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New Speakers Announced for 2019 Turf Conference

Monday 06, May 2019

The AGCSA is delighted to announce the addition of further industry leaders to it's superb line-up of speakers for the upcoming 2019 Asia Pacific Turfgrass Conference and Trade Exhibition to be held in Brisbane from 24-28 June.

Joining the  line-up of Australia and International Guest Speakers and Panelists at the 2019 Conference, is: 


Darius Oliver

Golf Course Designer & Consultant (Aus)

Author and publisher of the Planet Golf series of books, Darius Oliver is a respected writer, rater and golf course consultant.

For Planet Golf he studied more than 1,700 golf courses in 40+ countries, making him the game’s best-traveled and most authoritative voice on golf design and architecture. He currently publishes the website and was previously Architecture Editor of Australian Golf Digest Magazine, chairing its Top 100 Australian Golf Courses panel between 2010 and 2016.

Oliver is also a golf course designer. Credits include Cape Wickham Links on King Island in Tasmania, which debuted in 2016 at number #3 in Australia and #24 in the World (Golf Digest USA), and the new ‘Farm Course’ at The Hills Golf Club in New Zealand, which opened with a par three tournament during February’s 100th New Zealand Open. Current projects include another short course in Victoria and an 18-hole links on spectacular cliffs at Kangaroo Island.



Andrew Johnston

General Manager / Director of Agronomy, Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore)

With over 100 projects and 36 years of golf course design, construction and agronomy management, Andrew is one of the most accomplished and respected professionals in the golf industry.

Having spent the last 10 years at one of the most established and recognized international properties, Sentosa Golf Club, Andrew’s role has covered an entire spectrum of services. Having spent the last 10 years at one of Asia’s pre-eminent golfing destinations, Sentosa Golf Club, Andrew’s role has covered a wide service spectrum.

Since 2010, Andrew has been both General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa, where in 2016 he oversaw the club’s second major redesign program, producing a new design plan for the Tanjong Course, implementing  revolutionary technological and turf management tactics alongside design themes rivalling those at some of the world’s best layouts.



Jonathan Smith

Executive Director and Founder, GEO Foundation, (Scotland)

For over twenty years Jonathan has been dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through the sport of golf.

A geographer and graduate of St Andrews University, he founded the Golf Environment Organization (now GEO Foundation) in 1996 with the purpose of helping golf embrace credible environmental and social leadership; and in the process, strengthen its image, influence and long term success.

Over that time Jonathan has developed collaborations and partnerships internationally, across golf, media, government and environmental NGOs, in order to research and develop golf’s sustainability agenda, co-create long term and scalable solutions and advocate and communicate about issues, challenges, opportunities and solutions. 

He has also directly advised some of golf’s largest events including The Ryder Cup; The Open; European Tour; Solheim Cup; CJ Cup and Olympic Golf


Among various presentations and activities throughout the week, the trio of Darius Oliver, Andrew Johnston, Jonathan Smith will also be a part of the Monday Jacobsen workshops joining the R&A Panel on Sustainable Golf Course Management.  The Monday workshop encompasses an expert panel of local and international Turf Managers, and is facilitied by Steve Isaac, Director – Golf Course Management at The R&A:


Steve Isaac

Director – Golf Course Management, The R&A (England)

With an Honours Degree in Applied Biology, Steve joined the R&A in 2003.

The R&A is the organiser of The Open, golf’s oldest and most international major championship.  

Steve is responsible for The R&A’s advocacy of sustainability and for the formation of GreenLinks, The Open’s sustainability programme, working closely with various governing bodies and Administrations around the Globe on environmentally sustainable Golf Course Management practices.

Steve’s work has taken him to most European countries and to Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America and the USA


The AGCSA is thrilled to have such industry leading designers, architects and consultants add to an already impressive Program, joining some of the Speaker and Program highlights already announced: 

  • Improved Disease Control in Turf through application strategies - Dr John Kaminski, Director - Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program, Penn State University (USA)
  • Building Resilience and creating an Adaptive Mindset in your Team - Paul Warren, Captain of the Australian Invictus Games Team 
  • From Success to Significance - Cameron Schwab, Founder at DesignCEO 
  • Effective Management Practices in Sports Turf Environments - Craig Haldane, Golf Course Manager Gleneagles Golf Club (Scotland) 
  • Where's My Money? Strategies for Managing and Mastering your Financial Situation - Jason Cunningham, CEO at The Practice 

Some of the other Program highlights include: 

•    Grounds Managers at Australia’s elite Sporting Stadiums share their knowledge and experience in an interactive Panel session
•    Understanding Turfgrass plant physiology and stress management
•    Monitoring Wear on AFL Sportsfields
•    Research into Chemical Resistance in Turfgrass
•    Practical approaches to Water Management 
•    The Construction of Australia’s newest venue - BankWest Stadium
•    Effectively managing fine Turf with poor quality water
•    Turfgrass management strategies for high-use Sportsfields
•    Managing Soil Structures to control soil properties on Sportsfields
•    Cricket Wicket Management, Pitch Preparation & Curator Education

In addition to industry leading education and networking opportunities, the Asia Pacific Turfgrass Conference & Trade Exhibition also includes:
•    The largest Sports Turf Management Trade Exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere
•    Turfgrass Talkback session with a team of Sports Turf Managers, Researchers and Industry experts
•    The 2019 Sports Turf Management Awards Gala Dinner
•    VIP Trade Exhibition Opening
•    New product launches and a range of Turf machinery demonstrations

The full 2019 Conference Program is available at the AGCSA website, and Delegate Registration is now open.

We hope to see you for this industry leading event, one not to be missed for anyone involved in the Turf Management industry.