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The Iowa Turfgrass Institute (ITI) was founded April 1, 1980. The original Board of Directors consisted of: John Bartholomew, Doyle Brittain, Del Brockshus, Richard Bruns, Bill Byers, Dr. Nick Christians, A.E. Cott, Dr. Charles Hall, Dave Holstad, Steve Tyler, and Doug Wilson. Steve Tyler acted as the first President.

The ITI was established for the purpose of fostering research, education and dissemination of information on turfgrass so as to benefit all users. A further purpose is to serve as liaison for turfgrass industry groups and Iowa State University (ISU), to support educational conferences, seminars, and field days presented by ISU and aid in financial support of work toward better turf for the benefit of the people of Iowa.

In 1995, ITI created a joint office in Ames in association with the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association (Iowa GCSA)Iowa Professional Lawn Care Association (IPLCA), and the Iowa Sports Field Management Association (ISFMA). In 2011, ITI, in addition to the other allied associations of the ITI, moved its office to Ankeny.  In 2024, the move was made to Golf House Iowa in Des Moines where ITI and its associations share offices with the Iowa Golf Association, IGA Foundation and First Tee - Central Iowa .  

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