This year's Turf Science Live (TSL) event has been hailed as probably the best yet. Presented by Everris, Jacobsen and Syngenta, it took place at St Andrews in Fife earlier this month (10 - 11 June 2014).
Now in its fifth year and held at the Fairmont St Andrews resort, overlooking St Andrews Bay, the two-day event attracted in excess of 100 greenkeepers and fine turf professionals from as far afield as the south coast of England and Ireland, as well as across Scotland.
The educational seminars followed the successful format developed over the previous years, with six dedicated stations dotted around putting green and driving range adjacent to the clubhouse - with spectacular views across the bay to Carnoustie and St Andrews.
Syngenta's Rod Burke and Caroline Carroll demonstrated the latest developments in application technology and the benefits of the company's XC spray nozzles with the capability to reduce drift and improve leaf coverage, even at lower water volumes.
On Station 2, Henry Bechelet from Everris focussed on recent research which looked at the turf's response to specific inputs and management practices, while highlighting the importance of data gathering.
This allowed Karl Parry to demonstrate the ParryMeter, a revolutionary new device developed to measure the trueness and smoothness of golf greens.
Relieving stress and enhancing turf health was the subject for Louis Simard of Syngenta, who demonstrated the results of recent research highlighting potentia l of product combinations to significantly improve stress tolerance and enhancing playability.
On Station 4, Ian Mitchell and Jamie Hughes of Ransomes Jacobsen demonstrated how the choice of front rollers on greens mowers can affect the effective cutting height, along with and how the use of various brushes, groomers and changes to frequency of cut can increase ball speed and the trueness and smoothness of ball roll.
Station 5 saw Dr. Andy Owen of Everris looking at the most efficient and cost-effective technologies for delivering nutrition to fine turf and sportsfields, whilst maximising performance and limiting financial or environmental impacts.
And finally, Dr Brian Horgan was flown in from the University of Minnesota by Jacobsen to deliver the results of his recent research into the success of intra-seeding using a slit seeder and an ultra-light application of glyphosate.
Commenting at the end of the second day, David Cole, Course Manager at Loch Lomond Golf Club said: "This was a truly excellent educational event; I don't know how the three companies keep it fresh, but they always have something new to impart.
As always the hospitality and the venue were superb and the weather behaved impeccably. I would urge anyone who wants to keep up-to-date on industry developments to attend events like this; they are well worth it."
At the closing Dinner, Simon Elsworth, of Syngenta added: "Once again Turf Science Live has brought the latest innovations in turf management to life, with challenging and thought-provoking discussions.
It has been a real opportunity for all greenkeepers and turf managers to explore the technologies of the future with leading specialists, and to discuss amongst themselves the beneficial impact they could have on their own courses and day-to-day decisions.
"In awarding BIGGA CPD and BASIS points for the event, it is clear recognition that Turf Science Live is now established as a leading industry event. It has been possibly the best one yet, but we are confident that we may be able to surpass even this in the future."