April 4th and 5th 2016 saw 80 delegates from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi attend an R&A greenkeeping workshop, supported by the Zimbabwe Golf Association, which provided theory sessions in course management aligned with practical demonstrations of machinery. Hosted at the Royal Harare Golf Club, greenkeepers, mechanics and club officials benefitted from the expertise provided by The R&A, the African Turf Academy and machinery suppliers Dennis Sisis, Ransomes Jacobsen and Redexim.
The workshop was designed to provide key messages with respect to the maintenance practices undertaken with machinery donated to clubs in this part of Africa through the R&A Greenkeeping Machinery Programme.
Steve Isaac, Director – Golf Course Management, at The R&A and Derek Daly, Director of Education at the African Turf Academy, led the theory sessions which covered essential basics on growing and managing grass. This related practices such as mowing, scarification and aeration to the machinery provided through The R&A’s donation programme which, since its inception in 2004, has helped 180 clubs in 40 countries. This was backed up by demonstrations of machinery by Nigel Church and John Quinton from Ransomes Jacobsen, Guy Stewart and Andy Walker from Dennis Sisis, and Hessel Rozema from Redexim.This was the very first greenkeeper educational event that the vast majority of the delegates had ever attended and it was extremely well received. Mafingei Nyamwanza, President of the Zimbabwe Golf Association spoke on behalf of everyone who attended the event in saying, “Out thanks to The R&A for hosting this workshop. Greenkeepers need to go back to their clubs and implement what they have learned, and to care for their machinery so that we can see better playing surfaces on Zimbabwean courses. This will encourage more people to take up golf and contribute towards a healthier future for the sport in Zimbabwe.”
The workshop concluded with the presentation of donated equipment to Chinhoyi Country Club, Harry Allen Golf Club, Hillside Sports Club, Masvingo Golf Club, The Country Club and Warren Hills Golf Club. A pedestrian scarifier, pedestrian aerator and a Verti-drain were also donated to the Zimbabwe Golf Association for use by clubs across the country.