Science of (the) GreenSM Initiative: An Overview
The University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences already has a successful Turfgrass Research and Outreach Center, which consists of approximately 10 acres devoted to turfgrass research under the direction of Drs. Brian Horgan and Eric Watkins. The site includes both a USGA-specification research green and a native soil research green. A recently installed automated rainout shelter can be used for research on turfgrass water use and drought tolerance. Runoff facilities also track pesticide and fertilizer runoff and inform strategies to reduce their movement to adjacent land.
The college's expertise is complemented by University strength and experience in civil and mechanical engineering, management, public health, robotics, kinesiology, urban planning, landscape architecture, environmental policy and other fields, bringing a holistic approach to the concept of sustainable golf course design and operations.
History of Les Bolstad Golf Course
Opened in 1928, the Les Bolstad Golf Course is a classic, 18-hole championship course used by students, faculty, alumni and the community. The Course began as a cow pasture and was transformed by W.R. Smith, who was also known as "Mr. Golf" at the University of Minnesota and throughout state. Three years later, in 1931, University faculty members gathered support to build a clubhouse, which is still standing today.
As one of the last remaining green spaces on campus, the Course is enjoyed by members of the University community: children learning to play golf, alumni returning to the University and current students studying turfgrass research. Legends such as Tom Lehman and Les Bolstad have navigated their way around its tight fairways, ancient trees and elevated greens.
University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness has successfully operated the Course since 2009 and maintains it as a vital part of the University and community.
Proposed Turf Demonstration Area
Please take a moment to view the proposed turf demonstration area that would be a part of the Les Bolstad Golf Course renovation. The demostration area would be located on the southwest end of the course near Hole #1 and would be comprised of areas dedicated to conducting research on fairway and green species varieties, bunker construction and sand types, and green construction. Click on the image for an enlarged view of the proposed demonstration area.
Meet the Project Team
Department of Horticultural Science
Dr. Horgan's research interests focus on the fate and transport of pesticides and nutrients, water conservation strategies, and low-input turfgrass systems. Horgan's most recent award recognizing excellence in the turfgrass industry was the prestigious Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association President's Award. He is past chair of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program advisory committee, science editor for Turf News, and past chair of the Turfgrass Science division of the Crop Science Society. In addition to his participation in various state and regional turf conferences within the United States, Horgan has taught soil fertility and plant nutrition in Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Hong Kong, China, and New Zealand. He has taught for the GCSAA since 2006.
In addition, Dr. Horgan outreaches to the community as a Turfgrass Extension Specialist. The position gives him opportunity to interact with the industry and facilitate educational programs designed to meet the needs of the state. He is a faculty advisor to the student chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (also known as Turf Club).
Major Gifts Officer
College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences
Matt Magers' professional life started nearly 25 years ago in the golf industry as an intern with the Minnesota Golf Association. After five years with the MGA he moved west for ten fun and fulfilling years with the Northern California Golf Association in Pebble Beach, CA; the last six as assistant executive director. Later Matt stayed on the Monterey Peninsula transitioning into the philanthropic world in 2009 as the first major gifts officer for Stevenson School also in Pebble Beach. Since returning to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, in September of 2012 he has become a leading participant in the transformation of the campus' golf facility into a living research laboratory for sustainable practices to assist the golf industry worldwide.
Director of Alumni Relations
University Recreation and Wellness
Caley has worked for Recreation and Wellness (RecWell) since October of 2011. She enjoys building relationships with current and future alumni and hosting various RecWell alumni tournaments and social gatherings. She is excited to be assisting the Science of (the) Green initiative through her efforts to cultivate relationships with individuals interested in learning more about the project's details.