Gray Joins R&A Agronomy Team at The Open

Chris Gray joined The R&A’s Championship Agronomy team at Royal Liverpool Golf Club this week.

Liverpool, England: Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) President Chris Gray joined The R&A’s Championship Agronomy team at this week’s 151st Open Championship.

“Each year, The Open is one of the highlights on the international golfing calendar and it’s always a pleasure to be in attendance,” said Singapore-based Gray, Head of Sustainable Golf & Agronomy – Asia-Pacific, The R&A.

“Years of work and planning by the Championship team at The R&A goes into preparing the course for The Open and the fruits of all those labours are there for all to see when the championship comes around,” he added.

The R&A offers a Sustainable Agronomy Service which provides golf facilities with world-class agronomy advice and tailored course management solutions rooted in sustainability best practice.

After a successful launch in Great Britain and Ireland in 2022 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2021, the service was expanded to Europe this year. 

During his pre-event press conference, Martin Slumbers, The R&A’s Chief Executive, was asked how the Royal Liverpool Golf Club course had changed in recent weeks due to heavy rain.

He said: “Four weeks ago, the whole of the UK was under a very strong heat wave. The club here were being extremely cautious with our agronomists about how much water we were putting on the course to hold back, to make sure we had enough for this week if that heat wave had continued. We have very strict limits on how much water we’re allowed to use on a golf course.

“The rain has changed the golf course completely. When I was looking at it five, six weeks ago, I was expecting it to be more like 2006, and I was excited about that. But every time I get excited about a nice brown golf course, Mother Nature comes in.

“The logo that’s on the grandstands is Forged by Nature, and that’s what it is. I think one of the beauties of The Open Championship is we don’t fight nature. We just let nature happen. It’s rained and it’s now green.

“But on the other side of it, the rough has come up. When it was brown the rough had burnt out and it was a different golf course. It was going to be a different golf course. We just let it evolve.”

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