November 2011 will see a pioneering new programme commence in India for the education of golf course management professionals. The R&A is working closely with the Indian Golf Union (IGU) – the affiliated national governing body for the game in India – to deliver one of the first ever education programmes for greenkeepers in the country.
The programme will take the form of week-long events, covering each of the four Zones of the country, with the syllabus to be delivered by Dr Micah Woods, Chief Scientist of the Asian Turfgrass Center. Woods will be supported by the Asian Golf Industry Federation, who will provide practical sessions on machinery set up and operation.
“The R&A is committed to furthering the sustainable management and development of golf facilities around the globe” explained Duncan Weir, The R&A’s Director of Golf Development. “India has a rich golfing heritage and with the rate of new course developments in the country set to continue, The R&A is committed to providing support to the greenkeeping profession. Progressing the understanding of modern approaches and techniques in environmentally sensitive course management is a priority education objective for The R&A.”
Mr Manjit Singh, The President at the Indian Golf Union commented, “We at the IGU are grateful to The R&A for helping us organise the first ever Greenkeepers Training Programme in India to be delivered by Dr Micah Woods. The programme will help improve the standard of courses in India and the region and eventually benefit golf."
The course content will include turfgrass biology, playing surface preparation, integrated turf management and machinery operation and maintenance. Each topic will be supplemented by case study examples, demonstrating the application of theory into successful practice. “The syllabus for this programme has been designed to give course management professionals all the information they require to ensure that they are maintaining their courses in the most appropriate and effective manner for their particular locality,” remarked Dr Micah Woods of the Asian Turfgrass Center.
Throughout the duration of the four events, over 120 delegates are expected to attend the programmes which are to be hosted at:
During the first week in Calcutta, Woods reported that “I'm excited to be teaching about grass and greenkeeping for the Indian Golf Union. India has such variety in climate, from tropical forests to desert, flat land by the sea to some of the world's highest mountains. So I have been teaching about how grass grows, how the weather affects grass, and then discussing how we can use different greenkeeping practices to modify the growing environment in such a way that we create the desired playing surfaces for golf. Mowing is the most important maintenance practice, at least here on the subcontinent where most of the golf courses are in areas that experience a monsoon climate. When we combine lots of soil moisture with high temperatures, grass grows a lot, and getting all that grass mowed is integral to producing good playing conditions. We are all learning and I'm looking forward to next week in Delhi and the other events in the West and South Zones later this month.”