Sportsturf Industry Soils & Rootzones will provide candidates with an understanding of the processes that formed natural soils over a period of time. You will be able to identify the properties of a soil that make them suitable or unsuitable for sportsturf by completing a textural analysis.

You will be able to correctly identify a range of soil structures, appreciate what constitutes a fertile soil and explain the components of a soil suitable for the sportsturf industry.

You will also appreciate the range of soil amendments and substitute materials that have developed over recent years.


  • Describe the processes that influence soil formation.
  • Describe the characteristics of a range of soils.
  • Describe a range of root-zone materials used in the sportsturf industry.
  • Understand sustainability and the importance of environmental stewardship in modern golf course management.
  • Experience in the evaluation and measurement of quality of surfaces through the use of specific tools, such as the trunesmeter, greenstester, clegg hammer, soil temperature, moisture monitors and the stimpmeter.

Who is this course for?

  • Greenkeepers
  • Gardeners
  • Landscapers
  • Everyone interested in pursuing a career in sports field management


  • Online, work at your own pace.
  • View content on any device, computers, tablets and smartphones (fully responsive).
  • Documents can be downloaded for offline reading.
  • Average study time estimated at 20 hours.
  • End of course multiple choice assessment (3 attempts to achieve an 80% pass rate).
  • Course completion certificate issued.
  • Level of education equivalent to Level 5 (Higher and Advanced National Certificates).
  • English language.
  • Rich content, images, videos, audio, documents, etc.
  • We accept a wide variety of payment methods (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discovery and PayPal).

Associated qualifications

This course is a stand-alone certification and you will earn a certificate upon successful completion of the course material and assessment. However, it is 1 of 9 courses towards the theory element of the ‘International Certificate in Greenkeeping' qualification.

To obtain your full qualification you will be required to follow this learning path:

  • Theory - Complete all 9 courses with an assessment at the end of each course.
  • Practicals - Complete 400 hours of practical training at Silver Lakes Golf Estate or at any of our accredited golf clubs near you. A golf course manager at the club will be required to sign off a checklist certifying your practical experience.
  • Final Assessment - Undertake a 90 questions final assessment after your theory and practicals, facilitated online by us.
  • Full Qualification & Certificate - Upon successful completion you will earn the full ‘International Certificate in Greenkeeping' qualification and issued with a hard copy certificate by African Turf Academy.
  • The fee for the final qualification will be $2000 payable upon submission of the Proof of Education file which will include video evidence and signed off by a certified greenskeeper.

There is no order of completion of the theory and practical elements. The only requirement is to have both the theory and practical elements completed before you can register for the 90 questions final assessment and earn the full ‘International Certificate in Greenkeeping' qualification.

Please contact us if you have any questions or for further information.

Supported By

The R&A recognises the key role of greenkeepers in preparing golf courses for play and in taking care of the natural environment. The R&A invests in programmes which provide direct assistance to greenkeepers and is working to support greenkeepers in their key role through its advocacy of sustainable course development and management. Education is vital to the future sustainability of golf.

What Our Students Say

Ruan Britz - Class of 2019 & 2020

“During my 16 months at African Turf Academy I have learnt so much, not to mention the experience I gained. I was fortunate to work at the Omega Dubai Desert Classics, 2020. This opened new opportunities to my future. I therefore highly recommend African Turf Academy to you as they offer you not only confidence and knowledge, but also great opportunities.”

Heinrich Bandat - Class of 2020

“Really enjoying my time at African Turf Academy as a first year. They have a great education system in place to open doors in the golf space for the green keeping side and great coaching if you want to become a professional golfer. Can’t wait to continue my journey at this prestigious academy.”

Course Plan

Available in days
days after you enroll
  Introduction to Soils & Rootzones
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Layers of Soil
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Soil Structure Types
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Soil Amendments
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Particle Size Distribution (PSD)
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Soil Air & Nutrients
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Course Completion Assessment
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Course Feedback Survey
Available in days
days after you enroll

Course Price

Instructor For This Course

Nikki Curtayne

Nikki is the Director of Education at African Turf Academy. He studied Greenkeeping and Golf Course Management, and has 20 years experience as a professional Greenkeeper at several different clubs in South Africa.

Learn about the components of a soil to create this!