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Attain the Turf Managers’ Short Course Certificate. Turf managers will gain insight on recent turfgrass issues and research from the expertise of University of Guelph faculty and industry professionals. Topics include turfgrass performance, resource planning and managing environmental stresses.

Topics and Instructors

This topic covers the importance of soil as a growing medium for turfgrass and will cover the physical, chemical and hydrologic properties and management of soils as they pertain to turf grass.


Cheryl FitzGibbon, School of Environmental Sciences

Cheryl specializes in soil science, turf soil management, resources planning, management and environmental issues. She also works in the fields of computer-assisted design and information technology.

Identify the growth characteristics and physiology of turfgrasses, and how these impact the practical uses of various turfgrass species. Learn how turfgrass systems are managed to provide utilitarian, aesthetic and safe recreational turf surfaces. Major emphasis is on the integration of grass species, mowing, nutrient management, and thatch management to produce turf suitable for golf, sports and lawns.


Dr. Eric Lyons, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture

Eric specializes in nutrient management, stress physiology and plant competition in sports field, golf course and landscape turf. In addition, Dr. Lyons oversees extensive testing of new emerging products for turfgrass managers. Dr. Lyons also is involved in curriculum development for turfgrass professionals at the University of Guelph and with industry partners.

Dealing with turfgrass diseases is one of the more difficult aspects of turfgrass management. Under intensive management, turfgrasses are subjected to very stressful environmental conditions that predispose them to diseases. Disease-causing agents, the environmental conditions that allow diseases to flourish, and techniques to prevent and manage turf diseases are discussed.


Dr. Tom Hsiang, Professor, School of Environmental Sciences

Tom teaches courses on turf diseases and tree diseases. His research includes studies on diseases of woody plants and turfgrasses, particularly snow moulds. More information on turfgrass diseases and research projects is available on his website:

Evaluate the practical aspects of cultural, mechanical and chemical methods of weed control in turf with emphasis on alternative weed management options as well as conventional weed management techniques.


Erica Gunn, B.Sc.Agr. (Environmental Biology), with an area of emphasis in Pest Management

Upon graduation, Erica started working as a Research Technician at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI). Over the years she has worked on various research projects in the lab, field and greenhouse. More recently, Erica has worked in the GTI fields for the Manager of the Research Plots. In the winter months, Erica facilitates an online course for Open Learning and Educational Support in the Managing Golf Courses Certificate program.

In Insect Identification and Management, you will learn about the insect pests of turfgrass including their identification, biology, scouting methods and control. Insect pests that will be examined include all the white grub species, hairy chinch bugs, sod webworms and cutworms, weevils, crane flies and ants.

Integrated Pest Management draws on the information you learned in the disease and insect section of the course. You will learn general and specific techniques for monitoring turf pests and record keeping. You will be able to prioritize your turf monitoring, determine monitoring frequencies and become acquainted with thresholds. By learning to use key plants in the landscape to signal pest activity, you will be able to better time pesticide applications and overall, reduce pesticide use.


Katerina Jordan, Associate Professor, Dept of Plant Agriculture.

Dr. Katerina Jordan teaches courses in turfgrass management, integrated pest management and biological control of plant diseases. Her research focus is on root pathogens of turfgrasses and other crops and maximizing the sustainability of turfgrass management practices.

The equipment section discusses the selection and maintenance of the various types of equipment used in turfgrass management as well as the direct impact equipment has on turf. Emphasis will be placed on efficient use, calibration and instructing staff in safe operation.


Sean Jordan, T.Ag. Sessional Lecturer, Diploma in Turfgrass Management Program.

Sean is a Technical Agrologist with a wide range of experience in turfgrass management, construction and renovation. Sean has taught in the DTM program and TMSC since 2005.

Explore the role of the golf course architect and their involvement with golf course construction from concept to grassing. Examine the different construction materials, construction techniques and costs associated with building golf features such as greens, tees, and bunkers paying particular attention to the importance of drainage within these features.


Cam Tyers, B.A., L.A.T. – Cam Tyers Design Inc.

Cam Tyers has been a golf course architect for over 19 years. He started his own business, Cam Tyers Design Inc. in 2010. Before that he spent 13 years working with renowned Canadian architect Doug Carrick.

Cam has been a guest lecturer at Durham College, Niagara College, and the University of Guelph for the past 4 years, instructing the design course in the Turf Diploma program. As an architect, he is always looking for new ways that design can grow the game of golf and keep pace with the changing demographics of today’s golfer.

Study irrigation practices, products and troubleshooting of golf, municipal and commercial irrigation systems.


Gary Taylor – GT Irrigation Services

Gary has been involved in the irrigation industry for the past 35 years, beginning his career maintaining irrigation systems, to site foreman, irrigation design (residential, commercial and golf), service and sales, to an independent irrigation consultant. Gary has a BComm and currently provides irrigation and pumping design to the golf, municipal and commercial markets as well as project management and water management services.

Trees and natural areas are important components of all landscapes. This section of the course looks at the interactions between trees and turf and how to best select and manage woody plants for use on golf courses, parks and residential landscapes.

Also included is information about the management of natural areas that may be found in various managed landscapes including parks and golf courses.


Mike Van Beek, B.Sc. (Agr)

Mike retired after 26 years of instruction in the Seneca College Golf Course Technician program. Currently, he teaches part-time in the University of Guelph Diploma in Turf Management program. For the past 30 years, Mike has owned and operated a small landscape design and installation company specializing in residential installations. Mike is a member of the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation committee.

Scholarships and Awards

This $500 scholarship will be awarded to the participant who exhibits both leadership and academic proficiency as chosen by fellow classmates, subject to approval by course instructors. The scholarship will be awarded at the course banquet and the recipient’s name will be affixed to a plaque which hangs in the foyer of the GTI.

NSGA Scholarship Goal is to invest in the future of the Ontario Nursery Sod Industry through education and training. Application deadline is December 31 each year for the $750 scholarship.

The Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association awards a scholarship ($1300 in 2018) and membership in the OGSA to the student with the highest overall class mark. The student must be a resident of Ontario and be employed at a golf course in Ontario. No application is necessary for this scholarship.

The OGSA also has 3 Assistant Superintendent awards (Hugh Kirkpatrick Bursaries) – TMSC students must have a ‘Class C’ OGSA membership to apply.

The Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario offers two awards to the two top students with the highest overall marks at the annual Turf Managers’ Short Course. Both award recipients must work in the professional lawn care industry.
Sports Turf Canada offers a $1000 Robert W. Sheard Scholarship annually. TMSC participants may apply if they are Canadian citizens and have worked for a Sports Turf Canada employer.

The Western Canada Turfgrass Association offers monetary awards to students enrolled in an accredited Turfgrass Management Program or equivalent. Application deadline is in January each year.


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