certificate in horticulture: turf

A distance learning programme providing effective training for those working or wishing to train as turf workers at golf courses, bowling greens, sports fields or councils.

We run a number of different Certificates in Horticulture, all with the same essential horticultural science modules but each with lessons aimed at a particular industry sector. They form an excellent basis for the education of our future experts and professionals.

Distance Education Certificate Course in Turf Management

  • A first step toward a career in Turf.
  • Suitable for people who havn't worked in turf before
  • Also suited to people with some experience, but no formal training in this industry
  • Recognised internationally by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
  • Access to highly regarded Horticulture and Turf experts 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 we have 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

The Garden Design Academy Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) provides approximately 700 hours of study at Diploma level.

Working with Colin Elliott, an experienced professional hoticulturist, this CD-based course provides the information you need to make the jump into a career in turf care and management.

The Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a vocationally oriented and accredited course comprising both studies in both general horticulture and in turf care and management.

The course is divided into two parts and involves completing all assignments and passing an exam in each of six subjects as listed below.

Horticulture I

1.Plant Identification
3.Introduction to Soils
4.Introduction to Nutrition
5.Introduction to Water Management
8.Foundations of Pests and Diseases
10.Plant Propagation
11.Introduction to Lawns

Turf Care

1.Introduction - Turf Varieties
2.Turf Grass Physiology
3.Turf Establishment
5.Turf Weed Problems
6.Turf Pests and Diseases
7.Turf Maintenance Techniques
8.Irrigation - An Overview
9.Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
10.Managing Established Turf
11.Establishing Ornamental Turf

Machinery and Equipment

1.Engine Operation
3.Machinery Components
4.Hand Tools
5.Power Tools
7.Equipment Maintenance
8.Specific Workplace Requirements

Sports Turf Management

1.Turf Variety Selection
2.Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
3.Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
4.Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
5.Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
6.Turf Protection & Preservation
7.Irrigation & Drainage
8.Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
9.Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
10.Develop a Management Plan.

Turf Repair and Renovation

1.Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
2.Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
3.Turf Cultivation Techniques
4.Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
5.Optimising Turf Usage
6.Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
7.Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
8.Eradicating Turf Weeds
9.Treating Aeration and Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
10.Managing a Turf Nursery.


1.Introduction to Irrigation
2.Soil Characteristics & Problems
3.Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
5.Types of Irrigation Systems
6.Trickle Systems
7.Design Specifications
8.Pumps & Filters
9.Selecting the Right System for a Plant
10.Design & Operation of Systems.


Each lesson ends with assignments to test your knowledge and reinforce your learning; these are sent to your tutor at the Garden Design Academy for marking and comments.

A excellent and comprehesive course of study from the Garden Design Academy for those serious about progressing in the turf management industry.


Course cost: £ 1,200 (single payment)

OR 2 payments of £ 640

OR 4 payments of £345

Payment Method

Examination costs not included


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  • sports turfsports turf
  • mowermower