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CDGA Turfgrass Program

The Chicago District Golf Association Turfgrass Program was launched in 1985 with the hiring of Dr. Randy Kane. This position was created in an effort to provide CDGA member clubs a rapid onsite diagnostic service to help promote healthier turfgrass that improve playing conditions. Over time, this program evolved to include an applied research component in collaboration with other industry professionals across the Midwest. Dr. Kane was followed in this pursuit by Drs. Derek Settle (2006-2012), Ed Nangle (2013-2016), Jesse Benelli (2017-18) and Bobby Kerr (2019-21). Currently, Dr. Settle is in his second stint leading the CDGA Turfgrass Program.

The foundation of the Turfgrass Program is to provide research-based solutions to 400 member clubs and uses three vehicles to reach turfgrass professionals: education, research, and diagnostics. When the Association moved into the Midwest Golf House in 2001, numerous programs and services, including the Turfgrass Program, were expanded to benefit the membership. The newly constructed Sunshine Course located at Midwest Golf House was designed to facilitate turfgrass research and to provide a fun golfing experience to various youth organizations. This research site allows for collaborative research projects with other industry and academic professionals across the Midwest.

CDGA Turfgrass Program Pillars

Educational Programs
Numerous educational opportunities exist for CDGA member clubs. Research findings are disseminated to member clubs through various in-person and online avenues. In-person opportunities include educational meetings at various events including numerous GCSAA chapter meetings across the Midwest. Additionally, the CDGA hosts educational opportunities each year at Midwest Golf House. Online education includes the use of weekly scouting reports, research reports, social media and other digital platforms.

The CDGA Turfgrass Program conducts numerous research projects to provide up-to-date solutions to member organizations. Research projects includes turfgrass disease management, turfgrass weed control, turfgrass variety evaluations, and much more. Please contact Dr. Settle via email or by phone at (630) 685-2307 to collaborate on future research opportunities.


Diagnostic Services
The CDGA Turfgrass Program offers a diagnostic service for golf course superintendents at member clubs. Diagnostic visits continue to be the foundation of the program. To receive diagnostic assistance, contact Dr. Settle via email or by phone at (630) 685-2307.

Educational Resources

Scouting Reports

Produced weekly by Dr. Derek Settle and Shehbaz Singh during the golf season, the CDGA Turfgrass Scouting Report features industry-specific content on the preceding week's turf conditions. Content includes pictures, weather data and research to illustrate what is currently happening and/or what is predicted to happen in the Midwest. CLICK HERE to subscribe to have the Scouting Reports delivered to your email inbox or click the button below for an archive of past editions.

Read Scouting Reports

Magazine Articles

In select issues of Chicago District Golfer magazine, CDGA Green Committee members write pieces on turfgrass topics that impact every golfer. Reading these articles will give golfers a better understanding of the challenges faced by superintendents and grounds crews. Articles include best practices on the golf course, recent environmental impacts and more.

Read Magazine Articles

CDGA Green Committee Research

Each year, research is conducted around the Chicago District by Dr. Derek Settle and Shehbaz Singh. In 2023, Singh presented two divot research posters at the annual Crop Science meeting. The CDGA Green Committee provided the idea for the research, with the goal being to find the best way to achieve speedy recovery on tee boxes.

Read Research Reports
Senior Director of Turfgrass Programs

Senior Director of Turfgrass Programs

Dr. Derek Settle

Dr. Settle returned to the Chicago District Golf Association in June 2021. The Senior Director of Turfgrass Programs is responsible for overseeing three core functions that greatly benefit Chicago-area golf course superintendents and staff: Diagnostics, Research and Education. These services function similarly to that of a university professor who is focused on turfgrass research and extension. Services are available to all CDGA member organizations found principally in Illinois, but also in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The CDGA continues to grow and current membership numbers about 400. Previously, Derek was in the same position at the CDGA from 2006-2012 having followed Dr. Randy Kane. The CDGA, in conjunction with the University of Illinois, initiated this nationally recognized position and program in 1985.

Contact Information

Phone (O): 630-685-2307
Twitter: @TurfResearch


2005 | Post Doc Plant Pathology, Dr. Lee Burpee & Dr. Paul Raymer | University of Georgia
2004 | PhD Nematology, Mr. Tim Todd & Dr. Ned Tisserat | Kansas State University
2000 | MS Plant Pathology, Dr. Jack Fry & Dr. Ned Tisserat | Kansas State University
1997 | BS Landscape Design | Kansas State University


2021-Current | Senior Director of Turfgrass Programs | CDGA, Lemont, IL
2019-Current | Turfdom Root Diagnostics LLC | Independent Nematology Lab | Bermudagrass Greens
2019 | Pinetree Country Club, Kennesaw, GA
2018-19 | Sales III & Technical Support | JR Simplot Company, Atlanta, GA
2013-18 | Technical Services/Green Solutions Team | Bayer ES, Fernandina Beach, FL
2006-12 | Director Turfgrass Programs | CDGA, Lemont, IL
1996-2004 | Manhattan Country Club, Manhattan, KS
1995-2004 | Settle & Son Lawn & Landscape Services, Manhattan, KS


Manager of Turfgrass Research

Shehbaz Singh

Contact Information

Phone (O): 630-685-2305
Twitter: @ShehbazSandhu66


2021 | M.S. Horticulture | Oklahoma State University, USA
2018 | B.S. Agriculture| Punjab Agricultural University, India


Jan. 2022 - Present | Manager of Turfgrass Research | CDGA, Lemont, IL
June 2021 - Dec. 2021 | Assistant | North Shore Country Club, Glenview, IL
May 2019 – May 2021 | Graduate Research Assistant | Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
June 2018 – Aug. 2018 | Internship | Dhaliwal Turfs, Ludhiana, India
Nov. 2017 – May 2018 | Undergraduate Research Assistant, PAU, India

Manager of Turfgrass Research

Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439