The Groundsman

July 2012

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42 FEATURE the Groundsman July 2012 At Sage Valley Golf Club, South Carolina, from left, Nick Phillips, Niall Hazelhurst, John Ledwidge, Ryan Golding, William Graves, Iestyn John Young IOG Directors in America As part of the sponsorship by leading turf machinery manufacturer Ransomes Jacobsen of the Board of IOG Young Directors, Ryan Golding, William Graves, Niall Hazlehurst, Iestyn John, John Ledwidge and Nick Phillips attended the Future Turf Managers Conference in America in May. Accompanied by Geoff Webb, IOG Chief Executive, and David Timms, Ransomes Jacobsen's Regional Sales Manager for the west of England, the IOG Young Directors were not only able to network with greenkeepers and groundsmen from across the US, but they were also able to study US concepts and ideas that may help improve and expand the groundscare/greenkeeping systems in this country. Will Graves and Geoff Webb present a diary of events Day One After a delayed start, courtesy of a flat battery while taxiing for take-off at Gatwick, the group touched down in Charlotte, North America, some 12 hours later. After a day's recovery (on the Sunday), we soon learned that the scale and size of everything in the US was significantly larger than the UK norm! The conference was based at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, the town which is also home to the headquarters of Jacobsen, which hosted the event. The conference was attended by around 35 sports turf groundsmen and greenkeepers aged 18-25 years old. Ric Stone, VP Sales, Jacobsen, gave a welcoming address followed by a company overview from President, David Withers. David then introduced the IOG Youth Board. Our first tour took us to the Charlotte Speedway NASCAR racing circuit which for more than 50 years has set the standard for motor sport entertainment and has evolved into 'the greatest place to see the race'.

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