Continue to Learn Conference 2022 - Tuesday

Main Auditorium & Queens Suite - Harrogate Convention Centre
9:00AM - 5:00PM, 22 Mar 2022

Day 2 of a 3 Day Continue to Learn Conference at BTME 2022

Programme for Day 2

Plenary Session 2 - 9:15am

Plenary Session - Finders Keepers - the challenges of recruitment and retention in the golf industry

Staff are the lifeblood of the whole golf industry, the sport is delivered at facility level by highly trained and motivated people and, post-pandemic the industry faces significant challenges to retain and recruit sufficient staff.   

Join us for Tuesday's first conference session of the day when BIGGA's CEO, Jim Croxton will be joined by Tom Brooke, CEO of the Golf Club Managers Association (GCMA) and Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO of England Golf amongst others to discuss the challenges and potential solutions across the industry. Together the industry can show leadership to clubs to protect the future of the game and greenkeeping but it requires joined-up thinking and positive solutions that must be adopted at golf club level. It will also require a change of mindset by clubs and current staff. 

Phosphite for turfgrass management - 10:20am

Phosphite for turfgrass management

Phosphite has been used in the turfgrass industry for many years, on its own or as part of a nutritional programme. This session will explain exactly what it is, how it is best used in a programme, results of field trials looking at its ability to suppress disease and relieve abiotic stresses. Phosphite’s disease suppressive abilities, its uptake following foliar application to turfgrass and its effect on growth and development will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

  • What phosphite is and its use in turfgrass
  • How to incorporate it in nutritional programmes to achieve disease suppression with enhanced turfgrass quality
  • How phosphite effects the growth of fungal pathogens and how it can stimulate turfgrass defence responses
  • How phosphite is taken in and translocated through the plant
  • How phosphite can have both a detrimental and beneficial effect on turfgrass growth and development

Presented by: Presented by Dr John Dempsey, Turfgrass Pathologist, Independent Turfgrass Research

John Dempsey.jpg
Dr John Dempsey

Turfgrass Pathologist Independent Turfgrass Research

Dr John Dempsey has 40 years greenkeeping experience and was Superintendent of Ireland’s oldest golf course –The Royal Curragh from 1993 to 2019.
John has undertaken courses beginning with basic greenkeeping at the Botanic gardens in Dublin to a 1st class Honours Degree in Turfgrass science at Myerscough College in the UK. Completed a PhD during 2016 in Turfgrass pathology in the Centre for Research in Biosciences at the University of the West of England, Bristol.  
John has conducted independent research on turfgrass disease management for the past 15 years, covering extensively the subject Microdochium nivale infection of turfgrasses, turfgrass responses to pathogen challenge and the effect of phosphite treatments on disease suppression, turfgrass growth and quality.
Since 2019 John has headed Independent Turfgrass Research, current work is focusing primarily on biotic and abiotic stresses in turfgrass, turfgrass health, integrated disease control and enhancement of turfgrass defence responses.
John has presented the results of his research at numerous conferences and seminars in Ireland, UK, USA, France, Germany, Norway, Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, Iceland and at GIS and BTME.

The “ALL ONE” greenkeeping management philosophy - 10:20am

The “ALL ONE” greenkeeping management philosophy

This session will provide an insight of a greenkeeping-specific management philosophy that can help to create a dynamic team.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Become a team player   
  • Effective communication
  • People skills
  • Motivational
  • Improved performance
  • Enlightened

Presented by: John McLoughlin, Course Manager, Wallasey Golf Club

John McLoughlin.png
John McLoughlin

Course Manager Wallasey Golf Club

Putting green surface management - 11:35am

Putting green surface management

This session will look at putting green surface management, discussing clipping yield, MLSN vs. SLAN (soil nutrient testing interpretation and recommendations), brushing and grooming setup, equipment selection and mower set‑up.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Clipping yield
  • MLSN vs SLAN
  • Equipment selection and set up

Presented by: Paul Jacobs, Agronomist, USGA

Paul Jacoba.png
Paul Jacobs

Agronomist USGA

Paul has been an agronomist with the USGA for 6 years and currently covers the south-central part of the country and was in the northeast for the last 5 years before his move to the southwest last November. In addition to consulting work, responsibilities include agronomic support at USGA championships, developing educational material and speaking at local and national conferences.   

Paul is originally from southeast Michigan and began playing golf at a very young age. His passion for playing golf led him to a career in turf management, which began in Michigan. Since then, he has also worked in the desert southwest at Tucson Country Club in Tucson, Ariz., Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.

That didn’t quite go to plan! - 11:35am

That didn’t quite go to plan!

Taking a leap of faith on a short‑term contract isn’t for the faint hearted. In this session, hear about the trials and tribulations of undertaking a grow in, in a foreign country, in unprecedented times.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The grow in and interpreting the architect’s vision
  • Moving and working overseas
  • Effects on the family
  • The COVID‑19 curveball
  • Handling the cultural differences

Presented by: Presented by Lee Strutt MG CGCS MS

Lee Strutt.png
Mr Lee Strutt MG, CGCS, PGDip
Lee Strutt is an experienced Golf Course Manager and loves the challenge of construction/grow-in. He is a past BIGGA Board representative for the South East Region, Section Committee member for the Central Section in Scotland, a Mentor for the Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI) and an experienced inspector and examiner for the Master Greenkeeper Certificate. He is a regular presenter on the Continue to Learn programme, at Regional and Section event and has presented in Australia, Asia and at the GCSAA Conference in the USA. He enjoys tournament support and has volunteered at three Ryder Cup’s, the Scottish Open and the US Open.  He is the only greenkeeper in the world to hold designations from BIGGA, GCSAA, CGSA and ASTMA.

Drone technology to assess plant health - 1:05pm

Drone technology to assess plant health

Technology is constantly evolving and slowly making its way to the turfgrass industry. Assessment tools like normalised difference vegetative index (NDVI) and thermal cameras can allow us to “visualise” plant stress in advance of when our eyes see the problem.

This session will discuss the tools that are currently available, the constraints and limitations to collecting this data and the overwhelming hindrance of interpreting and making decisions based on this data.

Learning Outcomes;

  • How to use the tools to rapidly capture and document challenges
  • Combining with other technology (e.g. GPS sprayers)
  • Develop plant health maps to manage and reduce inputs to maintain healthy turfgrass swards

Presented by: Dr John Kaminski, Professor & Associate Department Head of the Department of Plant Science, Penn State University

John Kaminski.png
Dr John Kaminski Ph.D

Professor & Associate Department Head of the Department of Plant Science Penn State University

John is a Professor and Associate Department Head of the Department of Plant Science at Penn State University. He is also Director of the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program.

John has extensive experience in the area of golf course turfgrass management and specifically in the management of turfgrass diseases. He has been responsible for or associated with the discovery of four new turfgrass diseases on golf courses. His research focuses on the cultural and chemical management of turfgrass pests and also conducts agronomic research in the emerging hemp industry.

In his role as Director of the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program, John is responsible for mentoring future golf course superintendents in and out of the classroom. He also serves as Co-Advisor for the Penn State Turf Club.

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Coastal management for a sustainable long‑term future - 1:05pm

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Coastal management for a sustainable long‑term future

This session will introduce the Golf Course Coastal Management Plan produced to assist clubs in developing a plan that aligns with other coastal stakeholders and authorities. It will also launch the Golf Course Coastal Solutions Catalogue, presenting innovative and nature‑based solutions for coastal management.

In addition to the plan and the catalogue, the Ecosystems Benefits Management Tool will be discussed. A tool that enables course managers to establish what habitat types are present on their site, determine the conservation interests on the site, identify potential issues and solutions for the relevant habitat types.

Learning Outcomes:

  • How the golfing community can play its role in coastal management to secure a sustainable long‑term future
  • The aim of the Coastal Change Management Plan and how it can be developed
  • Innovative approaches that exist for nature‑based management of golf courses
  • Where innovative approaches might work, their advantages and disadvantages, and how the Catalogue and Tool can help with decision‑making
  • Potential ecosystems benefits that can be realised in the golf course management context
  • How golf courses can consider ecosystem benefits in management decisions and how the Ecosystem Benefits Management Tool can be used to support this

Presented by: Victoria Clipsham, Jaap Flikweert, David Hopkins (Formby GC) & David Tomkinson (Aberdovey GC) 

Victoria Clipsham.png
Victoria Clipsham

Victoria is a Senior Consultant and Project Manager with international experience of working in the UK and internationally. With a background is coastal science, broadening this through coastal and fluvial studies, risk assessments and strategies for management. An essential element of this has been in developing the understanding of the physical processes underpinning good decision making.

Her technical understanding of the coastal and fluvial environment enables her to manage multi-disciplinary projects bringing to the fore the expertise and ideas of others. In her current role as Senior Consultant, she inspires her team and clients to think differently about issues seeking out and creating sustainable solutions.

Victoria was involved in the second round Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) process – as coastal scientist, as Project Manager and in consultation on the Wash, West of Wales, North Norfolk and Suffolk SMP2s. She is now using her wealth of knowledge to undertake a ‘refresh’ of the SMP2 policies and processes in both in England and Wales. She was Project Manager for the innovative, UK-first and award winning Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management (Sandscaping) project, steering the project from the feasibility stage, through outline design to outline design and securing permissions and consents, and then finally during the construction phase in 2019.

Jaap Flikweert.png
Jaap Flikweert
Jaap has twenty five years' of professional experience as a flood and coastal management advisor and Leading Professional, in the Netherlands, the UK and worldwide. He has an international leading role in the development of methods, tools and guidance, covering the whole spectrum of flood and coastal management: from detailed design to strategy and policy level, and covering planning, preparation, protection and response. After a ten year career in the Netherlands until August 2004, he now works from Royal HaskoningDHV’s office in Peterborough. He is still actively involved in Dutch flood risk management; with my experience in New Orleans and Queensland, giving him a unique overview of global best practice in flood and coastal management. Jaap is Project Director for the Coastal Change Projects that have been awarded by The R&A to Royal HaskoningDHV, pulling in his recent experience on the Shoreline Management Plan Refresh project for England, authoring several of the second generation Shoreline Management Plans, and site specific experience of developing and realising practical solutions to manage coastal erosion and flood risk.

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Grass selection - 2pm

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Grass selection

Choosing the best adapted and sustainable grasses for our golf courses is a key part of producing high quality playing surfaces. Whether you are growing‑in new surfaces, overseeding or carrying out divot repair, the process of selecting the optimum species for your surface is critical. This also needs to factor in the ever changing scenarios we can expect as a result of climate change, resource availability and levels of play. This session will focus on the what we need to consider when we are selecting grasses for different areas of the golf course and how grass selection will need to react to potential challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The importance of grass selection
  • What factors need to be considered when selecting grasses
  • How grass selection needs to be tailored to individual golf courses
  • How grass selection is a key component of meeting the challenges of climate change and resource availability now and in the future

Presented by: Dr Christian Spring, Research Operations Manager, STRI Group

Christian Spring.jpg
Dr Christian Spring

After gaining his PhD investigating the structural effects of earthworms on soil, Christian joined STRI’s Research Team in 2005 as a soil scientist and for the past seven years has worked as a research manager.

Christian’ current role is as STRI’s research operation manager, whose role is to oversee the day-to-day operations of STRI’s UK Research Team.

Christian leads research into a wide variety of subject areas, including sports surface construction and drainage, turfgrass nutrition, sports turf management, use of wetting agents and pesticides, surface performance assessment and machinery testing.

Among his roles, Christian also leads STRI’s BASIS, FACTS and NMP courses. Christian is a passionate communicator of science and can regularly be found giving talks to turf managers at various industry events.

A very muddy situation: Managing problematic earthworms on golf courses without chemicals - 2pm

A very muddy situation: Managing problematic earthworms on golf courses without chemicals

Earthworms aerate the soil, decompose organic matter and thatch layers and increase the availability of nutrients for plant uptake through deposition of nutrient‑rich fecal matter (“casts”) within the soil profile. However, their casts can be the bane of many turfgrass managers’ existence!

As one of the most poorly understood group of soil macrofauna, with no natural or synthetic compounds registered for their control, only cultural practices remain to decrease their casts, making the management of earthworms a very real challenge for turfgrass managers.

This session will look at the current research that is being conducted at Pennsylvania State University to find solutions to discouraging earthworm casting in fine turf through cultural practices.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Problematic earthworms species, their biology relating to casting severity and seasonal occurrence of different stages
  • Development of predictive models to determine environmental conditions and timings conducive to casting
  • Irrigation and the impact of moisture management on casting
  • The impact of topdressing on casting severity and trial findings
  • The impact of different fertilisers on casting
  • Fraise mowing impacts on earthworm cocoon abundance
  • Unconventional means of removal

Presented by: Dr Ben McGraw, Associate Professor, Turfgrass Science, Penn State University

Ben McGraw.png 1
Dr Ben McGraw Ph.D

Associate Professor, Turfgrass Science Penn State University

Dr. Ben McGraw is an associate professor of turfgrass science at Penn State University, and an authority on the ecology and management of turfgrass insect pests. He obtained his Master’s of Science degree in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a doctorate in Entomology from Rutgers University where he specialised in the biological control of turfgrass insect pests. His research focuses on understanding insect ecology and behaviour to develop sustainable turf pest management practices.

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Greenkeeper profile and education - 3:15pm

Golf Course 2030 ‑ Greenkeeper profile and education

What do other members of the golf club management team and golfers think about greenkeepers and greenkeeping? How can we raise the profile, recognition and respect for the profession? What may need to change in the curriculum to meet the challenges posed by GC2030?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Looking ahead ‑ what skills and competences are we going to need
  • How does current education measure up to the challenges?
  • How is the Golf Course 2030 context, and therefore the demands on greenkeepers, perceived by fellow golf industry professionals and golfers themselves?
  • What can we do?

Presented by: Dr Paul Miller, Programme Team Leader Golf Course Management, SRUC

Paul Miller.jpg
Dr Paul Miller

Programme Team Leader Golf Course Management SRUC Elmwood

Paul has been a lecturer in Greenkeeping and Golf Course Management since 1993. Paul is qualified in the plant sciences and has previously worked in a USGA accredited soil laboratory. He is a regular presenter at Continue to Learn and contributor of articles for Greenkeeper International. He has a keen interest in golf history. Away from work Paul is an average golfer, a keen cyclist and sings in a community choir in Cupar.

How greenkeepers can be climate leaders - 4pm

How greenkeepers can be climate leaders

This session will explore the most important measurements of sustainability and how golf courses can prove their enormous value to the environment and their communities. Discussing how to measure improvements and natural value, economic and resource effectiveness, social and community value as well as helping golf to take meaningful action against climate change. Based on data gathered from golf courses around the world to identify actions and steps to measure and improve sustainability.

Synopsis - We live in a world where it is now extremely important to demonstrate the part golf plays in sustainability and climate action. Presented by one of the industry’s most experienced specialists, this groundbreaking session will describe the context for golf clubs; help course managers understand their special role; highlight the most effective action to take; and show how greenkeepers can profile themselves as valued leaders in their communities.

The session will also describe in detail how, by using the FREE OnCourse® programme, GEO Foundation can quickly create annual Sustainability Scorecards AND detailed Carbon Footprints for golf facilities, helping to identify the club’s overall environmental and social performance; including where the major emissions and carbon storage is taking place - and how all that can then guide effective low carbon action plans for the future.

The session will show how this is beneficial to each greenkeepers career; to the profession as a whole; to the success of the clubs they work at; and the quality of the courses they manage.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Learn about key indicators and measurements for sustainability, carbon emissions and carbon storage
  2. Find out how to develop a Sustainability Scorecard and Carbon Footprint for your club and course
  3. Understand the priority actions for greater sustainability and reduced carbon emissions
  4. Identify new ways to evaluate and communicate progress within the club
  5. Learn about new ways to promote climate leadership into the wider community and club marketing

Presented by: Johnathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf

Jonathan Smith.png
Jonathan Smith

Executive Director and Founder GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf

For over twenty years Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping advance sustainability in and through golf.

A geographer and graduate of the University of St Andrews, he led the environmental team at Scottish Golf before founding GEO in 2006 with the mission of helping golf become stronger and more resilient through sustainability, and to establish itself as the leading sport.

Over that time, and working alongside a growing team of sustainable golf professionals, Jonathan has helped to:

  • facilitate extensive collaboration around the world
  • develop the ‘sustainability agenda’ that now guides the efforts of many associations and clubs
  • design the OnCourse® support programmes for clubs, new developments and tournaments (now adopted in over 75 countries).

He has also advocated widely at events and through media; and represented golf in the mainstream sustainability movement amongst governments, NGO’s and businesses. 

He has led GEO to become the only body in sport to meet the rigorous ISEAL Alliance criteria for sustainability standards, certification and reporting systems, joining peer groups such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council. He has also directly advised some of golf’s leading associations, tours and tournaments including The R&A; European Tour; Ryder Cup Europe; LPGA and Ladies European Tour; and Olympic Golf.

Jonathan is a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and a recent  Board member of the ISEAL Alliance. He lives near North Berwick, enjoys playing and watching many sports, and spending time in the great outdoors, including on some fantastic local golf courses!




Please confirm!