Indian Golf Union Greenkeeper Education Programme Underway in South Zone
26 September 2012
Twenty greenkeers from India's South Zone have gathered at the hill station of Kodaikanal this week for the second year of the IGU Greenkeeper Education Programme. At last year's programme, held at Eagleton Golf Resort in Bangalore, we studied topics related to Principles of Greenkeeping. This year, at host Kodaikanal Golf Club, we are focusing the weeklong course on Improving Course Conditions.
Kodaikanal is high in the Palni Hills at an elevation of more than 2,100 meters. From the Club, we can look down at the plains of Tamil Nadu far below. At this elevation, the main grasses on the course are kikuyugrass (Pennisetum clandestinum), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), narrowleaf carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis), and blue couch (Digitaria didactyla).
A sign beside the first tee at Kodaikanal Golf Club says "welcome to India's only organic golf course," and in this climate, with these grasses, the organic management approach works well. In addition to the classroom seminars, and the practical sessions on the course, most of the delegates are staying at the Club and have the chance to inspect the course in the evenings after the day's training is finished.
Nets are placed around the greens at the Club, to keep off the wild boars but more especially to keep off the gaur. Every night, herds of Indian gaur come onto the course to graze. This is the largest species of wild cattle and I got a closeup look at this one as he was making his way to the Club.
This is a great venue in a great town, and the topics for this year are sure to be of value to golf courses here. We discuss irrigation, organic matter management, weed control, and turfgrass nutrient requirements and fertilizer. This programme, put on by the Indian Golf Union with support from The R&A, will continue in upcoming weeks at Pune, New Delhi, and Kolkata.
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