Scandinavian Turfgrass and Environment Research Foundation, STERF,  is an independent research foundation that supports existing and future R&D efforts and delivers ‘ready-to-use’ research results that benefit the golf and turfgrass sector. STERF was set up in 2006 by the golf federations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland and the Nordic Greenkeepers’ Associations. Research funded by STERF is carried out at universities or research institutes (or equivalent), where most relevant research capacity is concentrated. STERF helps to strengthen research capacity by encouraging and supporting networks and collaborating actively with international key organisations in the field of turfgrass management. STERF also arranges innovation workshops to help identify the golf and turfgrass industry´s future research needs, where researchers and industry representatives contribute to the planning process. STERF receives funding from participating golf associations, complemented by funding from other sources. STERF’s vision is to be the leading international centre of expertise in sustainable golf course management. To achieve this vision, STERF focuses on:

Making the turfgrass industry in the Nordic countries a role model regarding responsibility for sustainable societal development, i.e. in producing managed turfgrass areas of a high standard while at the same time ensuring sustainable use of natural resources and contributing to functioning ecosystems and providing recreation areas that are open to the public and to outdoor activities.

Ensuring that Nordic turfgrass research and development focuses on internationally important areas where concerted research and industrial efforts are required. These include the pressures generated by government demands for greater environmental regulation, the increasing pressure on natural resources (notably water, energy and land), the emerging role of turf management in supporting ecosystem services and enhancing biodiversity, the continued need to promote integrated pest management, and the looming challenges posed by a changing climate and the urgent need to adapt. Activities within the focus areas must contribute to fulfilment of nine of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set in the United Nations Agenda 2030.

Establishing a successful international research and development collaboration, including research facilities and expertise in all five Nordic countries. STERF will continue to initiate inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research and support collaborations in Europe, Canada and USA involving researchers and stakeholders interested in land used for managed turfgrass areas.

Developing and expanding the STERF industrial scientific partner programme by collaborating with leading international companies within the sector to further strengthen the strategy that research and development should be integrated from producer to end-user.

Taking a lead in making research results and new knowledge easily accessible to end-users and providing support to implement changes, a prerequisite for achieving progress in sustainable management of golf courses and other turfgrass areas.


Bruno Hedlund, STERF, Chairman
Trygve S. Aamlid, NIBIO, vice-Chairman

Jari Koivusalo, Finnish Golf Union
Torben Kastrup Petersen, Danish Golf Union
Pål Melbye, Norwegian Golf Federation

Einar Gestur Jónasson, Golf Union of Iceland

Gunnar Håkansson, Swedish Golf Federation
Doug Soldat, University of Wisconsin
Thomas Pihl, Danish Greenkeeper Association
Maria Strandberg, STERF, Director


Advisory committee members

Maria Strandberg, STERF Director (Chair)

Karin Normann, Turf House (Coordinator for golf course consultants/agronomists employed by the Nordic golf federations and for Scandinavian greenkeeper associations)

Nilla Nilsdotter-Linde, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU (Coordinator for representatives of universities/research institutes)

Bruce Clarke, Professor Emeritus, Turfgrass Pathology, Rutgers University (independent international expert)  


Advisory committee sub-group members

Consultants and practitioners

Karin Normann, Coordinator, Turf House, Denmark

Thomas Jepsen, Danish Golf Union

Håkan Blusi, Swedish Golf Federation

Mads Thers, Norwegian Golf Federation

Saila Innanen, Finnish Golf Association

Hólmar Freyr Christiansson, Golf Union of Iceland

Martin Nilsson, Danish Greenkeeper Association

Stefan Ljungdahl, Swedish Greenkeeper Association

Agne Strøm, Norwegian Greenkeeper Association

Janne Lehto, , Finnish Greenkeeper Association

Steindór Ragnarsson, Icelandic Greenkeeper Association



Nilla Nilsdotter-Linde, Coordinator, SLU, Sweden
Birte Boelt, Århus University, Denmark

Tom Young, The Environment Partnership, UK

Ann Norderhaug, Researcher, Norway

Markku Niskanen, Researcher, LUKE, Finland

Bruce Clarke, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, USA