The USGA Green Section provides a vast amount of information on golf course management in the form of reports, articles, and videos available from its Course Consulting Service, publications and websites. But where does this information come from?
Golf course management information from the Green Section is data driven. The most reliable information source is scientific research funded by the USGA, allied associations, government or private companies. Professors and graduate students at land-grant universities conduct most of the scientific research. Scientists publish their results in peer-reviewed agriculture journals then the scientific results are translated by USGA experts into management solutions for golf courses.
The USGA played a historical role in the development of turfgrass research. In the 1920s, the USGA provided financial support to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allowing scientists to grow, identify, and evaluate early strains of bentgrass and bluegrass for golf course use at the Arlington Turf Gardens in Washington, D.C. where the Pentagon sits today. USDA researchers also conducted early disease, insect and weed control experiments.
In 1946, the Green Section became a department within the USGA and began providing small research grants to universities and the USDA. In 1952, the USGA Green Section hired agronomists to visit golf courses, write articles and conduct educational meetings. For the next 30 years, the USGA Green Section focused more outreach efforts on educating golf course decision makers.
After severe droughts in the 1970s, it was evident universities needed a financial boost to meet the new challenges facing golf. In 1982, the USGA formed a committee to direct and fund turfgrass heat and drought research. Work toward creating a database of existing research also began at Michigan State University Libraries. Environmental concerns in the 1990s required additional research on the fate of pesticides and nutrients.