College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

Turf & Golf Course Management

B.S. in Plant Science: Turf and Golf Course Management

Turf and Golf Course Management provides the skills needed to succeed as a turfgrass professional in the golf course or sports turf industry, stressing an interdisciplinary approach to this career.

The University of Maryland Turfgrass Research is committed to developing and promoting sustainable management practices that improve turf utility while also maximizing beneficial environmental impacts.  Many of us enjoy turfgrass that supports sporting and leisure activities while reducing noise, heat, glare and dust. However, turfgrasses  that are maintained in an environmentally-informed manner also reduce soil erosion  and silt runoff while increasing water infiltration,  ground water filtration, and CO2 sequestration.  Our goal at UMD is to research and advance integrated pest management strategies that reduce water, fertilizer and pesticide inputs while promoting healthy and environmentally beneficial turfgrass stands.  

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 the opportunity to stay close to the 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?

Areas of Interest

  • Turfgrass
  • Sports turf
  • Commercial turfgrass
  • Parkland turfgrass


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.

Career Opportunities

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

Want more information?

Fill out a request form or email us for more information! Ready to apply? Learn more here!

Dr. Mark Carroll
Associate Professor, Director for ENSP,
& Advisor

Are you transferring from a community college?

You should also check out our Transfer Students page.

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