CTRF 2023 Project Funding Announcement and Stakeholder Update

May 12, 2023
For immediate release:

Since 1973, the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation has raised and provided funding for turf research projects aimed at advancing education and scientific knowledge associated with the safe, recreational and functional use of turfgrass.

The CTRF is pleased to announce $10,000 USD has been approved to support the Michigan State University project by Dr. Thomas Nikolai titled, Environmental and economic comparison between Variable Depth Rootzone and Capillary Hydroponics System to promote sustainable putting green management.’

Project Summary
Sub-ground irrigation systems (SIS) have been proposed as the best method to conserve water and over the past 60 years, several SIS designs have been installed on golf courses or athletic fields, however, all essentially failed due to the lack of research and because SIS were impractical for golf because they required flat surfaces.

The Variable Depth Rootzone (VDR) diverges from USGA Recommendations by decreasing the rootzone depth at the top of slopes (8–10 inches) and making the rootzone thicker in low lying areas (14-16 inches). Research has indicated that VDR have a more uniform moisture retention and they have been considered for inclusion in USGA Recommendations but have not been added because the only study performed with VDR was insufficiently replicated.

In the summer of 2022, Frontier Golf constructed a putting green research site at Michigan State University that includes 3 VDR and 3 SIS with slopes of 1.5, 3, and 5% each.  The green surfaces have sufficient density entering winter and we will initiate a study in the spring of 2023 comparing the two systems regarding water use, energy use, pest outbreaks, organic matter build up, and playability factors such as surface firmness and green speed.

Stakeholder Update
Currently, two other research projects are on the books as follows.  All project reports can be found under the ‘Current Research’ page at www.turfresearchcanada.ca  

•  In partnership with the QTRF, Dr. Guillaume Gregoire, Universite Laval, project titled, ‘Understanding and predicting pesticide use on golf courses using deep machine learning’ for a total commitment of $59,225 (net $19,225 from CTRF) over 2 years commencing January 2021 and ending January 2023.

•  In partnership with QTRF, ATRF and WCTA, Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Oregon State University, project titled, ‘Enhancing turfgrass carbon sequestration to improve sustainability and market access’ for a total commitment of $12,000 USD or ~$16,000 CDN (net $4000 from CTRF, $4000 from each of the other partners) over 1 year spanning Jan 1, 2022 to Dec 31, 2022.

CTRF’s ‘Legacy Giving’ initiative, started in 2022 and designed to reach the golf market, is now posted on the BC, Quebec and Saskatchewan golf association websites with intent to expand to all provincial amateur golf organizations.

The graphic links to one of two donor contribution pages, either the one at our own website www.turfresearchcanada.ca or the other called ‘A New Approach to the Turf We Play On’, hosted by the Golf Canada Foundation.  

Unfortunately, as many charities have experienced, fundraising continues to be a challenge for the CTRF.  A comprehensive $66k community funding grant application to RBC was declined while our $120k+ application to BMO has yet to receive a response.

In other news, the CTRF is in the process of translating our website to French with the help of a $1000 government grant received for this purpose.  Governance modernization remains a work in progress while new funding models are being explored.

Link for CTRF News, Updates and Turf Research Reports
If you’re a professional golf or sportsfied manager, turf researcher, student or have any sort of stake in the turf management industry, consider signing up for the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation’s e-news by clicking the following link.  There’s no fee to receive relevant turf research news, project reports and updates.


The CTRF wishes to thank its member organizations and donors for making it possible to fund valuable turf research projects.

About the CTRF
The Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation (CTRF) is a registered charity that raises funds for turfgrass research projects aimed at advancing education and scientific knowledge associated with the safe, recreational and functional use of turfgrass.

Jerry Rousseau, Executive Secretary
Website: www.turfresearchCanada.ca
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