleshoot and diagnose wiring problems and control systems, and develop maintenance and repair skills.

Landscape Management
Management and maintenance of landscape plants, proper planting procedures and pruning techniques.

Landscape Plants I
Identification and landscape uses of shade and small trees, deciduous shrubs and groundcovers.

Managing Your Golf Course Employees
Self-assessment of your learning and leadership styles, and an introduction to leadership dynamics and motivational strategies.

Mathematics for Golf Course Superintendents
Introduction to the multiple applications of mathematics on and around the golf course, including mixing, measuring and calibrating.

Mower Technology and Reel Grinding
Look at critical aspects of mower selection, set up and maintenance. Understand how cutting units operate to better develop a maintenance routine that will get the most out of your equipment.

Principles of Integrated Pest Control
Review alternative approaches to pest, disease and weed control using conventional methods, cultural practices and integrated pest management (IPM) techniques.

Regional Concerns
Students meet to discuss problems, concerns and issues faced on golf courses across the United States and globally in this highly applied unit.

Plant Physiology
Learn valuable information on how turfgrass adapts to a variety of environmental stresses and how to manage turfgrass effectively to prevent and control damage.

Surveying
Learn tools and techniques turf managers should know with hands-on experience, using current survey equipment.

Turf Disease Laboratory
Hands-on experience viewing turfgrass pathogens and diseased material in our turfgrass education center. Learn to use a microscope for diagnostics.

Turfgrass Disease Identification
Diagnosis and management of turfgrass diseases, including strategies and field applications.

Turfgrass Identification and Development
Proper identification of major turfgrass species and fundamentals of grass growth and development.

Turfgrass Maintenance
Mowing, watering, fertilizing, cultivating and controlling thatch on greens and fairways for optimal effect and minimal cost.

Turfgrass Weeds I
Introduction to the most common weed problems in golf course turfgrass.

Second Year Curriculum

Agronomic Characteristics of Turfgrass Species and Varieties
Identification, characterization and selection of grasses, grass breeding, seed production, and certification.

Budgeting and Financial Management
Current strategies for projecting, monitoring and controlling costs to achieve fiscal course goals.

Case Studies in Turfgrass Management
Students work in teams to apply the knowledge they have gained to solve real case problems in turfgrass management.

Golf Course Construction II
Construction costs, developing contracts, and scheduling construction projects, including ponds, cart paths and greens.

Insect and Disease Laboratory
Hands-on identification of insect pests and disease symptoms/signs with emphasis on management and control strategies.

Insects and Diseases of Ornamental Plants
Review diagnostic methods and management for controlling insects and diseases affecting ornamental plants.

Irrigation Principles II
Water supply, hydraulic principles, piping, fertigation, sprinkler layout, irrigation system efficiency, and pump house installation practices. Evaluating irrigation systems, irrigation contracts, preparing plans and bid documents, and performing contract management.

Landscape Design
Primary focus on planting design and how distinct plant groups function as design elements. Naturalistic and interpretive styles will be explored and noteworthy examples from famous golf courses will be used as illustrations.

Landscape Plants II
Identification and uses of conifers, broadleaf evergreens, shrubs and groundcovers.

Ornamental Grasses
Introduction, classification, cultivation and maintenance of ornamental grasses, plus control of invasive species.

Principles of Golf Course Design
The history of golf course design, review of the great architects of the past, golf course types, golf course hole design styles, and famous golf holes will be discussed.

Professional Development
Learn the critical lessons to achieve credibility among your peers and golf customers alike.

Soil Fertility
Learn the value of soil tests, cation exchange capacity, base saturation, pH, soil biology and fertility, and explore their roles in maintaining healthy soil and plants.

Stress Physiology
Expand on how turfgrass adapts to environmental stress and how to successfully control and prevent damage.

Turfgrass Establishment
Innovative techniques and specifications for seeding, sprigging and sodding along with current applications and challenges.

Turfgrass Insects
Review diagnostic methods and management options for controlling turfgrass insect pests.

Turfgrass Maintenance II (including Work Experience)
Review current management practices on the golf course from student presentations covering their summer work experiences.

Turfgrass Weeds II
Identifying,managing and controlling turfgrass weeds in the golf course landscape.

Tournament Preparation Strategies
Preparing your golf course for big image tournaments is an art - the secrets are shared here.