After attending the 2017 GIS in Orlando, I was fortunate to be able to travel to Boca Raton, Florida along with twelve superintendents from Spain.
There were over 10 courses visited during the trip. One that we visited was Boca Grove Plantation Golf & Tennis Club. Rafael Barajas, CGCS is the Director of Golf Operations at this beautiful private facility.
This in person visit gave us the ability to explain and demonstrate cultural practices (mowing, irrigation, fertilization, pest management, among many others) that are done in the U.S. and to also discuss how management (education, training, leadership, etc) is handled and look at similarities and differences between the two countries.
Two unique issues that Spain faces are lack of water supply and strict environmental regulations that affect the application of fertilizers and pesticides. The opportunity to have face to face interactions with these other superintendents gives us all the chance to discuss, ask questions, and explore areas that may otherwise be hard to access. The superintendents from Spain were especially interested in learning about Bermuda grasses because of their need for less water than most other species.
Iñigo Soto, the Head Greenskeeper at Finca Cortesin in Casares, Spain and Dario Pascua , who is originally from Spain but is now a superintendent at Polo Club in Boca Raton, Florida, invited us to the Greenskeepers National Meeting in Seville, Spain in November to share our knowledge by presenting a seminar on U.S. Cultural Practices.
Opportunities to network and build relationships with superintendents all over the globe are invaluable and really the way of the future. We all must build ties and work together to ensure the success of the golf course industry.