If you are looking for a career in sports turf management there are many options available. Some will be more comprehensive than others, whilst those looking to concentrate on one specific game will benefit from tuition that is tailored accordingly.
A good course should always cover the question of selecting the right turf. There is a surprisingly high set of turf varieties and it is important to choose the right one, depending on the sport that you are interested in studying.
In football for example, the grass is going to withstand far more heavy traffic than other disciplines such as golf and cricket. In golf, turf would have to be pristine in order for the ball to travel its optimum distance but for football, a hard wearing surface is needed to cope with a faster paced game and the type of sliding tackles that can quickly ruin the pitch if the grass is of poor quality.
However, a good surface is nothing without quality drainage and every good sports turf management course should cover irrigation techniques and the adaptability depending on the type of soil in question. In football matches below the top leagues, games can frequently be lost to heavy and persistent rain so part of a groundskeeper`s task is to focus on drainage and irrigation in order to keep postponements to a minimum.
Soil treatment is another area covered by the best courses and it is vital to use only the best quality pesticides, sprays and fertilisers. Once again, your choice in this respect will be dictated by the type of turf that you need for the ground.
Football pitches will require specialised turf and as a result, only certain fertilisers and sprays are suitable in order to keep them in perfect condition.
A good groundskeeper will also have the best quality equipment at his/her disposal so the course should also teach you how to select the best mowers, rollers and other associated tools such as spikers and scarifiers. If you take a position at a football club then it is likely that existing equipment will already be provided but it is vital to know how to choose the best tools when the time eventually comes to replace them.
Courses should also cover those areas of pitch preparation that can easily be overlooked at times. Rolling a football pitch may seem as if it is a simple task that anyone could undertake but in fact, it is a highly specialised area that requires expert tuition.
The same applies to marking out the white lines as a football match can`t take place unless they are done correctly. Marking is vital to sports turf management and preparation and this is another area that the best courses should always cover.
Effective sports turf maintenance requires a good strategy off the pitch too and part of the course work will involve constructing a management plan. All football grounds should have plans moving forward that will keep the pitch looking at its best for years to come. Those plans will include when to re-turf, when to buy new equipment and they could typically be implemented at five year intervals.
A good quality surface will have the ball behaving as it should with correct bounce and movement across the pitch. Sports turf management courses will help you to achieve that and lead to a rewarding career at the same time.
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