I've participated in many turfgrass seminars and conferences in the Philippines, and last week's Golf Course Maintenance Management Conference was the best so far. With 130 attendees, the conference room at The Orchard Golf and Country Club was filled to hear the presentations from Roberto "Boy" Escaño about drainage, from Siam CC's Sittichai Dusadeeporn about tournament preparation, and from Buddy Resurrecion on rules, maintenance, and marking the course. I also spoke about warm-season grasses and their adaptation to the Philippines climate, utilizing this chart to demonstrate some unique aspects of the climate in Southeast Asia that lead to better performance for Zoysia and Axonopus species compared with bermudagrass or seashore paspalum.
The conference was organized by the Philippine Turfgrass Association in cooperation with the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines and the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF). Delegates included golf course superintendents, managers, and owners, along with others who work in the turfgrass and golf industries. The panel discussion covered a range of topics including how to optimize turfgrass performance in shade, what steps can be taken to publicize and promote golf in the Philippines, and how to encourange more people, and especially young people, to play the game.
A cocktail party at the close of the first day's sessions, sponsored by Hunter Industries, gave the conference delegates a chance to discuss many of these turfgrass and golf course management issues in more detail.
The second day of the conference saw field sessions on spraying and sprayer calibration, on aerification and organic matter management in the soil, and a practical seminar on marking the course, with special attention given to water hazards, lateral water hazards, and out-of-bounds. After lunch, the conference closed, with many delegates playing a round of golf on the Palmer Course at The Orchard, and others opting for a tour of the course, the golf course maintenance facility, and some of the innovative water harvesting and cleaning programs implemented at The Orchard.