Talking about sustainability



The Chairman of the Turf Industry Show Organising Committee, Christopher Steyn, said that the Inaugural Turf Industry Show was held in Cape Town on August 15 and16 and was well attended by Golf Course Superintendents, Club Managers, Sports Turf, Landscape and Recreational managers.  He said that the Show proved to be a huge success which included seminars with speakers from the USA, UK and experienced professionals from SA which also supplemented an outdoor expo. Given the success of the Show he said the Western Province Turfgrass Association would be planning to host another Show in 2021.

In introducing the Show, the Chairman of the Western Province Turfgrass Association, Andrew Small, emphasised the importance of education and the benefits of being a member of the Western Province Turfgrass Association. Chris Steyn said that the turf industry was becoming more sophisticated every day and that the purpose of the Turf Industry Show was to expose the industry to the art of the possible, be it for example irrigation, turf equipment, transport, fertilisers, technology and data logging, etc.

However, the golden thread which underpinned the exhibitions and ran through most of the seminars was the issue of sustainable golf and sustainable industry practices. In this regard Sue de Swart well known locally and internationally turf grass consultant of Talking Turf spoke about sustainable practices in preparing for tournaments. Kelly Sauerman of Turfgrass Academy of South Africa spoke about sustainably cultivating healthy turf, whilst Derek Daly of African Turf Academy spoke on sports turf rootzones. From an equipment perspective both Des Buckingham of Jacobsen CSE and Reg Varney, International Regional Manager of Otterbine emphasised the importance of using appropriate technology and equipment to deliver on sustainable turfgrass and water quality management practices. Paul Jacobs, a United States Golf Association agronomist with extensive experience working with courses in the arid southwest, oceanic climate of the north east coast and the mediterranean climate of California went to the heart of sustainable golf by talking about using science and technology to manage landscape, golf and turf surfaces and advanced water management techniques. Colin Mubadiro BSc Eng, MBA of City of Cape Town Water Demand Management presented an update on non-residential water uses. Bruce Williams of Golf Consulting in the USA, and past president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, seminar sessions dealt with negotiation strategies and tips, tricks and lessons learnt in the golf industry.

The Turf Industry Show highlighted the importance of sustainability principles especially transparency. In this regard this is a reminder of the South African Bunker Survey, which is currently being run, and a first call for updated Survey questionnaires for submission by the end of November. Therefore, at your next meeting why not introduce a short talk-topic on the agenda on sustainability, referring to the Turf Industry Show and resolving to support your industry representative body such as CMASA or regional TGMA.