Skip to Main Content

All Databases

A how-to of the Kettering & MeL databases

Turfgrass Information Center

Using Turfgrass Information Center


In 1983, the United States Golf Association (USGA) Turfgrass Research Committee and the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries agreed to design and develop a bibliographic computer database to provide access to all published materials reporting on aspects of turfgrass and its maintenance. The project, known as the USGA Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database, is located at MSU due in large part to the prior existence of the O. J. Noer Memorial Turfgrass Collection. As much of the turfgrass literature is widely scattered across a variety of sources that may not be generally available to many turf managers and students, TGIF's goal is to provide quick access to published and electronic resources for users across the world and ultimately to all published materials reporting on aspects of turfgrass and its maintenance. [lake surrounded by trees with fall colors]

Materials represented (indexed) in the TGIF database include articles from peer reviewed publications, technical reports and conference proceedings, trade and professional publications, local professional newsletters, popular magazines, monographs, theses and dissertations, fact sheets and brochures, images, software, and web documents. TGIF indexes material from governments, colleges/universities, professional organizations, and private publishers. Coverage emphasizes English-language materials but does include coverage of non-English languages. To produce TGIF, TIC monitors the turfgrass literature, regardless of sector, context, geography, or language. TGIF can therefore produce excellent searches on transitional overseeding, cricket wicket preparation, kikuyu grass invasion, gray snow mold control, sod production in Florida, or variety trial results in German.

There are over 250,000 records in the TGIF database, with about 12,000 new records added each year. A gradually increasing percentage of TGIF records include full-text or link to full-text sources, with over 50% of records currently including these links. Ultimately, the Turfgrass Information File database will offer online access to the complete publication history of turf science, reaching back into the late 19th century, or perhaps before!  Read about the continuing effort to add older material to TGIF! (pdf)

The Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) and the continued expansion of the TGIF database have been supported by membership and user fees, donations, and the MSU Libraries' support. An Endowment exists to stabilize the long-term basis for the Center's efforts - we actively seek organizational, institutional, industry, and professional support.

TGIF Subject Coverage

The Turfgrass Information Center selects materials according to a broad definition of turfgrass, which is defined as grass or grass-like ground covers used in golf courses, parks, sports fields, lawns, sod farms, roadsides, institutional grounds, and for other utility, recreational or aesthetic purposes. Subjects covered by TGIF include:

  • Description and biology of turfgrass species, cultivars, pests, weeds, and other related organisms
  • Turf culture methods and techniques
  • Turf care equipment and equipment maintenance
  • Turfgrass water use
  • Golf and sports facility architecture, design, maintenance
  • Turfgrass breeding and improvement
  • Turfgrass seed and sod production, installation, maintenance
  • Turf-related business management, including turf user/turf manager relationships
  • Profiles of turf-related businesses and facilities
  • Biography of turfgrass researchers and professionals
  • The lawn in popular culture
  • Urban grasslands
  • Industry trends for golf course architecture, golf and sports facilities, lawn and landscape management, turfgrass seed and sod production, and more
  • Environmental, social, historical, regulatory, and political aspects of turf culture
  • Turfgrass as a land use form

**Please take note of how Turfgrass Information Center categorizes their publications:**

Typology of Turfgrass Literature for TGIF Search Purposes (Updated: April 2017)

Publication Type Publication Type Description Primary Audience Example Titles % of TGIF Content

Most important from a research perspective, these items have passed through peer review and revision, with traditional academic rigor

Researchers Crop Science, Plant Disease, HortScience, Agronomy Journal, Journal of ITS 6%
Report Research, though not refereed, and often qualified as preliminary or incomplete Researchers ASA/CSSA/SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, Iowa Turfgrass Research Report, Fungicide & Nematicide Tests, Rutgers Turfgrass Symposium Proceedings 18%
Proceedings Usually from a specific conference, can include individual articles which might show up in any other category, except refereed Practitioners Proceedings of the Michigan Turfgrass Conference, Proceedings of the Florida Turfgrass Conference 6%
Professional These materials are generally produced by Not-for-Profit corporations as communicative media for membership purposes Practitioners USGA Green Section Record, Golf Course Management, Greenkeeper International 27%
Trade Generally commercial magazines, distributed widely within the industry Practitioners SportsTurf, Lawn & Landscape, Landscape Management, Golfdom, Golf Course Industry 23%
Newsletter Newsletters from mostly GCSAA affiliate productions Practitioners Tee to Green, New Hampshire Turf Talk, Hole Notes, The Perfect Lie 9%
Popular Materials intended for general public readership, typically outside the professional arena The Public Golf Journal, newspapers, Golf Digest 4%
Miscellaneous Unclassified Sources which complete the literature as a whole, includes born digital literature such as webcasts and videos Varies Widely No pattern; includes books, theses and dissertations, webpages, booklets, fact sheets, webcasts, and other monographs 7%

Searching Turfgrass Information Center

When searching TGIF, you are provided with several search options. A Basic Search is the simplest way to search for keywords, but select Guided Search if you would like more limiters.

Because Turfgrass Information Center has access to a variety of resources, many of which are NOT full-text articles, search directly under Full-Text Resources if this is what you are looking for. 



You can also perform a Thesaurus Search to find certain terms used to classify records, and search related records. 


Turfgrass Information Center Tutorial

Library Homepage

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter