DTM*3100 Current Turf Practices

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2022 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course provides a setting to discuss and reflect on summer work experiences and introduces students to current trends in the golf course, sports field and home lawn industries. The course is based on discussions and seminars led by students to cover emerging trends in turfgrass management.

Pre-Requisites: DTM*1000, DTM*2000, 4.00 credits
Restrictions: Restricted to Associate Diploma students in the Turfgrass Management program.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to WebAdvisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Understand the various turfgrass management practices and how they vary across different sectors of the industry and among different organizations within the various sectors.
  2. Understand the current issues facing the turfgrass industry and how the industry is responding and adjusting to face these issues.
  3. Research and professionally present reports (both written and verbally) on specific aspects of current turfgrass management.
  4. Understand your current professional development and career experience needs and develop a future career plan.
  5. Develop confidence in sharing intelligent and informed personal opinions while engaging in professional and meaningful conversations and debates on current industry trends with a group of peers.

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:

  • Meteorology for turf management:
    • Basic weather patterns
    • Weather data sources
    • Challenges associated with weather
  • Record keeping techniques
    • Product applications
    • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
    • Water use
    • Labour tracking
  • Project Management and Planning
  • Principles of Operations Management
    • Identifying resources
    • Task and job analysis
    • Measuring and evaluating employee performance
    • Increasing operational efficiency
    • Budget forecasting
    • Short and long-range planning
    • Human resources
    • Communication
    • Crisis management
    • Union management
  • Specialized golf course maintenance and conditioning practices:
    • Tees
    • Greens
    • Fairways
    • Roughs
    • Sports Fields
    • Bunkers
    • Mowing practices
    • Cultivation
    • Pest management
    • Fertility programs
    • Irrigation and drainage
    • Course setup
    • Traffic management
    • Winter preparation
    • Water features
    • Natural areas
    • Event preparation
    • Line painting
    • Artificial turf maintenance
  • Specialized lawn care management practices:
    • Mowing practices
    • Developing a lawn care program
      • Fertility Programs
      • Pest Management
    • Scheduling and service routing
  • Specialized sod production management practices
  • Field preparation
    • Species selection
    • Turf establishment
    • Mowing
    • Pest management
    • Harvesting
    • Storage and marketing
  • Maintenance facility design and organization
  • Equipment Selection Management
    • Inventory
    • Preventative maintenance programs
    • Lease or buy programs
  • Networking and professionalism
  • Career development and preparation

When possible, field trips and/or guest speakers may be an included part of this class. Students are expected to attend class, take notes and engage professionally and thoughtfully with any guests that are brought into class. 

Labs & Seminars:

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark

Internship Journal & Reflection Report


In-Class Assignments


Internship Oral Report & Discussion


Current Turf Practices and Career Planning Report


Final examination:

There is no final examination for this course.

Course Resources:

Recommended Resources:

Due to the conversational nature of this course, it is highly recommended that students regularly read industry based media such as academic and trade publishings, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and any other sources of information relating to the turfgrass industry. Below you will find a starter list of resources where topical and interesting information can be found.

Industry Magazines and Article Resources:
Sample Turfgrass Industry Blogs:
  1. Jason Haines' Turf Hacker Blog - http://www.turfhacker.com/
  2. A collection of various golf course turf blogs can be found here - http://gcmbloggingworld.blogspot.ca/
  3. A collection of GCSAA member blogs can be found here - https://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/membership/membership-benefits/member-blogs
Sample Turfgrass Industry Podcasts and Video Broadcasts
  • GCSAA TV - https://www.gcsaa.tv/
  • GCSAA Radio Podcast
  • Turfnet Radio Podcast
  • Superintendent Radio Network Podcast
  • Cornell Turfgrass Turf Talk Podcast

*All podcasts can be found on most podcasting platforms

Other Sources for Discussional Material:
  • Major Newspapers (Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail etc...)
  • Turfgrass association conferences and seminars
  • Personal experiences and observations
An important note about teaching format:

Please note that although some course content will be made available online through CourseLink, lectures and seminars for this course will only be held face-to-face. Course
delivery format may be subject to change based on evolving restrictions and mandates .

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

Quizzes and assignments must be completed and submitted by the posted due dates.  A penalty of 10% per day will be deducted for late assignments. Missed presentations due to absence will receive a mark of zero. Requests for extensions due to illness or other personal issues must be made in writing and accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. 

Course Policy on Group Work: 

Group work is not permitted - all course work is to be completed by individual students unless otherwise stated by the course instructor.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Alternative Delivery Format:

Course delivery format may be subject to change based on evolving restrictions and mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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