START YOUR TURF CAREER NOW
A 600 hour course designed principally for turf workers at golf courses, bowling greens, sports fields, councils and more.
- A first step towards a career in Turf
- Suitable for people who haven't worked in turf before
- Also suited to people with some experience, but no formal training in this industry
- Access to highly regarded Horticulture and Turf experts in both Australia and the UK, to tutor you and provide mentoring as you work through the course, building both an understanding of turf management and networking within the industry.
Turf Professionals work in all sorts of places, including:
- 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
"Over almost 20 years, I've seen lots of people come through our Turf courses and move on to wonderful careers in everything from golf courses to parks management and profitable small businesses" John Mason DipHortSc, FPLA, FIOH, Principal ACS Distance Education
How the Course is Structured
The Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a vocationally oriented course comprising both studies in both general horticulture and in turf care and management.
The course involves completing all assignments and passing an exam in each of six modules listed below. Exam fees apply.
Note that each module in the Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Learn the skills and knowledge essential to the industry sector chosen (ie the selected stream)
Understand the growth of turf species and the principles and practices used in establishment and maintenance of turf species in a range of situations
Develop the ability to identify, describe and control a range of common turf pests, diseases and weeds
Understand and operate machinery and equipment used in turf culture
Develop basic landscape design and construction skills as needed by a greenkeeper
Be able to manage day to day operations in any type of turf facility, both sports surfaces and amenity surfaces.
Plan and manage the installation and operation of irrigation for turf and broader amenity horticulture
Identify a wide variety of different plants, including turf species, ornamental trees and shrubs and weeds.
Propagate turf grasses and other plants.
- Plant Identification
- Introduction to Soils
- Introduction to Nutrition
- Introduction to Water Management
- Foundations of Pests and Diseases
- Plant Propagation
- Introduction to Lawns
- Introduction - Turf Varieties
- Turf Grass Physiology
- Turf Establishment
- Turf Weed Problems
- Turf Pests and Diseases
- Turf Maintenance Techniques
- Irrigation - An Overview
- Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
- Managing Established Turf
- Establishing Ornamental Turf
Machinery and Equipment
- Engine Operation
- Machinery Components
- Hand Tools
- Power Tools
- Equipment Maintenance
- Specific Workplace Requirements
Sports Turf Management
- Turf Variety Selection
- Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
- Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
- Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
- Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
- Turf Protection & Preservation
- Irrigation & Drainage
- Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
- Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
- Develop a Management Plan.
Turf Repair and Renovation
- Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
- Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
- Turf Cultivation Techniques
- Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
- Optimising Turf Usage
- Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
- Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
- Eradicating Turf Weeds
- Treating Aeration and Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
- Managing a Turf Nursery.
- Introduction to Irrigation
- Soil Characteristics & Problems
- Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
- Types of Irrigation Systems
- Trickle Systems
- Design Specifications
- Pumps & Filters
- Selecting the Right System for a Plant
- Design & Operation of Systems.
OPPORTUNITIES IN TURF
Turf tradesmen and professionals are employed by:
- golf courses,
- bowling clubs,
- race courses,
- sports grounds,
- municipal parks and gardens,
- commercial and private gardens.
- 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.
What Turf Professionals Do
Day to day work can vary, depending upon where you work, the seasons, and your role in the work place. Turf management may involve planning, construction and/or maintenance work. It can involve mowing, fertilising, spraying for weeds, dealing with pests and diseases, hand weeding, topdressing, repairing damaged areas, irrigation, and using tools or machinery for edging, aerating, raking, vacuuming, renovating or other jobs.
Certain types of turf surfaces may require preparation before they are used (e.g. sporting surfaces often require the grass to be line marked, a turf wicket may need rolling, and covers used to keep water off the playing surface). Irrigation and water management can include hand watering, laying drainage systems, sand slitting during a playing season, using machines to sweep or soak up excess surface water, cleaning and maintaining drainage and irrigation systems.
WHY CHOOSE US?
- Support: communicate directly with staff who are experts and experienced with turf and horticultural management. Helping you learn is our top priority
- Different: if your training is different, you stand out. Knowing a fact isn't the same as having the capacity to be innovative and solve problems in the turf industry. A shorter course elsewhere might teach you some facts: but what's the point, if it doesn't increase your capacity to perform on the job.
- Deeper Learning: If you learn properly, your learning sticks and can be recalled years later, whenever needed. We understand what it takes to learn for life and career success. Some colleges offer shorter courses that get you through exams, but it is important to understand, that isn't the same as learning for life.
- Resources: unique collection of people and intellectual property. Our team include many experts with over 30 years individual experience; and a collection of resources we started building in the early 1970's.
- Flexibility: more options for how, where, when and what you study
- Learning is top priority: what you learn changes you for life. Everything else is secondary
- Better value: Compare our cost per study hour.
- Reliability: Established since 1979, and being independent means we have avoided the stresses suffered by many other institutions