STRI has been awarded accredited laboratory status for the testing of rootzone materials specified by the USGA in the construction of putting greens. The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has certified STRI’s soil laboratory.
It is the first laboratory in England and only the second in Europe to gain accreditation and a place on the USGA’s approved list of physical soil testing laboratories, which recommends laboratories carrying out testing under the high levels of quality control required by A2LA.
STRI has been involved in research and the testing of rootzones and construction materials for golf courses since 1929. In 2001 BRTMA (the British Rootzone and Top Dressing Manufacturers Association) appointed STRI as their official testing house to improve standards within the industry.
STRI’s association with the USGA also has a long history. The work of the USGA Green Section, formed in 1920, was influential on the early turfgrass research programmes carried out at STRI in the 1930‘s.
Dr Stephen Baker, who is Head of Soils and Sports Surface Science at STRI, was a member of the USGA advisory committee that drew up the current Recommendations for a Method of Putting Green Construction. These recommendations have been recently revised and details of the changes, which are all intended to help make the construction of USGA greens less expensive and less complicated, can be found on the USGA website, use the links page at www.stri.co.uk