Beating the threat of artificial surfaces
How passionate are you about the natural grass sports surfaces that you manage? And would you give up your role to an artificial surface? If we are to preserve natural grass as the premier surface for contact sports; as the most environmentally friendly medium; and as an option for future generations, we must do everything in our power to produce the highest quality playing surfaces. We must set ourselves the highest goals and learn as much as possible to achieve them. And there is always something new to learn.
'Getting the Best from Natural Grass' is the theme of the collaborative IOG/NTF seminar being held in Southport on 1st December 2004 during the National Turfgrass Foundation Conference. Experts from the UK and USA will bring their combined knowledge to this superb programme. Latest research findings and new developments will be presented and discussed, giving you the opportunity to keep ahead of the game.
If natural grass is going to compete with the artificial substitutes, we have a responsibility to demonstrate its advantages by producing surfaces that are too good to beat. We must be passionate about natural grass. We must produce the quality. We must be able to extol its virtues by informed and knowledgeable argument. And education is the first step to our improvement.
For further information on the IOG/NTF Seminar and the rest of the National Turfgrass Foundation Conference programme, contact Martyn Jones on 01995 670675 or Louise Clegg on 07879 015921.
A place in the sun
Has the atrocious weather of August in the UK turned your thoughts to warmer climes? A number of turf managers have certainly been casting their eyes towards the sunny Mediterranean shores - or even further a field. Even if it isn't any easier to maintain turfgrass in tropical or subtropical regions, it must surely be more comfortable! Without a doubt, it is different. Warm-season turf grasses display a very different photosynthetic process, termed C4, as opposed to C3 cool-season turf grasses. They are also much more efficient in their use of sunshine and water. And some of them are as dense and fine-textured as many of the newer creeping bent grasses. Many of them are vegetatively propagated from sod, sprigs or stolons, whilst others are simply seeded.
The most widely used genus, Cynodon, commonly called Bermuda grass, is a vigorous, diverse group that is used on a wide range of sports surfaces - from putting greens to fairways. From bowling greens to rugby pitches. It is an extremely versatile genus of turf grasses and displays numerous fascinating characteristics.
So, if you fancy working in a warmer country or would like to know more about the management of Bermuda grass, don't miss the opportunity to attend a special tutorial on the subject at the National Turfgrass Foundation Conference in Southport from 29th November to 2nd December 2004. Terry Buchen, Master Greenkeeper and Certified Golf Course Superintendent, with a wealth of experience in establishing and managing Bermuda grass, will be explaining establishment techniques, cultural requirements, and what to do when winter dormancy approaches. If you want to explore the possibilities of gaining work experience in one of the warm-season areas of the USA, you can also chat with Mike O'Keefe of the Ohio Intern Exchange Programme, who will be present to answer your queries.
So, if you are wanting a place in the sun, first call the National Turfgrass Foundation on 01995 670675 or 07879 015921.