The Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia 2015 conference, held in Pattaya, Thailand, over 7 to 9 March, enjoyed a record attendance of 293 delegates from over 20 different countries across Asia and Australasia. Speakers from the USA, Scotland, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines covered subjects as diverse as weed management and tournament preparation, with first-hand experience provided by superintendents from the region, but throughout the seminar and field day sessions, much of the emphasis was on playing quality and how this can be achieved through best management practices.
Asian Turfgrass Field Day on 8 March at the Siam CC Waterside course, provided on course demonstrations of the principles taught in the seminars. This included an exercise whereby delegates had to estimate playing performance characteristics of a putting surface without access to measuring devices, with their numbers compared to actual objective assessments of volumetric soil moisture content, firmness, reliability and green speed. Although the average estimates for firmness, reliability and speed were close to the actual readings, the spread of delegate numbers reflected the difficulty of judging performance criteria by feel and eye. The average estimate for soil moisture content was well off the mark.
The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) Turfgrass Management Exposition at the Laem Chabang International Country Club, that afternoon provided an opportunity for equipment and product demonstrations and the all-important networking.
The R&A was represented at the event by Dominic Wall, Director – Asia/Pacific, and Steve Isaac, Director – Golf Course Management, who led the Field Day putting green performance session.
For the first time, the main three day event was preceded by a one-day pre-conference seminar which focussed on issues related to the development and construction of golf courses. Utilising ground contours for golfing interest and drainage, best selection of turfgrass, both aligned with tips on reducing costs without reducing quality provided an interesting contrast to the big budget builds often seen in this and other parts of the world.
Details of the 2015 event can be found on the Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia website.