Turf? You Mean The Fake Grass?

imageBy: Michael Sanders, Sustainable Plant Systems: Turfgrass Science | Hamilton OH

When most hear of turfgrass, they think of the plastic sports fields. In reality, it is actually a major within our own school, CFAES! Most people going into Turfgrass Science usually love the outdoors as well as sports such as golf, soccer, or baseball. The science deals with how to manage sports fields properly as well as golf courses, and gives the student knowledge in the areas of pathology, ecology, sustainability, botany, and business aspects such as budgeting and management, as well as many other opportunities!

Turfgrass Science is a cool experience, as there are multiple industry conferences across the country with turfbowls that challenges teams from various schools in competition as well a Turf Club that meets bi­weekly and includes presentations on possible overseas internships, guest speakers, tours of facilities such as the Columbus Crew stadium or Ohio Stadium, and many more events. The major consists of around 35 people and is a close knit group, with the professors knowing all the students very well as well as the students knowing each other. The faculty backing turf students are some of the best: they are always fun enjoyable people who do whatever it takes to help you succeed and often go out of their own way to make sure you do.

Ever since my junior year of high school when I began working on a golf course, I knew that turf was what I wanted to pursue, and that one day I wanted to run a course myself. Opportunities in this industry are far from hard to come by, you just have to be willing to work hard and be eager to learn. Luckily for me, I love what I do and I love learning everything I can and I am willing to put in the long days and extra effort to stand out amongst other employees. Since my junior year of high school I have taken advantage of every opportunity given to me. I’ve spent 4 years total at two of the best courses in Cincinnati, I recently gained a position at the OSU/OTF Turf Research Facility, and have been to the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. I am planning on interning at a golf club in Boston next summer, I will attend the Sports Turf Management Conference in Denver as well as the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, I have applied to various organizations for scholarships such as the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, the Columbus District Golf Association, and the Golf Course Superintendents of America, and I am still looking for any other opportunities that may present themselves.

I highly recommend Turfgrass Science to any and every one! It is a fun and interactive career path that not many people know about. As the industry continues to grow, more people are need! So remember, turf isn’t just that plastic stuff on sports fields, it’s a major too!


One thought on “Turf? You Mean The Fake Grass?

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey in Turfgrass Science back in 2014! It’s incredible to see how much dedication and passion you had for the field, and it’s inspiring to hear about your various accomplishments and opportunities. Fast forward to 2024, the turfgrass industry has undoubtedly evolved, but your commitment to learning and hard work remains a timeless lesson for students today.

    For those interested in unique career paths and detailed travel guides, check out http://www.travelsfaq.com.

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