The Indian Golf Union held their East Zone greenkeeper education programme at Jamshedpur from 9 to 13 December. The delegates, who came from East India and from four golf clubs in Bangladesh, were hosted by the Beldih Club.
Classroom seminars focused on golf course grasses and how they grow, along with how we modify the growth rate and the grass to make a good playing surface for golf.
These classroom sessions were supplemented by on-course sessions where we looked at grass and soil conditions, observed the amount of organic matter, and measured the soil moisture, green speed, green reliability, and green firmness.
In a visit to the Golmuri Golf Course, we also identified hydrophobic conditions and discussed how to prevent and manage those. We also discussed weed management, fertilizer application techniques, and golf course construction methods.
One of the interesting measurements we looked at this week was The R&A's Holing Out Test. In this test, we measure the reliability of the putting green surface from a range of distances, with the ball set at just the right pace and line to go in the hole. Any miss, then, can be attributed to imperfections in the green surface. This gives us an indication of the reliability of the putting surface.
Throughout the week, we discussed the practical aspects of greenkeeping along with the technical ones. One of the main points discussed was how the growth rate of the grass can be modified by adjusting the amount of nitrogen and water that are applied to the grass.
By adjusting the growth rate, one can change the playing surface and one also can control the rate of organic matter accumulation. Many of the maintenance practices such as sand topdressing, verticutting, and core aerification are conducted in order to manage the organic matter. We disucssed how these practices can be adjusted at each golf course to produce good playing surfaces in this part of the world.