Preview of BIGGA’s BTME exhibition

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 26, 2014 14:15

The BTME exhibition returns in January with a range of products that will make the management of your golf course easier. But perhaps its most valuable asset is the educational seminars which, for 2015, will be the most comprehensive ever.

“A well planned visit to BTME 2015 makes you a better turf manager,” said Jim Croxton, CEO of BIGGA (the British and International Greenkeepers Association), and looking at both the list of companies and products on display during the exhibition and the Continue to Learn education programme, which is the most comprehensive ever held at BTME, it is a sentiment that is very hard to disagree with.

22 Jim Croxton

Jim Croxton

“For the exhibition, three important machinery suppliers Jacobsen, John Deere and Toro, which have all been hugely supportive of the event, have all agreed to come back, and they will be joined by over 100 other exhibitors from across the industry covering a range of topics including drainage, fertilisers, machinery, landscaping and spraying.

“If you’re a course manager, then it doesn’t matter if you’re coming for one, two, three or four days in winter when the grass isn’t growing – you will be able to get everything you need done at BTME, including taking part in hugely important networking opportunities.”

It is also clear that the Continue to Learn programme offers greenkeepers learning opportunities that they may not get at any other point in the year. Bookings for the educational programmes are up significantly from last year – one workshop, ‘The Dr and the Super: The Art and Science of Golf Course Management’, has even had to move from the Harrogate International Centre to The Crown Hotel due to overwhelming demand. Croxton stated that this workshop will be presented by Dr Brian Horgan, professor at the University of Minnesota, and Chris Tritabaugh, golf course superintendent at Hazeltine National, host of the 2016 Ryder Cup. They will be discussing various cultural, nutritional and golf course management issues from a scientific and practical point of view – and some extra places are now available due to the change of venue.

In addition, Steve Chappell, head greenkeeper, PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles, will discuss both the agronomic and construction works that took place on the course during 2013 in preparation for hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Dr Horgan is also presenting a brand new workshop called ‘Top 5 (+1) Fertility Topics’ where he will discuss soil fertility and plant nutrition, and the ‘BCSR, MLSN and Sufficiency’ seminar which covers the most commonly used soil testing philosophies. He’s taught soil fertility and plant nutrition worldwide and is sure to present some fascinating ideas.

Furthermore, the Turf Managers’ Conference, which this year has five different speakers, offers a range of education across one day – covering specific and technical issues such as water management and precision organic matter management, but also general topics including golfers’ customer experience.

“Continue to Learn covers everything you could possibly need to both equip yourself for success in your career and to benefit the course where you work,” said Croxton,” “and that’s whether you are a greenkeeper or a golf club manager. There are general courses on health and safety, conflict management, people management and budgeting, as well as more specific ones that would still be suitable for those who work in the golf industry, such as grass identification. Plus we have sessions delivered by the Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA) – their members can attend at the same rate as BIGGA members, and if greenkeepers and golf club managers are attending together it’s a great opportunity for them to understand each others’ needs.”

Finally, during the show the STRI Golf Environment Awards’ winners will be announced – Environmental Golf Course of the Year, Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year and Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year. “I am very proud that our members are so focussed on this,” said Croxton.

His members can also be proud that their association is continuing to deliver a turf management exhibition that is second to none.

To book your places, and also pre-register for BTME 2015, visit www.btme.org.uk, Continue to Learn runs from 18-21 January, including the Turf Managers’ Conference on 19 January, and BTME is from 20-22 January

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 26, 2014 14:15
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