I've just attended an excellent conference at Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan Island, where I gave three presentations about turfgrass science. The full name of the conference is 2010 Summer Conference of Course Committee of Hainan Golf Association and China & US Turf Seminar, or 海南省高尔夫球协会场地管理委员会2010夏季会议暨中美高尔夫草坪交流研讨会.
There are about thirty golf courses at Hainan Island now, with another fifteen or so under construction and scores more in planning. I had a chance to visit a few of the golf courses where I saw lots of seashore paspalum and hybrid bermudagrass, the two main species of turfgrass used on the courses at Hainan. Around the clubhouses and on hotel lawns one may find a fine-textured zoysia -- manilagrass. Many of the courses are using grass grown on the Sino-Green Turf Company's certified nurseries which are located near Haikou, and it was Sino-Green's General Manager, Kevin Feng, along with the Hainan Golf Association's Course Committee, who invited me to speak at the Summer Conference.
The 2010 Summer Conference had 300 registrants and although most of the delegates were from Hainan Island, we also had delegates from Hong Kong, the United States, Indonesia (via Korea), and obviously from all parts of China —Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and more.
I spoke about choosing the type of grass that will work well for your project, how to develop a maintenance plan for grass at Hainan Island, gave an overview of some recent turfgrass research results in Asia, discussed the maintenance of the turf at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the US Open Championship, and answered lots of questions from a very involved audience. Parson Yao from Nanjing handled the translation for my three presentations and did a tremendous job. At these type of seminars, the translator is more valuable than the keynote speaker, actually.
More speakers included Professor Hu Lin from China Agricultural University who spoke about golf development in China and land resources, Lee Sellars from Premierturf Services who gave a talk on successful management of Tifeagle greens, and Dr. Rocky Shi from Syngenta who spoke about diseases of golf course turf at Hainan. The venue was superb. We held the seminars and the dinner at China's largest beachfront five star hotel, the Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay. If you ever have a chance to attend this conference in the future, I am sure it will be well worth your time. I was very impressed with the organization, the venue, and especially the great delegates, and I look forward to participating in future seminars at Hainan.