Presentation on theme: "ASIAN GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS SUMMIT Pattaya, Thailand October 2011 Why a Need For Training Tour Agronomists in Asia – The History and Critical Role."— Presentation transcript:
ASIAN GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS SUMMIT Pattaya, Thailand October 2011 Why a Need For Training Tour Agronomists in Asia – The History and Critical Role James Graham Prusa
“The history of most golf clubs is that a committee is appointed, they make mistakes, and just as they are beginning to learn by these mistakes they resign office and are replaced by others who make still greater mistakes, and so it goes on.” Dr. Alister MacKenzie, circa 1929 Essence of the need for tour agronomists in Asia and standards:
The role of the CHAMPIONSHIP AGRONOMIST Just what is the role? Support for Superintendent and the golf course / event / tour THEY ARE SUPERINTENDENTS with EMPATHY Provide expertise – experience A fresh perspective – objectivity They have ‘Horsepower’ / Clout Understanding when to use it ‘Margaret Thatcher on being a ‘Lady’ Liaison
What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Education Proven Experience Golf Course Superintendent Tour event experiences Business Savvy and Acumen People skills – all levels Ability to deal with the unexpected Can-do Attitude A NETWORK Local, National, Regional, International
What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Stay in background – promote others (humility – selflessness) Passion for the Game Korean LPGA 2011 KB Star Classic Hanul Course LPGA 2011 Hana Bank Ocean Course
What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Teacher Grasp of the Rules of Golf Ability to remain current Quality Control (QC) Remember what it was like before standards!
Play for sport or just punishment? That is the question…
Why Standards? Sandy Tatum
What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Respect and knowledge of predecessors and colleagues worldwide GOLF TRADITION
What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Knowledge of international standards Deep respect for the players Deep respect for the Game and its traditions
“A golf course that consisted entirely of one shade of green would be merely ugly. There is great charm and beauty in the varying shades of colour of a golf course.” Dr. Alister MacKenzie What qualifications are necessary for Championship Agronomist? Deep knowledge of golf’s shapers and makers…
SO, why a need for training ASIAN tour agronomists for ASIA? This is ASIA – time for Asians to step up and take care of selves / colonial days are long gone It will bring greater acceptance of golf, standards and ‘QUALITY’ Golf courses are different in Asia – at least for now very much more exclusive Cultural nuances – in each nation (Yes? No?) (E. Tour) Status of Golf Course Superintendents are different (need to be raised up – how better to do than by promotion) Language differences Better understanding of local abilities – ‘people’ versus ‘machines’ (Ron Fream) But must help advance modern methods
SO, why a need for training ASIAN tour agronomists for ASIA? “Best is good enough” – Jon Scott “KAIZEN” Environmental / Ecological and Climatological factors – SE Asia is not Florida, demands seasonal grasp Available products and chemicals vary locally and widely Courses are more ‘user friendly’ – conditions are more difficult to achieve and set-up is different (SKY72 play) Owner expectations are different – GREEN Asian service attitude is different Greater affinity and empathy for nations / people Travel is expensive and cumbersome versus local resource talents with Boots-On-The-Ground IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
How do we do this? Make the need known to various tours and interests CHINA LAST WEEK – Chinese speaker called Americans and others ‘ Big Brothers ’ / Mentoring - Recruiting (NEED TIME TO TRANSITION) Set it as a clear goal and start transition Identify promising prospects Take time and do not rush – I takes years of experience across a broad range of courses and numerous events management Pass on the torch – first responsibility of a manager The Game of Golf will benefit from cross-pollination – it imitates natures mechanisms of survival It is an investment by non-Asians for the future that will pay back to the West and golf
How do we do this? “SPEED” of greens Peaking course for tour / championship condition is a very brief 1 – 1.5 weeks and takes months if not years to prepare for – S T R E S S R E S I S T! Differences between tour golfers USA, Europe, Asia – today Walter Hagen and Lee Trevino would feel close to realities of Asian players (their development) Korean Women golfers – why success?