Central is one of the New Zealand’s favourite playgrounds, and the place to be for those passionate about sports and the outdoors. Here, you can gain a qualification in Sports Turf Management in Central Otago’s timeless landscape.

Central offers New Zealand’s only full-time sports turf programme, where you’ll learn to manage and maintain golf courses, bowling greens, cricket wickets, rugby, soccer and hockey fields – as well as artificial turf.

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive programme that blends theoretical knowledge with practical ‘hands-on’ experience. Study on-campus, then move into your internship, which means you can earn while you learn at some of New Zealand and Australia’s top golf and stadium venues.

Central’s Sports Turf students are well respected and are in high demand in the industry, with most students being offered full-time positions during their internships.

Level 4 Sports Turf

  • Central Otago
  • 18 months full-time
  • Level 4
  • Starts February
  • Apply until start date

This is the only full-time sports turf programme on offer in New Zealand and you will benefit from our close proximity to world-class sporting venues. Upon successful completion, you will graduate with a New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) (Sports Turf).

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Turf Manager, New Zealand Cricket

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“They all come here with great attitudes and a willingness to learn and generally they are really good at fitting into a team environment.”

Golf Course Superintendent, Millbrook Resort

Living the dream!

Central Sports Turf Management student Bailee Meadows has a passion for cricket and for the science behind creating the perfect wicket. 

While studying at Central, both interests came together for him - “I got to create my own cricket wicket!”

A Ngapuhi “East Coast boy born and bred”, Bailee left school after Year 12 to begin the Sports Turf Management programme. He says "the Cromwell community welcomed me and made me feel very comfortable.” A keen sportsman, he was pleased to meet other like-minded students. And he says the tutors “made the study easier, more enjoyable, and were also extremely helpful."

Bailee is completing an internship at Eden Park in Auckland and has ambitions to travel and work in international stadiums.

“I have big ideas and even bigger dreams, and have no question that Central’s programme has provided me with the skills needed for a successful journey.”

One of the best jobs in the world

Central Sports Turf graduate Ben Payne reckons he has one of the best jobs in the world and highly recommends the Sports Turf programme at Central Campus to anyone who has a passion for sports and is thinking of a new career.

Ben is a sport and outdoors nut, he’s a big NZ Warriors fan, loves his cricket and discovered a passion for golf in his late teens.  After missing an apprenticeship at his local rugby ground, he realized that sports turf was what he really wanted to do so he signed up for the programme and hasn’t looked back.

“The Sports Turf programme at Central gives you everything you need to succeed.  The tutors are fantastic and the small group is perfect for getting the most out of the course.  The facilities too, are fantastic as is the balance of 50/50 practical and theory.  It gives you everything you need to succeed in the industry.”

Ben has made it work for him and his young family, being offered a position following a study tour to Melbourne, he now manages over a dozen staff at the prestigious Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club, which is currently undergoing a full reconstruction, a process he is thrilled to be an integral part of. Photo:Ben(R) and Hamish Buckingham