The USGA funds research projects that have the potential to improve golf course management and the golf experience through the Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program. Key priorities of the program include developing improved grasses and identifying resource-efficient management practices. It is through these priorities that the USGA works to protect the long-term viability of golf by optimizing playing conditions and protecting vital natural resources. The research projects that the USGA funds to accomplish this goal produce unbiased information that helps superintendents and golf facilities make sound, economic and environmentally sustainable decisions.
Since 1920, the USGA has awarded more than $40 million to universities in support of turf and environmental research. In 2018 alone, the USGA provided $1.8 million to support 85 research projects across the country. Grants ranged from $10,000 to $120,000 over a one- to three-year period.
Scientists apply for a grant by submitting research proposals to the USGA. A committee of scientists and USGA Agronomists evaluate and prioritize proposals every year before deciding on which projects to fund. Throughout the year, representatives from the research committee visit universities where USGA-funded research projects are underway to evaluate methods and discuss results with the scientists, graduate students, and research staff that are conducting the work.
Researchers supported by the USGA submit annual summaries detailing important aspects of their work. Summaries of the current year’s projects are available on the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program website, and a catalog of all research summaries since 1950 is available on Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online.