Our next stop was Hong Kong, where it was predictably cloudy. The seminar was at Clearwater Bay, a course with manilagrass tees, fairways, and roughs. We saw a little bit of dollar spot and heard from superintendent Darry Koster about his preventative fungicide program for large patch (caused by Rhizoctonia solani). It gets just cold enough at Hong Kong for large patch to be a problem on zoysia. In more tropical parts of Asia, where the average temperature never drops below 20°C, large patch is not a problem.
A question came up at the seminar after I had presented data showing that rolling can increase green speed by about 20% while causing almost no change to the surface hardness of a green. I paraphrase here: “What about damage caused by rolling, a seeming bruising or physical damage of the turfgrass leaves, that occurs sometimes and makes us consider rolling to be an inherently (or at least potentially) damaging process?” I’ve heard this concern in Japan as well, and there was widespread agreement with that concern at Hong Kong. Yet if we look at the articles that have been published about lightweight rolling of putting greens, the results are shown to be almost all positive. Can our readers share some insight into this concern, about how we can avoid damage by rolling?
I closed my presentation by discussing climatological normals, pointing out that during the month of April, Hong Kong is one of the cloudiest cities in the world, which has a tremendous influence on the photosynthesis of C4 grasses (less so on C3 grasses), and how there is complete overlap of the climatological normal temperature and sunshine data for Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, but there is no overlap at all between the aforementioned cities and Miami. It would seem to me, based on these data, that the grasses that perform well at Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong will be the same, and will very likely be different from the grasses that perform well at Miami.
Then it was on to Beijing. We were lucky to catch a clear day for botanizing, where we found some perennial ryegrass at Tiananmen, flowering trees at the Great Wall, panda hats at a souvenir shop, and capped off the day with a dinner of Peking Duck that included side dishes of duck feet in a mustard sauce and delectable fried duck hearts.
Dr. Kaminski was thrilled to be amidst cool-season grasses again at Beijing. We saw creeping bentgrass, perennial ryegrass, and kentucky bluegrass at Beijing, whereas at the previous five stops it had been only bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, seashore paspalum, and broadleaf carpetgrass.
Our seminar was organized by the new superintendent’s association in northern China, Green Care Association, along with Fat Dragon Co, the Toro Co distributor in North China. We gave our presentations to a large audience of nearly 100 superintendents at the Shadow Creek Golf Club, then were off to the airport for another international flight, but this one took us home.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the seminars and helped to organize them, to Dr. John Kaminski for sharing his time and energy to come over for such a full schedule of seminars, and to The Toro Co. and their distributors (particularly Jebsen & Jessen and Fat Dragon) for helping to organize the seminars and supporting some of the travel costs.