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2007 News

Compiled by John Pryor

VALE - ROD RILEY - 3 DECEMBER 2008

Renowned Australian turfgrass developer Rod Riley, Ph.D., passed away at age 71, a year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

In Australia he is best known for developing (in 1965) Greenless Park Couch, a bermuda grass named after the bowling club where he developed it. This became the turf industry standard across Australia.

His professional career was spent developing bermuda grass (called "couch grass" in Australia). In 1992 he received the Order of Australia Medal for his services.

At the turn of the millennium, Riley released a grass named "Riley's Super Sport" in Australia but it is distributed internationally under the brand name "Celebration."

R.I.P.

ASIA PACIFIC GOLF DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT AT MISSION HILLS, CHINA
Tue- Thu, 2-4 December 2008

This will be interesting gathering. Some of the big names in golf that will be represented: Golfplan, IMG, The Toro Company, Rain Bird, Nicklaus Design, Greg Norman Design, Howard Swan, Schmidt & Curley Design, Troon Golf, Club Car, E-Z-GO, Jacobsen, John Deere, etc.

Click here for the Summit Program including Keynote Speakers (PDF Document)

CALENDAR EVENTS FOR THE COMING HOLIDAY SEASON - POSTED 1 OCTOBER 2008
Including Hydrogold's Desktop Calendar for 2009

Click here to download Hydrogold's 2009 computer desktop calendar...

Holidays and events to help with your travel planning.

DAY DATE EVENT
Wed 1 Oct 2008 End of Ramadan (Muslim month of fasting)
Mon 27 Oct 2008 Hindu Deepavali
Wed-Fri 24-26 Nov 2008 Asia Golf Industry Show (New Delhi, India)
Click here for their web site
Tue-Thu 2-4 Dec 2008 Asia Pacific Golf Development Summit at Mission Hills, China
Click here for their web site
Thu 25 Dec 2008 Christmas Day
Thu 1 Jan 2009 New Years Day
Thu to Sat 5 to 7 Feb 2009 US Golf Industry Show in New Orleans
Click here for their web site...
Mon & Tue 26 & 27 Jan 2009 Chinese New Year
Fri 10 Apr 2008 Good Friday for Easter
Fri 1 May 2008 Labor Day
Sat 9 May 2009 Vesak Day

PROJECT MANAGEMENT MAXIMS - 15 SEPTEMBER 2008

The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time the last 10% takes the other 90%.

Fast - cheap - good: you can have any two.

You can build a reputation on what you're going to do.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

There's never enough time to do it right first time but there's always enough time to go back and do it again.

It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by impregnating nine women.

Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.

You can con a Contractor into committing to an impossible deadline, but you cannot con him into meeting it.

The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, only the promise is remembered.

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.

What is not on paper has not been said.

If it happens once it's ignorance, if it happens twice it's neglect, if it happens three times it's policy.

Meetings are events at which minutes are kept and hours are lost.

SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL EXPO 2008 - FFI & SAT, 25 & 26 JULY 2008

After an overnight Melboune-Perth-Singapore flight, I was able to attend this bi-annual show. The bulk (say 90%) of Hydrogold's international work has been on golf courses. This was an ideal show to launch our revamped landscape irrigation package.

The retail side of the show had over 300,000 visitors and ran over a week. Fortunately the tradeshow section (run by the National Parks Board) was quieter and shorter. An interesting feature of the landscape industry in Singapore is the rotation of people (even companies). So it was good to catch up with and find out where people are now.

Click here to visit their Web Site

AGCSA TRADE EXHIBITION - Wed & Thu, 23 & 24 JULY 2008

I attended the trade show for the Australian Superintendent's Association Trade Show held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Hydrogold has done over 20 golf courses in 24 countries but ironically we are (by comparison) virtually unknown in the Australian market. So, as a part of Hydrogold's push back into the Australian market (refer to news below of Steve Peck leaving), it was a necessity to attend this premier gathering of the Australian golf industry. It was a great opportunity to meet with many old acquaintences from Asia and who had moved back to Australia. The show also attracted existing players from the Asian market. As well, many new contacts were made.

Click here to visit the AGCSA Web Site

STEVE PECK LEAVES HYDROSCAPES AUSTRALIA - 1 JULY 2008
John Pryor moves into Australian Market

After 22 years as the principal of Hydroscapes Australia, Steve Peck has accepted an offer to work at Total Eden. Steve has left his indelible marks on the irrigation industry. He was involved in the formative years of the old Irrigation Association of Australia (now Irrigation Australia) and served on many government bodies including the former Waters and Rivers Commission. We wish Steve well in his future endeavours.

John Pryor has been an associate of Steve's since 1989 (Paradise Palms Golf Course in Cairns, Australia) and in 1991 moved to Singapore. Since then he has been involved in over 220 golf courses in 23 countries as well as numerous landscape irrigation projects. In 2001, John returned with his family to his home state, Western Australia. However, he continued to operate internationally, leaving the local market to Steve.

With the departure of Steve, John is now actively marketing his services in Australia. He continues to run Hydrogold Pty Ltd and Hydroscapes Pte Ltd (in Singapore).

Click here to read Steve's Letter of Introduction (PDF Format)

GOLF EXTENDS LIFE BY 5 YEARS - 3 JUNE 2008

According to European medical research, playing golf can add five years to a person's life. This is revealed in a study of 300,000 golfers by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Despite the lack of physical activity involved in a round of golf, players usually walk more than six kilometres during a single 18-hole round, News Limited reports today.

The study found that golfers have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group, the papers reported. And the effect is greater for blue-collar workers than for white collar employees, it says.

AAP

Click here for the Whole Report (a bit boring...) in PDF format.

VALE - CHUCK CLOUD - 7 MAY 2008

Charles "Chuck" S Cloud died today aged 60. He was in an motorcycle accident a few days ago and was recovering in hospital (with 6 broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung) but a blood clot ended his life.

Chuck was well known throughout the golf industry. He started with Formost Construction in 1966 finally reaching the position of President and Chief Executive Officer in 1993.

R.I.P. at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California.

PEOPLE - 15 APRIL 2008

Marc Dressler is working in Moscow and looking for various expatriate staff to work on golf courses there. Marc previously worked on the Araluen Country Club (Perth, Western Australia) and the Masters Golf & Country Club (Guangzhou, China), both irrigation systems designed by Hydroscapes (Hydrogold's sister company).

Stephen Alexander, a long-term resident of Asia (and China in particular), had a brief stint in Moscow after he finished at the Jack Nicklaus designed Riverside Golf Club (for which Hydrogold designed the irrigation). He is now back in China working for a Contractor this time.

Also back in China is David Medlin (who I met at the Beijing show). David is now working at Yanxi Lake Golf Course (just north of Beijing). Hydrogold have a long association with this Ian Woosnam designed golf course. We designed the orginal irrigation system for it in 1999 as Yin Shi Fu Golf Course and then redesigned it in 2003 as Jinge Yin International Golf Course. 2008 saw Hydrogold making the final design changes as Yanxi Lake Golf Course.

A little further south in Vietnam, James Dalton has left the employ of Greg Graham's Top-Max Golf International. I believe that is a name that we will not see again. Also out of Vietnam (and the industry) is Ray Lobb who is now workking with his brothers Malcolm, Wayne and Terry (all previously in the industry) in Perth, Australia. Ray had worked for several years with Greenmaw International (previously the construction arm of the then golf course architectural team of Thomson-Woolveridge-Perrett) during their hey(read hay)-day. Speaking of which, Ong Pway Kheng (PK) is now working for Australasian Golf, affilliated with the golf course architects Thompson-Perrett. PK was formerly at the Phil Jacobs designed Marina Bay Golf Club in Singapore for which Hydrogold designed the irrigation system.

Marina Bay Golf Course in Singapore...

 

SINGAPORE - 31 MARCH TO 7 APRIL 2008

At the beginning of April, I spent about a week in Singpaore and caught up on many of the changes.

Laguna National Golf & Country Club is undergoing renovations under the direction of Andy Dye who was the Golf Course Architect when it was build back in 1992. The superintendent at that time was Russ Jaynes and he was brought back to the project for the renovation. But he had moved on just before I got back to Singapore.

The renovations at the Orchid Country Club are coming near an end and Gregg Swanson (working for Tony Taylor's Quality Golf Consultants) is leaving Orchid (and also Quality Golf). Looks like Tony Taylor may be spending a bit more time in Singapore. And it looks like Toh Eng Hock Construction (Dick Toh) will continue their string of successes in Singapore with the maintenance contract at Orchid.

Meanwhile, Gregg Swanson moves to the Sentosa Golf Club where he has worked previously. This follows closely on the departure of Mr Sia Kuang Yiau, a long-time stalwart of Sentosa Golf Club management.

Singapore Island Country Club has also been a hive of activity of late. 2007 saw the departure of Andrew Clacy who is now working on a new golf course north of Christchurch in New Zealand. Incidentally, Andrew had also worked as the Golf Course Superindent at Orchid Country Club for several years. In 2008, the planned renovation with Robert Trent Jones II was put out to re-bid. Golfplan (who did the renovation of the Serapong Course at Sentosa back in 1999) were annouced as the winners of the SICC re-bid at the end of March. This was just after the departure of Brad Leahey from SICC.

CHINA GOLF SHOW IN BEIJING - 27 to 29 MAR 2008

Skipped this show in 2007 (because it conflicted with Easter) but in 2008 this is still the best golf show in Asia. It combines the retail and development sides of the Industry. The development side of the industry was well represented with Manufacturers and Golf Course Architects. The many expatriates present mainly walked the aisles of the shows. But it would be nice to have some heating in the temporary housing for the development industry side!

OFFICIAL OPENING OF "THE DUNES" IN DUBAI - 28 JAN 2008
ERNIE ELS GOLF COURSE AT DUBAI SPORTS CITY

Along with Ernie Els and Martina Navratilova, I went to the official opening of the Ernie Els golf course at Dubai Sports City. Appropriately named "The Dunes", the fairways feature a wide, green carpet of grass set amongst sand mounds and large waste bunkers. Hydrogold designed this 18-hole, hard-lined, dessert-style irrigation system with 1,992 sprinklers back in 2005. So it was good to see it finished.

 

GOLF-EX IN DUBAI - 27&28 JAN 2008

Golf-Ex 2008 was not quite what I was expecting - there were only 15 outdoor exhibition tents - No Toro, no Rain Bird, no Textron, etc. This may be reflecting a conflict with the US Golf Show in Orlando (31 Jan to 2 Feb 2008) but Golf-ex has been in decline since 2006. Perhaps the redeeming feature was the conference which attracted a respectable gathering of speakers and attendees (around 60).

So perhaps if you are considering attending Golf-ex in 2009, you may want to consider it more carefully.