I was at Beijing this weekend for the China Golf Show. I don't know the exact attendance, but the three day show was busy each day and the China National Convention Center made an excellent venue. The convention center is right next to the Olympic Park.
This comprehensive golf show included exhibitors of golf maintenance equipment and their distributors in China, golf course architects, management companies, equipment, golf balls, golf course and housing developments, in short, a complete show for the golf enthusiast, whether working in the golf industry or not.
The show was a fun time for me because I was able to see so many friends. It was a bit of a Shanghai Links reunion (I was the golf course superintendent there from 1998 to 2000) on 17 April when so many of us who had worked there in the late 1990's were all at the show. Above you see Liu Guangjin (at left,now a superintendent in Hefei), me, and William King (at right, now with Witgang); we all worked together at Shanghai Links a decade ago. Others formerly at Shanghai Links who I met at the show included David Young, now Director of China Operations for Nelson-Haworth design, Parson Yao (pictured with me below) of Meinong Group and other business interests, and Marcus Fishenden, Director of Operations - Asia for Troon Golf.
With so much new construction in China, there are always many golf course architects exhibiting at the China Golf Show. I talked with a number of architects including Harley Kruse from Greg Norman Design, Peter Thomson and Ross Perrett from their eponymous design firm, and Martin Ebert and Tom Mackenzie from Mackenzie & Ebert. There are a number of excellent new courses being built in China and in other parts of Asia. Choosing the right grasses for each golf course can be quite a challenge and my talks with golf course architects are usually centered around grasses, which work well where, what type of playability can be achieved with different grasses, and what types of maintenance are required for different grasses.
I especially liked the entrance fee for a visitor to the show: 10 RMB (less than USD $2). For me this is the best golf industry trade show in Asia. It is more comprehensive and larger than those held in other countries, covering all aspects of the golf industry, the Asia managers from major industry companies are all in attendance, and it is fun.