New Sports Turf Management Book Levels the Playing Field

Grady Miller addresses a Turf Day crowd

Carolina sports fields host a spectrum of competitive and recreational play, from Little League baseball diamonds to high-profile professional football arenas. Regardless of skill set, every athlete deserves a safe, high-quality surface, which levels the relative — playing field. Turfgrass experts Grady Miller from NC State and Bert McCarty of Clemson University co-authored a new, comprehensive guide to help Carolina sports field managers grow and maintain their athletic fields. 

Sports turf management book cover“Bert McCarty and I wrote Best Management Practices for Carolina Sports Fields to serve as a reference guide for sports field managers, students, and even regulatory agencies,” said Grady Miller, NC State professor of turfgrass management. “It’s a completely updated and expanded volume with 90% more content than our first sports turf book that was published back in 2005.”

Best Practices For the Carolinas And Beyond

The book provides topical information on sports field design, installation and management with an eye toward the Carolinas’ climatic transition zone, presenting unique turf growing conditions and pest management needs that necessitate a dedicated regional approach. While an essential read for the Southeast, McCarty and Miller believe their new text has application for other areas of the country.

“Many aspects in the book are very transferable to other areas,” Miller said. “For instance, most aspects of field design or the safe use of pesticides would be the same for most of the U.S. But here, we have a different growing season, so a number of our management practices have evolved to best meet the needs for this region.”

In many areas, industry best management practices (BMPs) are a fundamental risk management tool. Turfgrass managers, particularly golf course superintendents, in some states view BMPs as a liability hedge. While legal interpretations may vary, ongoing turfgrass education is a valuable career investment for every field manager.

Grady Miller and NC State alumnus Drew Pinnix discuss turf conditions at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

“I think the book can be beneficial for all levels of sports turf managers. Some may be digging into a chapter to find a particular piece of information, whereas others may use it to follow our general maintenance calendars. It’s a reference for field managers of most any sport and budget.”

Filling A Sports Turf Void

McCarty and Miller penned the new book based on industry demand. The North Carolina and South Carolina Sports Turf Managers Association approached the duo about authoring a best practices publication specific to their region. The book is McCarty and Miller’s third together and second on sports field management.

“There are very few publications dedicated to sports turf management,” Miller said. “This book reflects our years of working with sports turf managers across the Carolinas. Bert and I have known each other for nearly 30 years, and our specialties complement each other – he specializes in pest management areas of weed science and pathology, and I work more in turfgrass culture on establishment, irrigation, and fertilization.”

Grady Miller speaks to a group about sports turf mowing
Miller is a frequent contributor and presenter to the Sports Turf Managers Association. Photo courtesy of STMA.

Where To Find It

Best Management Practices for Carolina Sports Fields is available from the South Carolina Sports Turf Managers Association by contacting Bruce Suddeth at (864) 503-5514 or Miller will attend the Carolina Sports Turf Managers Association’s annual conference in November to speak with attendees on how they can use the book in their operation.

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NC State logo on turfgrass