The Indian Golf Union held their North Zone greenkeeping seminar at Army Golf Club in Delhi during the first week of December. Delegates from Army Zone golf courses and from clubs in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangladesh attended this weeklong course.
We covered a range of topics during the week, with a full day devoted to soil moisture and irrigation management, along with a look at preventative maintenance and aftercut appearance.
On the 4th day of the course, we visited Delhi GC where we took a hands-on look at many of the topics we had discussed in the classroom session.
One of these topics was the important issue of organic matter management, especially for turf grown on sand rootzones such as golf course putting greens or sandcapped fairways. We were able to demonstrate that roots grow only when there is enough air in the soil.
The amount of organic matter has an effect on how much moisture will be retained in the soil, and those two factors together influence how hard the surface will be. Using a TDR-300 soil moisture meter from Spectrum Technologies and a firmness meter from Precision, we saw a relationship between the amount of moisture in the soil and the firmness of the putting surface.
Then we discussed greenkeeping techniques that can be used to make a surface harder or softer.
On the practice green, we identified an apparently dry area, confirmed that it was dry with a moisture meter and then by a visual inspection, and I demonstrated that water would easily infiltrate in the normal area, but that the dry area was in fact hydrophobic and water was running off.
Other topics discussed this week included nutrient application, salinity and leaching requirement, sustainable golf course management, seashore paspalum, insect and disease management, additional information resources, and much more. Check the program website, www.in.asianturfgrass.com, for updated information and additional reading on these topics.
The South Zone programme was held at Mysore on 18 to 22 November, followed by the West Zone at Ahmedabad. The East Zone programme is forthcoming at Jamshedpur. This IGU programme is supported by The R&A. The aim of this programme is to provide information to greenkeepers and golf clubs that will lead to improved playing conditions on golf courses in India.