The Japan Turf Show is one of my favorite events of the year. In fact, I like the show so much that I wrote a remote report for the 2012 show that I could not attend. This year I did attend. I taught a seminar about ultradwarf bermudagrass and how it compares to creeping bentgrass as a putting green surface in Japan.
What are my favorite things about this show? For one, it is fun to meet with old friends. I saw Fujihira-san at the show this year. He and I worked together at Habu CC thirteen years ago, where he was the assistant equipment manager; he is now the equipment manager at a new course in Chiba prefecture.
There is also the education, with six seminar rooms offering concurrent sessions on a range of topics. On the afternoon of the first day, a packed crowd of delegates filled seminar room A to listen to a panel discussion about ultradwarf bermudagrass. The presenters were representatives from companies providing Champion, Miniverde, and Tifeagle in Japan.
Although ultradwarf is a subject of interest, most putting greens in Japan are creeping bentgrass. After my presentation, I had a look at some of the creeping bentgrass on display.
Another great thing about the Japan Turf Show are the products one can find only here. For example, there is the Yabuta Co. drop seeder that can precisely spread seed at rates down to 1 g/m2. That is the equivalent of 0.2 lbs/1000 ft2, and is especially useful for precise application of creeping bentgrass seed.
Mr. Yabuta showed me one of his new inventions this year, the Cup Dr., which is available in small or large sizes for rolling the area around the cup after changing the hole location.
Then there are the multitude of tines and blades for cultivation equipment. The 4 mm hollow tine (0.16 inches) is becoming quite popular.
With all these tine sizes available, there is no excuse not to calculate the surface area affected at each time of core aerification, and to try to optimize that in a way that will maximize surface area removal while minimizing disruption to play.
If I were a greenkeeper, I would look to remove 5% or more of the surface area at each time of coring, and to do that with conventional tine spacings it is necessary to use 10 mm or larger tines. The 4 mm tines have their place, but are not really useful for substantial removal of organic matter or incorporation of sand into the soil profile.
With all these fun things to learn about, I'm already looking forward to the 2014 Japan Turf Show.