Inaugural GIA South Zone conference on scientific approach to turf maintenance

Bengaluru, 15th September: At the first GIA South Zone Conference held at KGA GC, Bangalore on Saturday Sept 12th highly experienced American turf management consultant Charles Graham, CEO & President, On Course Agronomic Consulting along with his colleague Cameron Thompson gave valuable insights to golf course owners & superintendents attending the seminar on the science and art of turf maintenance.

Several golf course representatives from South India were present at the one day event :

• Gayathri Mohan of Skytop Builders Mysore, S.K. Lakshminarayan from JWGC Mysore
• George M. and his team of Zion Hills ( formerly Champion’s Reef) in Bangalore
• Gaurav Syal- Golf Business Consultant from Chennai
• G S Mani of Kodaikanal GC
• Col. Anuj Sidhu of Wellington GC in Conoor
• Suresh Muthu from Prestige Golfshire Bangalore
• The captain and President of KGA Sanjay Nadgouda and Venkat Subramanian respectively
• Neeraj Gaekwad of Baroda GC

Among others. Some of the key delegates were

• Ravi Garyali- MD of Irrigation Products International
• Prakash Alvares of Global Golf
• Vincent Pinto of Pacific Coast Design
• Kalyaan S of Jacobsen
• Hari Natrajan of Tee Time Ventures
• Rishi Narain of RN Golf.

During the conference, Charles Graham went through a detailed scientific presentation on how to enhance the biology and physical characteristics of soil for optimum turf growth plus advanced course maintenance techniques with focus on water conservation and productivity enhancement of golf course manpower. His key message was to take a scientific approach and rely on data from labs rather than go with a subjective approach which is often a knee jerk reaction to random observations about course condition.

Cameron Thompson – an expert in efficient and cost effective turf management and preparation for courses hosting major tournaments was also highly appreciated with his presentation.

At the conclusion the delegates identified key concern areas for the industry going forward. Among the few conclusions reached were:

1. Need for reliable testing labs in India and benchmarking them with international lab results
2. Need to find a solution to sourcing sand which is becoming a huge problem for golf courses – alternative replacements to natural sand and import from neighbouring countries were discussed as solutions

Finally a walk through of the entire delegation down the 10th hole at KGA with comments, observations and recommendations shed practical light on the discussions followed by informal cocktails and heavy snacks where the delegates were able to exchange further views and ideas.

The next regional GIA Conference (West Zone) is scheduled for Monday, October 19th at Oxford G&CC. A notice to this effect will be circulated shortly.