BC Landscape

Sports Turf

The professional maintenance of natural grass Sports Turf surfaces worldwide has become a skilled profession due to the high demand for top quality playing surfaces.

In South Africa, there is a shortage of individuals with the necessary technical and practical skills working within the industry or wanting to enter the industry.

BC Sports Turf Skills Development, in conjunction with the Sports Turf industry have developed a range of training programmes against registered industry unit standards, which are specifically targeted at Sports Turf Maintenance practices.

The training programmes are being delivered to existing Sports Turf employees, as well as targeting individuals who wish to enter the industry.


GETC: Horticulture (Sports Turf) NQF Level 1 SAQA ID. No. 49668
National Certificate: Horticulture (Sports Turf) NQF Level 2 SAQA ID. No. 66589
National Certificate: Landscape Irrigation (Sports Turf) NQF Level 2 SAQA ID. No. 66429
National Certificate: Sports Turf Maintenance NQF Level 4 SAQA ID. No. 21024


SHORT SKILLS PROGRAMMES (against registered unit standards)

Short skills programmes deliver targeted industry needs, preparing a trainee to have specific skills.

Our Level 1 – 4 skills programmes contain 10 unit standards that are formulated to deliver training within Sports Turf specialisations. Importantly, the skills programmes are endorsed by the TGMASA (Turf Grass Managers Association of South Africa). A student can earn credits towards full qualifications.

  • -Arboricultural Practices
  • -Operate Specialised Walk Behind Mowers
  • -Maintain Bunkers
  • -Tee Maintenance
  • -Rough Maintenance
  • -Putting Green Maintenance
  • -Mowing Practices
  • -Irrigation
  • -Chainsaw Operation
  • -Brushcutter Maintenance
  • -Health and Safety
  • -Pesticide Application and Control


The requirements of the Health and Safety Act are covered in individual modules.

SAQA ID. NO. 21024

BC Sports Turf Skills Development, in conjunction with the TGMASA (Turf Grass Managers Association of South Africa), has developed a qualification in Sports Turf Maintenance that has been aligned with international standards.
The qualification is available to existing employees within the industry or to individuals who wish to enter the industry. The qualification can be conducted through distance learning or at a golf course facility, where the student can gain practical exposure.
The student within the qualification can select a Sports Turf discipline of their choice. These include Cricket, Horseracing, Field Sports and Bowling.

The qualification is broken down into 10 modules of instruction, which include:

1. The Grass Plant and Soils – grass plant biology, warm season grasses, cool season grasses, the effects of mowing and playing stress, soil profiles, soils and their characteristics, organic soil amendments, all weather surfaces.
2. Fertilization – how the grass plant utilizes nutrients, macro nutrients, micro nutrients, fertilizer types, fertilizer application.
3. Prepare and Establish Natural Grass Surfaces – prepare levels, final grading, surface preparation, vegetative establishment, establishment from seed.
4. Basic Principles of Mowers and Secondary Cultural Practices – mower range, productivity and mowing, first parades and machine maintenance, mower safety code, secondary cultural practices, winter overseeding.
5. Pest and Disease Control – insect entomology, basic study of mycophyta, recognition of insect damage, insect pest identification, recognition of grass plant diseases, pest and disease control, insecticides, fungicides, application, safety/storage/issuing, weed anatomy, perennial weeds, annual weeds, the impact of weeds, poa annua control, herbicides.
6. Sports Turf Equipment and Maintenance – four and two stroke engines, the diesel engine, maintenance principles, tractors, secondary cultivation equipment, electrical hand held equipment.
7. Golf Course Specific Practices – golf course design and construction, the putting green, the tee, the fairway, the rough, bunker construction and maintenance, championship/tournament, competition preparation.
8. Irrigation – principles of design, irrigation components, working from irrigation plans, installation, maintenance of irrigation systems, LIA code of standards.
9. Golf Course Management – general golf course management.
10. Grass Species and Plant Identification – principles of classification, naming of cultivated plants (plant identification test).

Existing Sports Turf employees, who have a minimum of three years working experience in the industry at managerial level, can participate in the RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) programme.