College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

New book highlights the science of managing sports fields


CLEMSON, S.C. – Sports fields across the Carolinas are said to be some of the finest in the world and information found in a book written by turfgrass experts from Clemson University and North Carolina State University can help keep these fields in excellent shape.

Best Management Practices for Carolina Sports Fields was written by Clemson professor and turfgrass master Bert McCarty and North Carolina State University professor Grady Miller. It is available from the SportsTurf Managers Association South Carolina. For information, contact Bruce Suddeth at (864) 503-5514 or

In this book, McCarty and Miller provide information related to designing sports fields, construction and installation of sports fields, agronomic practices to maintain the fields, and integrated pest management strategies including safe and effective use of pest control products. Although the name states “Carolina,” the information is applicable worldwide.

“Information included in the book is the most current available and includes traditional and recent agronomic trends necessary to provide desirable, yet safe, playing conditions,” McCarty said. “This information applies to natural grass fields as well as synthetic (turf) fields. It pertains to most fields and budgets, from professional to local parks and recreation fields, including football, soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse and rugby.”

This is the 15th book McCarty has authored or co-authored. He has written three with Miller and said writing books benefits readers and authors alike.

“There is a dire need for this information, especially for those not as familiar with the science of constructing, installing and maintaining sports fields,” McCarty said. “Writing books also forces authors to keep up-to-date with the latest agronomic and technological advances in this field. These types of publications indicate professors associated with Clemson and N.C. State universities are leaders in this field and are great resources for people interested in proper sports field design, installation and maintenance.”

The book was reviewed by leading members of the South Carolina Sports TurfManagers Association and provides the most current information related to proper sports field design, installation and maintenance.


McCarty and Miller commend the South Carolina Sports Turf Managers Association and its members for “the foresight on the critical need for such a publication for providing the funding necessary for its development and printing.”

Feature image caption: Bert McCarty

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