Last week, 197 delegates representing 20 countries gathered at Pattaya, Thailand, for the 4th Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia conference. The topics included a review of research in Asia over the past six years, management and prevention of fungal diseases that infect turfgrass in Asia, wetting agents, management of soil moisture, evaluating light conditions, playability of golf course turf, fairway conversion to seashore paspalum using a simple and non-disruptive technique, and how the courses are maintained at multiple award-winning Siam Country Club.
At the field day, we visited Phoenix Country Club, Siam Country Club, and Laem Chabang International Golf and Country Club, were joined by golf professional Virada Nirapathpongporn who discussed golf course maintenance and playability, had equipment demonstrations from the Asian Golf Industry Federation, saw some really cool soil moisture meters and light meters from Spectrum Technologies, and had a lively party hosted by the Thai GCSA in the evening.
The reviews for this year's conference have been of one voice: "such an eye-opening and impressive program," "a great experience," "very informative for issues facing turf managers on a daily and weekly basis," "of great value to us," "an excellent and very enjoyable conference."
Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia is organized by the Thai GCSA and ATC on behalf of the Thailand Golf Association. It is supported by The R&A and in 2011 and 2012 has also received support from AGIF. Thanks to all who participated in this conference in 2012, and we look forward to seeing you next year at Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia 2013.
Last week's Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia 2011 conference was a resounding success. Philip Russell from The R&A opened the conference with a presentation to the delegation of 207 people representing nineteen countries. Click here for a photo gallery of images from this three day conference at Pattaya.
Dr. Jim Brosnan from the University of Tennessee spoke about preventing and controlling weeds, Dr. Don Loch from University of Queensland and GeneGro Pty Ltd spoke about the use and adaptation of various grasses along with an update on mite research, Khun Suwit Suansan and Khun Sittachai Dusadeeporn from the Thai GCSA explained how they produce tournament quality bermudagrass greens in Thailand, and Dr. Micah Woods from Asian Turfgrass Center discussed how the collection and analysis of data from the golf course can be used to optimize playing condtions. Presentations and handouts from the conference are available at the Downloads 2011 page of this website.
It wasn't all classroom seminars, however, as the 5th annual Asian Turfgrass Field Day was held at Siam CC, Bangpra GC, Khaw Kheow CC, and Laem Chabang CC. We looked at test plots of various herbicides that can control bermudagrass or seashore paspalum, discussed why certain grasses and weeds thrive in different areas, found that algae was proliferating on a putting green in exactly the areas where a soil moisture meter showed the water content of the soil to be high, looked at the use of a salinity meter to measure the invisible salts in water, and looked at the removal of organic matter through core aerification and effective spraying by choosing the optimum nozzle sizes.
The Thai GCSA dinner party at Laem Chabang CC after the field day was good fun. The theme this year was tropical or Hawaiian attire and there was an outdoor seafood grill along with a traditional Thai dance show.
Kenne James (from Toro) and David Patterson (from RainBird) gave a presentation on optimized irrigation of golf course turf on behalf of AGIF and during the field seminar demonstrated the procedure for measuring the distribution uniformity (DU) during an irrigation audit. I found this session especially helpful. Understanding how much water is applied and where it is applied and how one's irrigation system is operating in the field is critical to the maintenance of high-quality playing surfaces. James and Patterson provided a number of helpful tips to ensure that an irrigation system will operate at its optimal level of efficiency.
Geary and I spoke during the practical session about optimizing the rooting system of turfgrass, techniques on organic matter control for putting green turf, and the importance of organic matter management in general, and on problem-solving techniques, drainage, and a host of other topics as we had a look round the newly-renovated Bunga Raya course at Saujana. During the classroom session, I gave seminars on grass selection for golf courses in SE Asia, irrigation water quality, and golf course renovation with more discussion of grass choices. It was an excellent program at a superb venue with an engaged and inquisitive audience.
I have just been at Java for the Turf Seminar XI of the Asosiasi Superintendent Padang Golf Indonesia (ASPGI). This seminar was supported by the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) and featured classroom and practical field seminars by industry experts. Emeralda Golf Club was the venue for Turf Seminar XI and there were nearly 100 golf course superintendents in attendance at this educational program.
I spoke about managing the rootzone to optimize playing conditions; that presentation includes a lot of discussion about pore space, soil organic matter and its management, and how to optimize root development. That seminar was complemented by an aerification demonstration conducted by Steve Wilson of Bernhard & Co. in which he demonstrated venting tines and hollow tines and discussed with the seminar delegates the effective use of aerification equipment.
Matee Suntisawasdi from Pro-Crop T&O in Thailand gave presentations about optimizing weed control on golf courses at Indonesia, how to manage diseases on golf course turf, and how to optimize insect control. Brad Burgess from Sports Turf Solutions spoke about the necessary steps for sprayer calibration and then demonstrated the calibration process and its importance during a field seminar. Other presenters at this two day seminar included Peter Morison from Jacobsen with a discussion of maintenance equipment, Bob Moore from JMP Golf Design Group who spoke about golf course renovation, and Dr. Iswandi Anas from IPB who talked about soil analysis.
A few people told me they were surprised at the extensive questions that were asked as we went through the scheduled seminars and the formal discussion sessions. I wasn't surprised though, because we always get some great discussions and information sharing when we are able to bring together golf course superintendents and expert speakers for an educational program. Have a look at the slideshow below to see more photos from Turf Seminar XI at Indonesia.
A three-day seminar was held in March 2009 at Pattaya and Ayuddhaya on Sustainable Turfgrass Management for Southeast Asia. This event was organized by the Thailand Golf Course Superintendents Association (Thai GCSA) and Asian Turfgrass Center (ATC) on behalf of the Thailand Golf Association, with support from The R&A. More than 100 seminar delegates attended from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Brunei, India, Qatar, Australia, and the United States.
The Thai GCSA (committee members in green shirts) did a tremendous job in the planning and running of these seminars; not only was this a great educational event, but it was a lot of fun for all delegates and seminar speakers as well.
The conference dinner on 9 March was held poolside at the Amari Orchid Hotel in Pattaya. The reception with the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand provided a great opportunity for us to discuss sustainable turfgrass management and the successful management of golf course turfgrass in Southeast Asia.