What is the secret to tournament quality putting greens? How do you maintain fescue greens on a seaside links golf course? What part of the country produces the finest annual bluegrass putting surfaces? How do we build pitches that will be playable in winter and hold up to excessive uses by soccer players? What is the best grass for a baseball field?
How is a golf course maintenance staff organized? How much does it cost to maintain an 18 hole golf course? What does a golf course superintendent really do? How can I get a head job at a major league ballpark? Who makes those turf logos for sporting events?
Find out the answers to these questions as a turf major at Oregon State University! Learn what you need to do to succeed in a career as a professional turf manager.
We're located in the heart of the beautiful Willamette Valley, surrounded by top quality sports fields and within a short drive to outstanding golf courses on the coast, in the valley, and over in central Oregon.
Students from our turf program not only find career opportunities throughout the Pacific Northwest but nationwide. There are also opportunities along the Pacific Rim in Asia and other parts of the world.
Grow with us . . .
Oregon's Diverse Turf Industry Covers the State
In Oregon we have every kind of golf course from high-end country clubs, to world class links-style ocean courses, to high desert resort courses. In addition, we have some of the finest municipal golf courses in the USA. Sports turf abounds in the form of schools, parks, and club facilities for soccer, football, baseball, softball, and lacrosse and we even have polo fields under development. Career opportunities in turf management for golf and sports fields have never been better than they are right now.
Experience the Turf Industry Up Close
Many classes include field trips to golf courses, parks, and sports fields. We draw from the top practitioners in the Pacific Northwest to bring you guest speakers who share their experience and knowledge from real world settings. In recent years, speakers have come from the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Bandon Dunes Golf Course, Pronghorn, and Tualatin Country Club, among many others.
We Emphasize Active Learning
Our courses tackle contemporary, real-world issues and include hands-on labs, diagnostics, and practical construction experience.
Explore Your Interests
While you are in college, you will have the opportunity to intern at virtually any place in the world. We have had students at St. Andrews, Augusta, Pebble Beach, throughout the Southwest, on the East coast, and at most of the top clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Others have worked all over the USA at minor league and major league ballparks and a variety of college and professional football facilities. Most have well designed intern programs and many will assist with housing. Most pay top wages and are willing to give you all the hours you want. There is not a better way to learn your craft and network with industry leaders.
Our Faculty Members are World Class Experts
Poa annua management strategies, new turf cultivars, alternative plant materials for low-input lawns, establishment procedures, techniques to reduce water and pesticide use, the latest turf equipment, and disease resistant species are just some of the topics they will share.
Our Students are Urban and Rural, National and International.
Turf students come from all over Oregon, the United States and many other parts of the world. Some students began their studies at community colleges, other return to school for a new career.
Learn with us . . .
Turf Management Option
The turf industry offers professional opportunities in golf course maintenance, park and athletic field maintenance, and landscape maintenance. This continually growing industry offers more career track jobs than any other area in horticulture. Golf course maintenance, leading to positions such as golf course superintendent, historically has drawn the most students and is the largest component of the curriculum. Graduates in this option compete well for top jobs throughout the West, with most finding work in Oregon, Washington, and California. Athletic field maintenance is emerging as a strong career track opportunity as well.
Students in this curriculum must have a passion for the outdoors, for turf maintenance, and for working with other people in a team context. Prior practical work experience and a willingness to work summers and/or extended internships while at OSU is a characteristic shared by our students. The curriculum focuses on science, technology, ‘in field’ hands-on experience, and decision making in real world settings. Active participation in student clubs, class field labs and out-of-class internship work experiences is critical to success. Activities stress networking and exposure to multiple work environments to help students integrate into the industry.
Oregon State Turf Club
The OSU Turf Club is an organization that is designed to further the members' education in the turfgrass industry. The members are a close group of students who have selected the Turf Management option within the Horticulture major. Most of the students enjoy the game of golf and want to become golf course superintendents while other students have an interest in becoming athletic field managers or landscapers. The club is open to any student who feels they would fit into these categories.
Purpose of the Club
- Increase practical knowledge of the turfgrass industry
- Provide opportunities to meet people working in the turfgrass industry
- Assist in the process of finding internships, summer jobs, and permanent employment
- Increase student participation in regional and national associations such as the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association (OGCSA), the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the Oregon Sports Turf Managers Association (OSTMA), and the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association (OLCA)
- Enhance Oregon State University's reputation as a national leader in the turfgrass industry
- Travel to regional and national conferences
- Raise funds by assisting with maintenance activities at the Turfgrass Teaching/Research Facility located at the Lewis-Brown Horticulture Farm
- Learn how to operate equipment such as mowers, aerifiers, topdressers, core harvesters, fertilizer spreaders, and sprayers through participation in the maintenance of the Turfgrass Teaching/Research Facility
- Gain camaraderie with other members through golf outings, intramural sports, trips, and other club activities