Category: Nansha Golf PDA

Monday 1st April 2013

Hello everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t updated here for a few days, but since we agreed that it would be better for everyone to get the ppts from the classroom computer I hope you haven’t missed these updates too much

Last night was a lovely experience for me, Thank you all for taking me to karaoke, I had a great time.

Today we were lucky enough to have a visit from Aylwin Tai and it was interesting for me to hear his insight into the future of golf in China. I particularly like his approach to developing small, pitch and putt courses which don’t need a license. These will be great facilities for a wider range of people to learn golf and will also be a lot of fun I am sure. Mr Tai certainly gave me a lot of fresh ideas for helping my own customers back home in Scotland.

Please try to make sure that I have your email address and if possible your mailing address in Pin Yin before the end of the week, as I’d like to keep in touch and hear how you are getting on in your work.

You can email me at with any questions or to let me know your contact details.

Thank you


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Wednesday 27th March 2013

That’s us finished with Turf-grass now and next time we will move back onto completing our 10 Minute MBA’s.

Today we looked at the predominant landscape types where golf courses were generally built in Scotland. These were Links, Parkland and Heathland/Moorland. Although these are the main types, there are also a lot of golf courses in Scotland on farmland and recovered industrial landscapes.

China will have it’s own typical sites and at Nansha of course we have the two contrasting golf courses; the Mountain Course and the Valley Course.

In the afternoon we took a final look at some of the practices that greenkeepers get up to in order to maintain the turf in good condition.

PPTs as always available on the classroom laptop.

Have a relaxing day off on Thursday.



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Tuesday 26th March 2013

Thank you everyone for a memorable evening at the seafood restaurant. I had a great time and I hope you have all recovered from the beer!

Today we looked at some of the processes that go on under the turf and within the grass plants themselves.

Photosynthesis is the essence of life and produces the plant tissue and oxygen we humans depend upon for survival. It’s an interesting process and the discovery of C4 photosynthesis finally explained why some grasses perform better in the warm season zone.

The combination of osmosis and transpiration provide the turgidity in grass plants that gives them good elasticity and rigidity characteristics.

Finally, Cation Exchange Capacity showed us how the soil provides nutrients to plants and why creating and maintaining a healthy living soil environment is important.

Thank you again for a great night on Monday.



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Sunday 24th March 2013

A very good day today thank you.

We finally got the mindmap of assessment areas completed and I am happy that we did, because we can now concentrate on getting on with the project knowing exactly what we need to cover within it. It should be easy now to look at the mindmap and discover what we have completed and what is still to do.

I know that you still have some concerns over the volume of content that seems to be required for completion of these units, but don’t worry as we will be covering this work step by step over the days to come and I will share some tools and ideas with you for presenting this information in a very concise, yet high quality way.

We now have 3 teams which I think is a good number and makes each team a good, manageable size with plenty of ideas to share. It was very pleasing to see the each group working so hard and so collaboratively today.

Also today we had a look at the typical construction process of a USGA green. I hope that this will give you confidence to understand what lies under your feet every time you make a good putt!

As always I will leave the ppts on the classroom computer in a folder with the date.

On Tuesday we have some extra work for information only on some of the processes going on in plants and soil. I also have a short presentation on some of the more common greenkeeping practices. I don’t know if we will have time to cover it all, or if I will be feeling healthy enough after Monday night, but we’ll give it a try.

I’d like to cover this material with you while we still have Sabrina with us, as she has a thorough understanding of this subject and can help me when I reach my limits!

6th April will be the day for presenting your final projects and I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with. It certainly looks very promising from what I could see today.

So Mango Tree, Kung Fu Bears and Eagles will be moving into the golf development business soon I think.



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Saturday 23rd March 2013

Good day today, starting with an enlightening visit to the greenkeeping headquarters at Nansha Golf Club. There’s a huge range of equipment available to greenkeepers and knowing how to use it correctly and how to maintain it is critical to the success of the development.

I know that this is a big subject that you will potentially be involved in teaching to students in the future, so keep hold of your log in details even after the PDA training is complete and I will start to compile a growing resource for you to tap into about greenkeeping.

We went on to talk about the 9 Options for golf hole design, which is a great reference point to keep coming back to, especially when combined with Alister MacKenzie’s 13 Principles…you could easily be a golf course designer!

Then we started to create a Mindmap for the work that needs to be covered for the assessment of the units I am teaching. I admit we had a wobble this afternoon, when confidence was low, but I know that you will all produce a professional and exciting plan on 6th April…I’m looking forward to it.

So tomorrow, we will complete the mindmap of assessment items, take a photo of it and pass it around to everyone.

Then it’s on with the show. From now on, we will have one lecture/discussion in the morning and project time in the afternoon.

Thank you for all your kind help with my insect problems. The Chinese remedy Yu Li Li gave me really works well and I am feeling much better already. I also tried the cactus plant remedy from Qin Xing Yao and yes that works well too. Finally thanks to Zhao Bao Jin for taking me to the supermarket last night for “Raid”, no more mosquitoes in my room after spraying that!

Good day today and hopefully a better one tomorrow. We’ll finish the mindmap about assessments and answer some questions about design layout such as yardages for pars 3, 4, 5 etc, as raised by Kaisy.

Then I think we should do some work on Stakeholders and have some project time in the afternoon.



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Thursday 21st March 2013 Training

A very productive day even though we took it a little easy in the afternoon.

Thank you to Kaisy and Mr Vincent Kwok for a very interesting visit to the golf course to look at the issues of turfgrass management at Nansha Golf Club.

This was especially helpful since we had just completed our study of the functional qualities of turfgrass. I think the extra time spent with the experts who know about the local conditions was very valuable for all of us. I certainly learned a lot from this session.

The work we missed?…mei guangxi…no problem we can catch up.

Next time (Saturday) we will catch up with some of the work we missed, which was to develop a clear understanding of what remains for the project. I think we will have another practice at using the Mindmap to create a clear picture of what must be included within the group projects.

I also want to give some help with study areas for turfgrass visual and functional qualities and to share some slides that will help with the presentation of your golf facility development master plans.

We’ll be missing one or two classmates at the weekend, so I might hold back on the remainder of the turfgrass work until they return on Tuesday.

Friday looks good already. I’m spending the morning with Kaisy and Sabrina looking over the mountain course in the morning and then I think I need to catch up with some work from back home.

Also the STRI Green Performance Appraisal video we tried to look at in class is quite difficult to locate on the STRI website so here is a direct link to it.

Have a relaxing day off on Friday.



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Wednesday 20th March 2013

Wednesday 20th March 2013

Today we had quite a long session. I’m sorry if it was quite dry material but I thought it was important to cover some basic turfgrass information.

Today’s material started with the factors that help us to make a visual appraisal of the health and/or suitability for golf of the turfgrass on the golf course. As always, we discovered that things aren’t as black and white as we would like as some very fine links courses have turf that is anything but uniform in appearance. Such is life!

We moved on to study some foundation material on the most important chemical and physical processes that go on within the soil such as the variability in soil pH (whether the soil is acid, neutral or alkaline).

Later we saw that soil texture is a measure of the relative amounts of sand, silt and clay particles within the soil and we discovered that a healthy rootzone is actually 50% nothing or at least useful space!

We found that the structure of soil results in the variable presence of Micro porosity (water space) and Macro porosity (air filled space) in the soil and the importance of this in keeping the soil sweet (not too acid) and in maintaining a suitable population of soil microbes which help to provide nutrition to the grass plants and keep thatch under control to some extent.

We had a good discussion on the merits or otherwise of aeration techniques and topdressing of golf greens. I shared some of my techniques from Scotland and Kasey shared her experiences from Nansha Golf Club which were very interesting for me to hear.

Finally we looked at the concept of warm and cool season plants and I think there was some surprise that over 90% of plants are cool season varieties.

Plants have to manufacture their own food by combining energy from the sun with nutrients and water from the soil in a very impressive process called photosynthesis. The realisation that some plants had adapted a more efficient method of doing this in very hot conditions led to the discovery of the warm season/cool season divide in the plant kingdom.

I want to spend a full day on this and related material on Saturday 23rd March including what goes on underground when plants extract water and nutrients from the soil.
I will also cover some material on what happens when turfgrass is left to its own devices without interference from “experts” like us!

So tomorrow (Thursday 21st) I want us to achieve 5 things:

1. I would like to prepare for Saturday’s work by finishing off some study on the functional qualities of turfgrass. This is essential to a good understanding of Saturday’s material.
2. I want to present you with some items to think about for your project related to today’s turfgrass study.
3. I would like to have a discussion on the format of your golf development projects and to give any assistance you need on moving on to the next stage with this.
4. I want to pass on a short ppt of slides to give you some ideas for the presentation of your master plans.
5. I want to allow you some time to consider your plan of action and maybe to start work on your master planning in the afternoon. I’ll be around to help answer any questions you might have.

Thank you to you all for arranging my visit to the Chinese Medicine Specialist; I think I can feel a real improvement in flexibility of my back already!

Thank you also to Professor Wu for taking me to the supermarket for much needed beer, chocolate and tea!

Finally I think we should go with your suggestion for everyone to get their copies of ppts from Sabrina’s computer due to internet speed. I’ll continue to post updates here anyway

Until tomorrow.


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Sunday 17th March 2013 Training

Today I introduced the subjects for the 3 week Golf PDA training course at Nansha Golf Club, Guangzhou.

Thank you to the wonderful staff at Nansha Golf Club for their hospitality.

Thank you to all of the students for making me feel so welcome in China and to Raymond, Sabrina and Linda for making sure that I have excellent support during my stay.

The subjects today were quite varied and I introduced the idea that we would deal with all four of the remaining units as one big project. I think it is best if the group splits into smaller groups to complete the project.

So we will complete the training by creating and presenting a master plan for an imaginary (and excellent) golf facility and profitable business.

I think we will aim to compete the work by 4th or 5th April and make the final presentations on the 6th of April.

To achieve a pass in this project, each team member must contribute their very best ideas and work and it will be necessary to spend extra time after class each day to work on these plans.

The final presentation should include:

  1. Introduction to the project
  2. A Scale Master Plan of the golf course and any additional facilities you have decided to include.
  3. A brief business plan that explains how the project will work including reference to and evidence to support the following:
      1. Concept of the project development
      2. Target market area and customer groups
      3. Marketing strategy including the mix of promotional ideas used to gain business
      4. A strategy for Customer Service and how this will be achieved
  4. Final presentations can be accompanied by a PPT if you wish and success will be judged by the overall commitment and involvement of the team in the project.

Subjects covered/concepts introduced today included:

  • Recap of Fraser’s teaching subjects to help us link the whole PDA together. PPT Here
  • How to create a Clear Competitive Advantage for your golf project. PPT Here
  • Alister MacKenzie’s 13 guiding principles for golf design. PPT Here
  • Some basic principles for designing golf holes and for adding interest and enjoyment to the golfer’s round. PPT Here

What we made today:

  • A draft Clear Competitive Advantage for our golf project.
  • A draft scorecard for our golf course using MacKenzie’s principles.

What’s Next?

  • An exercise in using the Magic Wand to create our ideal golf business
  • Fine tuning of the CCA
  • Introducing the Forcefield Analysis to our planning process
  • Introduction to PESTLE analysis for new projects.


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