Continue to Learn Conference 2022 - Monday

Main Auditorium & Queens Suite - Harrogate Convention Centre
9:00AM - 5:00PM, 24 Jan 2022

Reimagining Princes

This session will discuss the evolution of Princes Golf Club in Kent, from hosting the 1932 British Open and the devastation of the course when it was requisitioned by the army during World War II, to the planning and four phases of construction and maintenance that was involved to reimagine Princes to what it has become today.

Learning Outcomes:

  • History of Princes
  • Project planning
  • Four phases of construction
  • Maintenance

Presented by:

Sean McLean, Course Manager, Princes Golf Club


Organic matter management - what’s new?

Organic matter (OM) management is critical to provide firm and resilient fine turf surfaces. Conventional methods can be effective but are often quite disruptive to the playing surface. Many facilities are turning to alternative methods that are less disruptive, yet still manage organic matter to provide desirable surfaces.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the pros and cons of conventional management techniques
  • Discuss new methods for OM management
  • Review topdressing sand selection and highlight research findings
  • Discuss OM testing protocol and the variability within current practices

Presented by:

Paul Jacobs, Agronomist, USG


Turfgrass diseases ‑ attack and defend!

This session will discuss how major disease-causing pathogens infect cool‑season turfgrasses and how infected turfgrasses respond with complex defence mechanisms. Discover how turf managers can prime their turfgrasses and enhance these defences, leading to reduced levels of disease.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Sources of infection and how pathogens infect turfgrasses
  • Which environmental conditions are conducive to different pathogens
  • Basics of turfgrass responses to infection
  • How turfgrass defence responses can be primed and enhanced

Presented by:

Dr John Dempsey, Turfgrass Pathologist, Independent Turfgrass Research


How big should your course budget be? Using industry data to help your planning

How big is your annual course maintenance budget? How much is your club setting aside for renewing and replacing assets? How much should you allocate to new projects? Financial planning is critical so isn’t it time to have a fact‑based conversation about how big your budget should be?

This session will provide an unparalleled insight into how hundreds of golf courses allocate their resources, providing a perspective of what clubs of all sizes spend their money on around the club and course.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The most important aspects of financial planning
  • How hundreds of golf clubs allocate their resources to the course (and the rest of the club)
  • Compare your own budget to clubs just like yours
  • Put the key principles for operational and capital planning for your golf course into practice

Be ready to have a fact‑based conversation with your manager, treasurer or owner about how much resource you should have to manage your golf course

Presented by:

John Kemp, Consultant, Contemporary Club Leadership


How you can help nature on your golf course

There are more than 3,000 golf courses across the UK contributing to over 126,000 ha of greenspace. This area, if well managed for nature, could make a huge contribution to nature’s recovery. (continued over)

This session will look at different areas of a golf course and how these areas could be managed to help support nature. From simple tips to food for thought for larger projects.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Areas of the golf course that can be managed to support nature
  • How the golf industry can have a positive impact on nature’s recovery in the UK

Presented by:

Dr Marie Athorn, Business Conservation Advisor to The R&A, RSPB


What they didn’t teach you at college

There’s quite a lot that they don’t teach you at college ‑ come and listen to some real life experiences of managing both people and turf. Entirely unscripted, the audience will decide on the topics that are up for discussion!

With a combined 60+ years working in the golf course industry, this session will be hosted by best mates and experienced golf course managers, Steve Chappell and Lee Strutt. They will discuss their personal views on turfgrass topics of the day and invite guests from the audience to throw in their thoughts too.

Rest assured they will have some entertaining, as well as some downright scary, stories to share.

Presented by:

Steve Chappell, Superintendent, Royal Bled Golf Club and Lee Strutt MG CGCS MS



Golf Course 2030
annual review

This session will provide an overview of the progress made by The R&A’s Golf Course 2030 project over the past 12 months. Discussing engagement with stakeholders, communicating the research being undertaken and the next phase of Golf Course 2030 into Continental Europe.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Awareness of GC2030
  • Threat of climate change
  • Emphasis on greenkeeper profile and greenkeeping education provision
  • Sustainable management of golf courses
  • Sustainable water management
  • R&A Sustainable Golf focus

Presented by:

Wendy Cole, Manager – Sustainable Golf and Alistair Beggs, Head of Agronomy, R&A



Golf Course 2030 ‑
Green standards

Golf greens are one of the key focusses of the golf course. How we view them, their performance and how they fit a concept of quality playing surfaces for a course is critical to success. Assessing how greens perform and what that means to an individual golf club is a vital step to evaluating maintenance programmes and strategic playing surface development plans.

This session will discuss what golf green quality means, how we can use this to help with refining playing surfaces and how we can communicate this concept to all the stakeholders involved in golf. It is an emotive subject and one that triggers many debates. This session aims to demystify this topic and put forward a way we can look at golf green quality as not only a concept, but a practical tool to help evolve how we think about and manage golf green surfaces.

Learning Outcomes:

  • What is golf green quality?
  • How can standards help?
  • How can we use the concept of golf green quality to refine and evolve playing surfaces?
  • How can we use standards and quality as a tools to help communicate more effectively to stakeholders?

Presented by:

Dr Christian Spring, Research Operations Manager, STRI Group


Creating a culture of trust

Building trust in the workplace is a fundamental element to creating a successful team. This session will share the trust equation and delve into each sector to create a better understanding and appreciation for creating trust through effective communication whilst understanding the importance of self orientation and its impact on teams.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding the importance of trust
  • How to be credible
  • The importance of reliability
  • How intimacy impacts trust in the workplace
  • Understanding self orientation and its impact on your teams

Presented by

Craig Haldane, Golf Courses Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel


Managing greens with reduced fertiliser and irrigation

This session will look at the basic principles of organic matter management, discussing how to improve the sustainability and quality of putting surfaces. The results are based on a trial set up at STRI in 2020 to investigate the potential to reduce current irrigation and fertiliser inputs to UK golf greens. Water and fertiliser input reductions were researched in combination with organic matter reductions to determine which of the two inputs affects organic matter accumulation most.

The research for this presentation has been enabled by the Golf Research Enterprise (GREEN), led by STRI in association with BIGGA, part of STRI’s commitment to supporting the industry.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Basic principles of organic matter management
  • Improving the sustainability and quality of putting surfaces
  • Trial outcomes for reducing irrigation and fertiliser inputs
  • The affects on organic matter accumulation

Presented by:

Dr Hui “Eric” Chen, Research Scientist, STRI Group

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