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Seeking sustainable growth for golf

Business Mirror, May 6, 2016
by Mike Besa

A host of leading turfgrass experts from around the region gathered at The Orchard Golf and Country Club to share their knowledge at the 2016 Philippine Golf Course Management Conference.

Organized by the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines, in cooperation with the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, the two-day event in Dasmarinas City was presented by the Asian Golf Industry Federation [AGIF].

More than 125 golf-course superintendents, course-maintenance managers, golf directors and club managers were present at The Orchard Golf and Country Club, a Golf Facility Member of the AGIF.

Eric Lynge, the AGIF's CEO, said: "We are pleased that the AGIF is once more returning to The Orchard Golf and Country Club for what has historically proved a highly successful event.

"We are extremely grateful, therefore, to sponsors, speakers, delegates and all those involved with the organization.

In keeping with previous years, Lynge said a full day of seminars was held on the opening day. The second day featured field demonstrations and an equipment exhibition.

Underscoring the AGIF's aim to support the entire industry, the field day is open to members and nonmembers of the Federation.

The program got under way with welcome remarks from Conrad Benitez, president of The Orchard Golf and Country Club and vice president of the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines and the NGAP.

Among the notable course superintendents who were present are Royal Selangor Golf Club's Jack Cheong, also president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Malaysia, and Andrew McDaniel, from Japan's Keya Golf Club.

Among those who gave presentations were Jose Dagdagan, general manager at Ayala South Links in the Philippines; Jack Imperial, Tournament Director of the Philippine Golf Tour; Michael Lu, President of the Wild Bird Club of Philippines; and The Orchard's Golf Course Management Director Denis Nuevo.

Williams, a former president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, closed the two-day conference with a talk on the importance of communicating maintenance programs with the board and members.

Lynge said: "Once again our thanks and appreciation go to President Benitez and his team at The Orchard.

"Without their generous support and the backing of our sponsors, it would not be possible to stage events such as these."

Major sponsors of the event are Atlas Turf, Bernhard, Flowtronex, Foley United, Jacobsen, Rain Bird and Toro.

Benitez said: "We are always pleased to act as host venue to this important annual event in Philippine golf that does much to educate golf-course superintendents and introduce them to new ideas ... as well as provide the opportunity for them to test out the latest golf-course machinery from the world's leading golfing hardware companies."

The Philippine Golf Course Management Conference is the second event in the AGIF series of Turfgrass Management Seminars and Field Days in 2016.

Last month saw the staging of the AGIF Turfgrass Management Exposition in Pattaya, Thailand. Other events this year will be held in Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Lynge said: "The overriding objective of the AGIF in collaborating with the respective local golf associations is to bring about these type of events for the benefit of the Asian golf industry.

"The federation will continue to invest in gatherings such as this as they have such a positive impact on the industry as a whole."