Steven L. Rackliffe, CGCS
Extension Professor, Turfgrass Science
University of Connecticut
Department of Plant Science
1376 Storrs Road, U-4067
Storrs, CT 06269
Office Location: 105 W.B. Young Building 
Telephone: (860) 486-1944
Fax: (860) 486-0682 


M.S. 1982, The University of Massachusetts
B.S. 1979, The University of Massachusetts
A.S. 1977, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Courses Taught

SPSS 1100/SAPL 110- Turfgrass Management

SPSS 1115/SAPL 115- Turfgrass Management Lab

SPSS 3100/SAPL 210- Golf Course Management

SPSS 3300/SAPL 230- Principles of Turfgrass Irrigation Systems

SPSS 3400/SAPL 240- Professional Development for Turfgrass Industries

SPSS 3720/SAPL 720- Golf Course Design

SPSS 3800/SAPL 800- Turfgrass Pests and Control

Industry Experience

I have been involved in the golf course industry for over 35 years. Prior to joining the University of Connecticut faculty, I was a golf course superintendent for nineteen years at an eighteen hole private golf course. While working in the private sector I have undertaken many projects. Including:

  • involvement with the design and installation of a complete irrigation system for an 18 hole golf course.
  • design and construction of golf tees and bunkers.
  • complete renovation of fairways, tees, and greens.
  • implementation of golf course beautification projects.
  • design and installation of extensive drainage systems.
  • design and construction of golf cart paths.
  • development of equipment depreciation and replacement schedules.
  • implementation of various wildlife projects throughout the golf course.

Teaching Philosophy

The turfgrass profession is a rapidly changing industry. Today’s turfgrass managers must be aware of the following: environmental concerns, labor laws, regulations, advancement of agronomic management techniques, personnel management, budget preparation and budget management, new technologies, new products including, pesticides, fertilizers, cultivars, and grass species.

Actual field experiences coupled with information from the latest industry research will provide students with a balanced, well-rounded education needed to become successful turfgrass managers. 

Students can enhance their education by working on projects through independent studies or by accepting internships. Internships offer students a valuable learning experience and provide the industry with employees who are eager to learn about their chosen professions.       

Awards & Honors

2007 National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit

2006 Donald M. Kinsman Award for Excellence in CANR/RHSA Undergraduate Teaching by Junior Faculty, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut