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Turfgrass History

The turfgrass program at Penn State began in 1929 with a push from outside the institution. Find out how Joseph Valentine, superintendent at Merion Golf Club, and several fellow superintendents shaped the program that exists today.

Credits: Special thanks to staff assistant Jamie Stang, who assembled the archives used to research this history; to alumnus Scott Dickson, who helped collect graduate thesis information; to editor Jean Turgeon and indexer Jennifer Smith; and to Al J. Turgeon for overseeing production of this publication. Krista Weidner, freelance writer and editor, lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

The turfgrass program at Penn State began in 1929 with a push from outside the institution.

George was responsible for the coordination of Penn State's turfgrass research facilities and served as the technical advisor for the Two-Year Golf Course Turfgrass Management Technical Program.

In 1928, Joseph Valentine, T.L. Gustin, and James Bolton paid a call to Ralph Hetzel, president of The Pennsylvania State College, to ask for research in turfgrass.