Searching TGIF


The Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database provides bibliographic and descriptive records of all types of works related to turfgrass culture. TGIF was established in 1983 by the United States Golf Association (USGA) Turfgrass Research Committee and the Michigan State University Libraries, and is now maintained by the Turfgrass Information Center, a division of MSU Libraries. The ultimate goal of TGIF is to provide access to all published materials reporting on aspects of turfgrass and its maintenance.

Read more about the 20th anniversary of TGIF! (pdf)

TGIF indexes a wide range of materials including journals, monographs, fact sheets and pamphlets, images, and web documents. Most records in TGIF contain informative abstracts; some contain full text or are linked to web-accessible full text. Records in TGIF are indexed using controlled vocabulary from the Turfgrass Thesaurus, produced by the Turfgrass Information Center, with additional identifiers where needed.

At the present time, online access to the TGIF database is fee-based, dependent on academic, professional organization, or corporate affiliation, with access available to individuals who meet qualifying criteria. Check to see if you have access to TGIF already! One future objective of the TIC Endowment is to make access free to all.

Interfaces and Availability

TGIF is available in a web-searchable engine. Current interfaces include:

I. Search Interfaces:

  1. Basic Search, a fill-in-the-blank, keyword search interface. To use the Basic Search, try to keep it simple: for example, "Poa annua seedhead suppression", "White grub control", "Algae control in ponds", or "Zoysia sprigging".
  2. Guided Search, to walk users through more refined searches, including use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) as well as limiting search results by a number of characteristics.
  3. Power Search (for experienced users), a full functionality, command-based search interface.

II. Browse Interfaces:

  1. Browse Rapid Results, allows users to choose among prepared search sets on topics of current interest, as well as a link to TGIF records of recent turfgrass research.
  2. Browse Full-Text Journals, a listing of links to sites hosting full-text turfgrass journals. Includes publicly-available journals, such as USGA Green Section Record dating back to 1921 and USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online dating back to 2002, and restricted-access journals, such as International Turfgrass Bulletin dating back to 1951 and Journal of Turfgrass and Sports Surface Science dating back to 1929. View the complete list of full-text resources!

Subject Coverage

The Turfgrass Information Center selects materials according to a broad definition of turfgrass. Turfgrass is defined as grass or grass-like ground covers used in golf courses, parks, sports fields, lawns, sod farms, roadsides, institutional grounds, and for other utility, recreational or aesthetic purposes. Subjects covered by TGIF include:

  • Description and biology of turfgrass species, cultivars, pests, weeds, and other related organisms
  • Turf culture methods and techniques
  • Turf care equipment and equipment maintenance
  • Turfgrass water use
  • Golf and sports facility architecture, design, maintenance
  • Turfgrass breeding and improvement
  • Turfgrass seed and sod production, installation, maintenance
  • Turf-related business management, including turf user/turf manager relationships
  • Profiles of turf-related businesses and facilities
  • Biography of turfgrass researchers and professionals
  • The lawn in popular culture
  • Industry trends for golf course architecture, golf and sports facilities, lawn and landscape management, turfgrass seed and sod production, and more
  • Environmental, social, historical, regulatory, and political aspects of turf culture
  • Turfgrass as a land use form


Materials indexed by the Turfgrass Information File include articles from peer reviewed publications, technical reports and conference proceedings, trade and professional publications, local professional newsletters, and popular magazines as well as monographs, theses and dissertations, fact sheets and brochures, software, and web documents. TGIF indexes materials from government, college/university, professional organization, and private publishers. Coverage emphasizes English-language materials, but does include coverage of non-English languages.

An Indexing Comparison of the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) with Four Other Databases and Google Scholar

File Information

Dates: Over 85% of TGIF content was published between 1968 and present; some earlier materials present, including all USGA Green Section publication since 1921.
Retrospective coverage detail.
Update Frequency: Updated on a continuous basis; about 12,000 records are added per year.
File Size: 275,000 records as of December 2016.
Full Text Content: Approximately 61% of TGIF records are linked to web-accessible full-text or include full-text. Of this 61%, roughly 10% have been identified as having access restrictions.