Friday, June 25, 2021

Well the Superintendents championship has been run and done and the winner was Jordan Sherratt who has recently become a Superintendent after plying his trade as a tour pro with some appearances on the Korn Ferry tour on his resume.  Jordan shot a 2 under 72 in difficult conditions with strong winds buffeting the courses.  It was a relief to get the day out of the way and very nice to hear the course complimented by my peers with numerous players saying the greens were ''pure'' which is about the best compliment you can receive for greens. Lots of thanks to Nicole James for the organisation of the day which went off without a hitch.

We then moved to Broadbeach for the annual conference and trade show which was attended by nearly 400 delegates.  The Victorian Covid situation meant that nearly sixty couldn't make it from that State which was a shame.  The conference subject matter is not always restricted to agronomy and this years featured a day dedicated to mental health and team building / leadership.  This first day included a presentation by Kurt Fearnley to round the day off.  You could have heard a pin drop as he had the audience engrossed with his stories of overcoming the odds and the importance of building a strong team and leading by example.  The three main people in his team were together for twenty five years through his career which is an amazing feat.  

Inspiring Kurt Fearnley.

We then moved into the agronomy stuff and given that most presentations only go for forty minutes it's hard to have too much detail in them but the one for me was a series of presentaions on disease control.  There is some new research data and trial results on a disease that is almost unique to Australia and one that we have had here at Cool Tweed.  Some new and different control strategies have been discovered and we will be following some of the new methods very closely.

The trade show had over sixty companies exhibiting such things as batteries, fertilisers, fumigants, chemicals, golf course accessories, sprayers, pumps and mowers plus a host of others.  The biggest worry going forward  is the difficulty in getting product freighted into Australia with waits of six months commonplace.  A shortage of steel is also affecting production in the USA. 

A couple of other CTH staff attended some of the sessions and mechanic Craig was there for the week attending the dedicated mechanics stream.  This was only a small group but the networking and contacts he has made will help no end when a problem arises that we haven't seen before.    They had sessions on small engine maintenance, electric / hybrid mowers, sprayers and a number of site visits to other club's workshops.

You don't expect to change the world as a result of attending conferences but if you can glean something that will help your facility it will have been 100% worthwhile and we certainly achieved that this week.  My take home was the new disease control strategies and Craig's was trouble shooting carburettors. Thanks to Assistant Simon and the crew who had the courses in pristine condition on my return on Friday.

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