Advanced Certificate in Turf Care

Study turf management and green keeping online. An advanced level turf care course developed and taught by turf and horticulture professionals with decades of experience. Outstanding training for career or business opportunities.

Course CodeVHT087
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Become a Turf Care Specialist

This is an extremely comprehensive course which covers all the necessary skills to become adept in turf care for a range of different industry roles.

Find out everything you need to know about turf establishment, different types of grasses, repairing damaged lawns, underground drainage and irrigation.

Apply what you learn to be a professional green keeper, work at sports grounds, or start your own lawn mowing or garden maintenance business. 

Learn the Skills to Work in Turf Management

This course provides a very sound foundation for a career in the turf industry. Increase your knowledge and skills in turf management, turf repair, horticulture, irrigation, weed management, plant protection and much more.

Learn from experienced horticulturalists. Grow your awareness of industry and opportunities; and develop your networking skills.


"This is a specialist course that will really give you the opportunity for advancement in this field. If you are passionate about turf then this is the course for you. Very well rounded covering all aspects of turf and turf management.” Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert IV Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor. 

What do Turf Experts do?

Graduates may work in enterprises such as:

  • Golf Courses, Bowling Clubs, Horse Racing Tracks
  • Sporting Complexes and Playing Fields: Football Grounds, Cricket Grounds, Athletics, etc
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities
  • Turf Suppliers: seed companies, machinery suppliers, instant turf or sod suppliers
  • Small Businesses - mowing contractors, pest control contractors, turf renovators, landscapers, nurseries
  • Government Parks Departments
  • Turf Research
  • Turf Education and Media ... and more 


You must successfully complete assignments and pass exams in 8 modules, and also attend 100 hours of industry meetings or complete 100 hours of work experience. Exam fees are extra, please see here for more information.

Industry Meetings

This is satisfied by submitting documentation to confirm you have attended/participated in 100 hours of events conducted within or for the turf industry.

These may be events such as seminars, conferences, tours, visits, workshops, trade exhibitions or anything where you are able to network with other people who are involved with turf.

Proof may be in the form of a letter from an official or colleague, copies of receipts, a written report, or anything else that can indicate you have in fact attended something.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Turf Care.
 Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
 Turf Care BHT104
 Irrigation (Gardens) BHT210
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Weed Control BHT209
 Turf Grasses BHT342
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project BIP000
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 19 modules.
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Horticulture II (Plant Knowledge) BHT102
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Research Project I BGN102
 Soil Management (Horticulture) BHT105
 Supervision VBS104
 Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205
 Event Management BRE209
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
 Plant Pathology BHT206
 Plant Protection BHT207
 Playground Design BHT216
 Practical Horticulture 1 BHT238
 Practical Horticulture 2 BHT238
 Horticultural Marketing BHT304
 Irrigation Management BHT305
 Irrigation Management BAG303
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Turf Care is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

How to Select the Best Turf Grass

The number of grasses suitable for turf is limited.  Grass we use today is mostly selected and bred in Europe and the United States.  Holland is emerging as a world leader in turf grass breeding while in the United States, couch grass, particularly the hybrids, have been developed and are being used in sporting situations.

The intended or actual use of a particular area is the deciding factor in the selection of grass species and its subsequent management. The situation will vary from a feature lawn with a high maintenance cost to a park which is only mown when necessary.

When planning a seed mixture, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different grasses and why certain grasses are used in preference to others.

Bent grasses and fescues such as Chewings and Creeping Red can withstand lower mowing than other grasses. The bent grass strains known as Penncross and Palustris are both stoloniferous and tend to become spongy with age.  If these bent grasses are used alone or with fescues in a lawn, bowling green or golf green, annual scarifying, preening and coring is essential for their maintenance. In a park or sports oval, these varieties of bent grass tend to colonise and form patches choking out all other grasses and giving a very patchy appearance.

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is a perennial.  It will not survive close mowing whilst winter grass (Poa annua) which is an annual will survive close mowing and can quickly become a serious weed.  It is also seeds prolifically.

The Bermuda couches are used extensively where there is heavy wear because they bind the surface together despite being dormant in winter.  It should be sewn in spring and summer.

Improved strains of perennial ryegrass with finer leaves have been developed for turf use. These strains have a deep strong root system and are easier to mow.

Tall fescue, also known as Demeter fescue, is a recent introduction to recreational areas although it has been in use as a pasture plant for a number of years.  It is a grass capable of withstanding severe wear and it has been used successfully in sports ovals and other areas where there is concentrated foot traffic. The finer fescues will persist in partially shaded areas for longer than other grass species, but in extreme shade no grass will persist.

Kikuyu can be used in situations where other grasses are destroyed by excessive wear, or where there is a limited water supply.  To prevent it developing a spongy surface, low mowing is necessary in either spring or autumn. This grass is either dormant or semi dormant in winter when it becomes yellow and this unsightly colouring has rendered it unacceptable as a sports surface.  Ryegrass, both perennial and annual, can be introduced in autumn to provide a more presentable appearance.


Turf professionals are employed by:

  • golf courses,

  • bowling clubs,

  • race courses,

  • sports grounds,

  • municipal parks and gardens,

  • commercial and private gardens.

Career Pathways

  • Knowledge and experience are just as important as a qualification

  • Don't make the mistake of assuming an apprenticeship will guarantee long term career success

  • Some start out volunteering, helping the groundsman at a sporting club.

  • Others start with a course like this or even a more general horticultural course

  • If you can identify plants, understand horticultural science and have some experience caring for grass; you will be able to compete for job opportunities when they arise. The trick is to be in the right place at the right time, so you get noticed; and that involves persistence and networking.

  • People who learn and have solid knowledge and skills, are the people who advance through the ranks, getting promoted to eventually become a Turf Manager.

We provide advice and support to all of our students; and are happy to talk to you about planning a pathway that gives you the best chance of reaching the career goals you have set yourself.


You will develop the skills and knowledge required to work as a professional horticulturist in turf management.

This course is different to many others. It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with the horticulture industry as you study. The industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.

Let us help you toward a successful future in turf management!

We've always found it is better to communicate with someone before they enrol. If we understand your passions, capabilities and ambitions, we can help you map out a course of action to give you the best chance of achieving your goals.

Use our free career and course advice service.



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Marie Beermann

Marie has more than 10 years experience in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M. Sc. Hort., Dip. Bus., Cert. Ldscp.
Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c
John Mason

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.
Jacinda Cole

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three year
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