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2018 BTME trip announced... details available here.

Due to the success of our inaugural/trial trip to BTME in 2017, TurfNet will again host a delegation to BTME in January, 2018! Download the pdf for full details.   Dates of the trip are Thursday, January 18 (overnight departure from USA) to Friday, January 26 (morning/afternoon return flight).   We have a housing block booked for 16 people at the Harrogate Lifestyle Apartments across the street from the conference center. No shuttle busses!   Cost is $1750 double occupancy or $2300 single

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Thursday at BTME: Trade show and Moortown Golf Club, an early Ryder Cup venue

Most of the education at BTME ended Wednesday and that left a final day for us to visit the trade show in Harrogate's Exposition Centre. As mentioned before in this blog, the BTME show is on a smaller, more manageable scale that the GIS.   We decided to visit a few familiar companies as well a few companies that may have been new to the group. Visits to both Bayer and Syngenta were the real eye-openers as we learned how relatively few chemicals European greenkeepers have to work with. Bayer's

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Wednesday at Harrogate: Ryder Cup redux, show mentoring and UK Beer & Pretzels

Ryder Cup Round Table and a Chance to Mentor a Young Greenkeeper from the UK. Not to mention a UK twist on TurfNets Beer & Pretzels   Wednesday brought another full house to Royal Hall with an Opening Session featuring five Ryder Cup superintendents. The group spanned the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor to the upcoming 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. Participants included Jim MacKenzie (2010 Celtic Manor), TurfNet Member Curtis Tyrrell (2012 Medina), Steve Chappell (2014 Gleneagles), TurfNet Membe

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Tuesday: Revisiting Golf in Rio, and Matthew Wharton Receives his MG

Tuesday in Harrogate started with a General Session in Royal Hall featuring Olympic Golf Course Superintendent Neil Cleverly and International Golf Federation representative Anthony Scanlon on the main stage. The session was moderated by the BBCs Naga Munchetty. Cleverly is no stranger to TurfNet as he was interviewed during the Olympics when TurfNet was the only turf media on the ground during the games. Read the interview here. Neil Cleverly (left)giving additional insight on Building and M

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Monday Education at BTME

Some members of the BIGGA staff outside the Royal Hall (below) preparing to welcome attendees to the daylong Turf Managers Conference.   Monday morning saw many more UK-based attendees in the education sessions. Most of the TurfNet group attended the Turf Managers Conference in the historic Royal Hall. The Turf Managers Conference is an all day session with three technical (turf) sessions and three management sessions. Lunch and two coffee breaks facilitated additional networking.   One

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Sunday at BTME: Early-bird Education

After our tour of Scotland and Ireland and the trip to Harrogate, it was time to get down to the business of learning.   It's only been a few years that BIGGA has offered education on Sunday. The thinking was that by extending the education into the prior weekend that attendees could get some education on a day that doesn't take them away from their home course.   Approximately 200 attendees (including the TurfNet delegation) started classes that day.   The six of us split up and took a va

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Saturday: St. Andrews to Harrogate via the British Golf Museum and a distillery

Saturday was Moving Day.   After Jim Malcolms musical sendoff and saying goodnight to our local guests Friday night, the group turned in relatively early in anticipation of getting on the road to Harrogate in the morning.   Departure was set for 10:30 after a brief tour of the British Golf Museum. The tour started with a nine minute tribute to Arnold Palmer which led to reflection on his impact on the game as well as the British Open. Simply put, the organizers of the British Open were indeb

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Friday: Carnoustie, The R&A and a get-together

Our pre-trip excursion was back on track with two planned visits on Friday... until we woke up to three inches of snow and ice that fell overnight.       Our driver for Friday and Saturday was well-equipped for the weather with winter "tyres" so he arrived as scheduled. We took a quick spin for a view of St. Andrews Links under snow cover and proceeded down the road to Open venue Carnoustie.   Carnoustie Our hosts for the morning were Carnoustie Links Superintendent Sandy Reid and C

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

The entire group together; worth the hassle of getting here

Late nights at a pub can still be followed by early mornings and Wednesday morning was no exception. The TurfNet delegation left the Portmarnock Hotel and Links at half four (4:30AM) for the airport to catch the short flight to Edinburgh. Despite higher than average winds, the flight went off without a hitch.   The second travel snag of the trip (the first being snow in the US) came on the ride from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. Overnight a 40 tonne lorry (that's a big-ass truck in American Englis

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

The Old Course and the Fairmont Hotel courses

Thursday morning we walked into town and were met at the first tee of the Old Course by Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping for St. Andrews Links Trust. Gordon had set aside ninety minutes to give us an overview of the operations there. It was a sunny but cold and windy day on the links.   Once you get past the history, mystique and aura of the fact that he and his team are maintaining the hallowed Old Course, you find that their concerns are very much in line with other multi-course shops

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Expanded group spins through Ireland, with stops in Portmarnock

Former TurfNet Intern-in-Ireland Peter Braun and TurfNet Superintendent of the Year 2015, Matt Gourlay, CGCS, arrived in Dublin on Monday morning to spend a few casual days prior to the "official" pre-BTME visit to St. Andrews. After Jon Kiger and Tony Girardi "collected" them at the airport, the group headed south toward the town of Callan in County Kilkenny, in the Southeast of Ireland.   The first stop was to The Steppes Bar to meet up with Kiger's friend Eddie Kennedy, who looked after Pet

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Kiger and Girardi on the loose in Ireland

Tony Girardi arrived Sunday morning and he and Jon Kiger were immediately off to Newgrange in County Meath. Newgrange is a 5000+ year old megalithic passage tomb less than an hour from Dublin. The TurfNet Members Trip to Ireland visited the site in 2015.   Tony G. looking a little jet-lagged on Sunday morning after an overnight flight from JFK.   From there, Tony and Jon drove to Dundalk in County Louth for haircuts and hot towel shaves at Lawless Barbershop and Candy Store, an iconic stor

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Inaugural TurfNet delegation to BTME... with side trips to Ireland and St. Andrews

A small, first-time delegation of TurfNet members is attending BTME (BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition) Jan 12-20 as an extension of Jon Kiger's visit and speaking engagements at BTME last year.  Invited back for another go on the podium this year, Jon thought it would be fun and educational to bring a group of TN members along for not only the BIGGA conference, but also for a side trip to St. Andrews and nearby courses.     Attendees include long-time TurfNet member Tony Girardi, CGCS, of

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

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