This study investigated whether pre-treating plants with specific putative signaling components and heat acclimation would induce tolerance of a cool-season grass, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris), to subsequent heat stress and whether thermotolerance induction of those pretreatments was associated with the regulation of antioxidant regenerating enzymes. The treatments included foliar application of salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA), calcium chloride (CaCl2), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC, a precursor of ethylene prior to the exposure of plants to heat stress (35 degrees C) in a growth chamber. Physiological measurements including turf quality, leaf photosynthetic rate, and levels of oxidative damage demonstrated that all treatments increased heat tolerance. The better heat tolerance for pre-treated plants as compared to controls was related to the protection of oxidative damage under heat stress. APX activity increased over the first 2 days and 5 days of heating for ACC and CaCl2 respectively, but for only 12 h for H2O2. SA and ABA pre-treatments had no effects on APX activity earlier, but maintained APX activity at a significantly higher level than in controls after 24 h of heating. SA and ABA pre-treatments had no effects on POX activity. ACC treatment significantly increased POX activity. Pre-treatment with CaCl2, H2O2, and HA reduced POX activity, particularly during the later phase of heating. Plants treated with SA, CaCl2, H2O2 and HA had lower CAT activity than their control plants prior to heating and within 48 h of heat stress. ABA and ACC pre-treatments maintained higher CAT activity than the controls after 48 h of heating. ACC, CaCl2, or HA pre-treatments increased SOD activity only before 5 days of heat stress. SA and ABA pre-treatments had less effect on APX activity earlier under heat stress. These results suggest that specific groups of potential signaling molecules may induce tolerance of creeping bentgrass to heat stress by reducing oxidative damage.