The second Leading Edge event – the Desert Series – a unique educational, networking and social event for club and course managers, took place at The Emirates Golf Club in Dubai.
Hosted by the team at Emirates, in conjunction with GEO (Golf Environment Organization) and supported by Jacobsen, the Desert Series was an opportunity for members from senior management at golf clubs across the Middle East to network and learn from each other and respected experts from within the golf industry.
The first presentation, to the 20 guests from Oman, Azerbaijan and United Arab Emirates, saw the return of Dr Thom Nikolai of Michigan State University. His presentation focussed on generating customer satisfaction by ensuring the playing surfaces on golf greens were at their optimum trueness and smoothness.
He was followed by Chris Haspell, Course Manager at Castle Stuart Golf Links, who provided an insight into the construction of his course back in 2009 and the exciting project that will see a new 18-holes being added in the near future.
The presentations concluded with David Bateller, head greenkeeper at PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain, talking about the history of the courses and the new experimental turf management techniques that he is employing at Spain’s premier golf resort.
As well as the educational aspect, two 18-hole golf tournaments were played over the two magnificent courses at Emirates, the Majlis – home to the recent Dubai Desert Classic – and the Faldo. Played in glorious weather, this provided an excellent networking opportunity for the delegates. The winner of the first competition was Steve Johnson of Al Mouj Golf Club in Oman and Patrick Walker of GEO was the winner on the second day.
“The Leading Edge Series creates a platform for two sides of our business to interact in a professional, yet informal environment,” Chris May, CEO at Emirates Golf Club added. “Having a forum to speak about bridging the gap between Maintenance and Operations was indeed a privilege and beneficial for all attendees. Emirates Golf Club is a proud patron of the event, which allows us the opportunity to showcase our facilities and provide great networking and learning opportunities; we look forward to hosting this again in the future.”
Patrick Walker, Industry Engagement Manager at GEO, said, “This second session in the Leading Edge Series has been another resounding success, the scope of the discussions around issues and opportunities for clubs was extremely interesting and feedback from the attendees has been very positive. Hosting the event at GEO Certified® clubs, like the Emirates, is a fantastic way of demonstrating to delegates some of the practical applications of sustainable golf and we are already looking forward to continuing to work with our partners, Jacobsen, on the next Leading Edge Series event.”
Commenting at the end of the event, Nick Brown, International Corporate Accounts Manager at Ransomes Jacobsen said, “The concept of the Leading Edge Series is different from other events. Usually Club Managers and Superintendents have separate networking and educational events, but Leading Edge enables both to interact with their counterparts, in a convivial and relaxed environment. Craig Haldane and his greenkeeping team at the Emirates provided immaculate conditions on both courses and received numerous compliments. CEO Chris May and his staff were the perfect hosts and the food and hospitality was spectacular.”
The next event in the Leading Edge Series is scheduled for September 2016 and will be hosted by Castle Stuart Golf Links, with PGA Catalunya hosting their first event in April 2017.
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com