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Valentine Research Center

Named in memory of Joseph Valentine, golf course superintendent at Merion Golf Club, The Center serves as the principle facility for turfgrass field research.
Valentine Research Center

Valentine Research Center

In the 1940s and 50s, the turf research plots had many homes around campus. “They moved around a lot,” says Tom Watschke. “They used to be at the current site of East Halls, then where the Natatorium is. Jim Watson and Jack Harper did their Ph.D. field studies on a piece of land where the computer center is now.” When the plots were chased away by building construction again in the late 1950s, they were moved to their current location, the Joseph Valentine Turfgrass Research Center.

Today, the Valentine Center is a seventeen-acre research facility that focuses on high-maintenance turfgrass. Two and a half acres of close-cut creeping bentgrass are dedicated to golf course putting green research, and other areas include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue. An automatic irrigation system provides uniform watering, and a wide array of turfgrass management equipment and specialized materials allows researchers to create or mimic real-world turfgrass environments.