‘Doctor of Green Speed’ to Deliver Insightful Prognosis

The secrets of putting surface maintenance is the topic of discussion for Thomas Nikolai. Picture by Chris Keane/USGA.

Singapore: Thomas Nikolai, world renowned as the ‘Doctor of Green Speed’, will share the secrets of putting surface maintenance in the next edition of the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) webinar Sustainability Series.

Senior Turfgrass Academic Specialist, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University, Nikolai’s session on The A, B, Cs of Putting Green Maintenance will take place on Thursday, October 22 (10 am Singapore time).

Sponsored by The Toro Company, Syngenta and True-Surface, the webinar intertwines agronomics, budgeting, and customer satisfaction. There will be time for discussion and questions from participants

Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The participation of Thomas Nikolai continues our tradition of securing globally respected presenters who are experts in their chosen fields.

“Customer satisfaction is the base of putting green maintenance and this presentation covers a proven method to find any golf course’s ideal green speed that maximises customer satisfaction, turfgrass health, and economic saving.

“This session will also define the law of diminishing returns and how utilising the law of diminishing returns on cultural and mechanical practices result in sound agronomic practices and economic savings while leading to customer satisfaction. Cultural and mechanical practices covered include irrigation, mowing, brushing, and rolling.”

Thomas Nikolai.

Earning the moniker as ‘Doctor of Green Speed’ due to numerous studies he performed that investigated putting green cultural and mechanical practices, Nikolai is the author of the book The Superintendents Guide to Putting Green Speed and has given hundreds of turfgrass management presentations on five continents across 30 countries.

Nikolai spent 10 years working on golf courses prior to entering the world of turfgrass research in 1989. He earned a PhD at Michigan State University in 2002 and discovered that lightweight rolling decreases dollar spot and other turfgrass pests as well as initiating mowing/rolling frequency research that maintains consistent green speeds, reduces turfgrass stress, and leads to economic saving.

He also discovered that mulching deciduous leafs into turfgrass canopies results in fewer broad leaf weeds and he initiated alternative spike research which paved the way for the demise of the metal spike.

In 2010, he initiated a study to investigate the social, economic, and environmental impact of turfgrass on an urban society by mowing and fertilising around abandoned homes, lots, and parks in Flint, Michigan.

Veteran Royal Selangor Golf Club Course Superintendent Jack Cheong teed-off the second AGIF Sustainable Series in early October, addressing the topic: Attaining the Suitable Green Speed for Your Facility, Your Members and Guests. The session was sponsored by The Toro Company

Last week, adopting an innovative budgeting philosophy was the theme of Hazeltine National Golf Club General Manager Eric Rule’s presentation.

Nickels and Dimes was the title of the topic that was addressed by Rule, who is known for mentoring and tutoring staff during an illustrious career in club management.

The first batch of four webinars in the AGIF Sustainability Series featured presentations from Dr Larry Ross, Professor Emeritus, The Barnett School of Business & Free Enterprise, Florida Southern College; Dr Roch Gaussoin, PhD, Professor and Extension Co-ordinator, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Michael Braidwood, General Manager at Qatar’s Education City Golf Club; and Roger Goettsch, CGCS, Director of Golf Course Operations at California’s Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

Lynge said: “Targeted at both turf and club management professionals, our webinars feature respected speakers and presenters from around the world, all of whom are experts in their chosen fields.”

In addition to the exchange of information, education/association credits can be gained in Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), PGA of America, PGA of Great Britain and Ireland and PGA of Australia. Attendance will be tracked and a certificate of attendance will be issued, pending attendance for a minimum of one hour on the webinar.

For further details and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gwen Ng, the AGIF’s Event and Membership Manager, at [email protected]  

Schedule of Events

Turf Management Series  
October 22 (Thursday): 10 am to 11:30 am (Singapore time)
Topic: The A, B, Cs of Putting Green Maintenance
Presenter: Thomas Nikolai, Senior Turfgrass Academic Specialist, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uiX05OkkRRmBMAD-N-C2kg

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