Singapore: The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) has pledged to ramp up its backing for the region’s growing band of course superintendents.
In the wake of the outstanding turnout at last month’s Golf Course Management Conference in Manila and Turfgrass Management Education Seminar in Hanoi, AGIF officials said they are committed to extending their support for superintendents.
The two-day gathering at The Orchard Golf and Country Club in Dasmarinas City attracted more than 125 superintendents, course maintenance managers, golf directors and club managers.
The conference was organised by the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines in co-operation with the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The response we received to these two latest educational events surpassed our expectations. Our thanks and appreciation go to Conrad Benitez [President of The Orchard and Vice-President of the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines and the NGAP] and his team at The Orchard.
“Without their generous support and the backing of all of our sponsors it would not be possible to stage events such as these.
“As well as a host of high-calibre international speakers, it was encouraging that we also welcomed several local presenters. That is a trend we wish to see continue.”
At The Orchard, the programme teed-off with welcome remarks from Benitez. Following an introduction from the AGIF, morning presentations were made by Cheryll Patulot, Auditor of SGS Philippines on Environmental Compliance Requirements of Golf Courses, and Dr Shoumo Mitra, Head Marketing of Ornamentals, Turf and Landscape, Lawn & Garden APAC at Syngenta Asia Pacific on Art of Application of Chemicals to Optimise Efficacy and Performance.
Nicer Landas, President of Aquaterra Integrated Solutions, began the afternoon session on the topic of Golf Course Drains and Bunker Solutions before Grigg Bros’ International Business Director Bruce Williams, a Past President of the GCSAA, took to the stage to discuss Communicating Maintenance Programmes with Members.
The opening day concluded with Rey Patricio, Golf Superintendent at Luisita Golf, addressing Empowerment: Proactive Maintenance of Golf Course with Limited Budget followed by an open forum.
The morning of day two started with a joint-presentation on Irrigation Efficiency and Auditing by Toro’s Andrew Price (Sales Manager, SEA and NZ) and Rain Bird’s David Paterson (Area Manager – SEA). Thereafter all delegates headed to the field demonstrations with sponsors showcasing their latest products to attendees.
A spokesperson for the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines said: “What has been accomplished here during the conference I am sure will continue to improve golf course management and operations in our country.”
In the Philippines, Jacobsen, Shibaura and Toro were Gold Sponsors and Bernhard, Garia, Rain Bird and Syngenta were Silver Sponsors.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam event at Van Tri Golf Club was attended by almost 100 course superintendents and officials.
Lynge noted: “We’d previously staged events in Ho Chih Minh City and Danang, but this was the first time we’ve had an event in the Hanoi area and we were especially pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm of the attendees.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to General Director John Kim and his colleagues at Van Tri for their hosting the event.”
Bruce Williams set the ball rolling and was followed by a two-part talk on Irrigation Efficiency and Maintenance with presenters Chris Gray, Area Manager – Southeast Asia, Golf, Rain Bird, and Andrew Price.
The focus then turned to turfgrass and machinery with Brad Burgess, Managing Director, Sports Turf Solutions, talking about Qualities and Benefits of Zoysia Grass and Michael He, Bernhard’s China National Sales Manager arguing for Better Grass Less Money.
The afternoon was set aside for the Field Day with equipment displays and demonstrations taking place at Van Tri’s Driving Range.
Day two commenced with Williams discussing Daily and Tournament Course Set Up and Rules followed by Chris Chase, Sales & Technical Manager for Witgang Far East, talking on the topic of Grass Selection Criteria.
The Importance of Equipment Maintenance was addressed by Garry Price, Toro’s Technical Product Manager – Commercial Equipment, before Consulting Agronomist Gavin Reid focused on Greens Renovation – Case Study – Hanoi Vietnam 2015.
The final presentation came from Foley United Sales Manager Greg Turner, entitled Optimum Reel Maintenance.
In Vietnam, Jacobsen and Toro were Gold Sponsors while Foley United, Rain Bird and Witgang were Silver Sponsors.
As a mainstay of AGIF education events, the equipment displays and hands-on demonstrations of individual products at both gatherings proved popular.
Rain Bird’s Gray said: “The practical demonstrations gave all sponsors the chance to showcase their products and talk directly to delegates. That’s to the benefit of everyone.”
Lynge said: “The over-riding objective of the AGIF in collaborating with the respective local golf associations is to bring about these type of events for the benefit of the Asian golf industry.
“The Federation will continue to invest in gatherings such as this as they have such a positive impact on the industry as a whole.”
Further AGIF educational events this year are being planned in Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.