By Mark Schroder, Liverpool Golf Club

On Thursday 19 December, 2013, about 50 people including fellow Golf Course Superintendents, industry representatives including Mr Peter Frewin, AGCSA General Manager attended a very informative morning lead by Dr John Kaminski from Penn State University. This day was proudly sponsored and put on by Colin Campbell (Chemicals) Pty Ltd, in conjunction with the NSW Golf Course Superintendents Association & ST A NSW . Thanks very much Nadeem Zreikat for organising such a top morning and quality International speaker.

‘A very big congratulation’s also goes out to you Nadeem and your beautiful wife for the safe arrival of your first child, a baby boy’.

Dr John focused the morning on stresses the turf plant is basically under, due in some cases to natural localised environmental conditions and associated micro-climates, but there was also a focus on how cultural practices & perceived expectations have added to the load for the modern day Golf Course Superintendent. Dr Kaminski emphasised the need to adapt to ways of reducing plant stress such asmowing heights, rolling more, nutritional plant needs and careful selection of suitable cultivar for the given climatic conditions and associated management stresses.

Dr John focused on specific disease pathogens and practical ways to reduce the impact of such diseases. Fungicide selection including rotation and combinations was discussed specific to pathogen.

Discussion on specifics such as Anthracnose, Rhizoctonia, Dollar Spot and Thatch Collapse, which tends to be more of an issue further south in Melbourne. It was great to see a good number of Victorians in attendance. Well done guys for making the effort. There was also a short discussion on Social Media and the part it has to play now and into the future from a practical turf management prospective. This form of communication cannot be ignored. I am a natural sceptic of social media such as Face book, Twitter, Blogs and the like, but even an old dinosaur like myself is coming around to this being the 21st century way, forget the man of the 20th century as that era has passed. Sorry Blacky, Sully & the like. Nadeem was saying the primary reason Dr John was in Australia was because of his personal contact with Nadeem on Social Media. I encourage all to get on board and take the twitter challenge, yours truly not excluded. In 2013 Dr Kaminski also launched a free mobile App called Turf path with the primary aim of helping us turf professionals better manage our own unique turf-grass situation. I for one will definitely be downloading this App.

Once again, thanks Nadeem for instigating Dr John Kaminski’s Australian visit and also for sponsoring such a great informative workshop forum for the benefit of all who were able to attend. A big thank-you to Russell Fletcher and St Michaels Golf Club for the venue and their warm hospitality.

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