Greetings from Hong Kong!

July 1, 2010

My name is Damian Richardson, a recent graduate of Iowa State University. I am currently on a six-month internship with the Hong Kong Golf Club. The HKGC is a 121-year-old private club with a membership of roughly 2,400. The club hosts many Club and Hong Kong Golf Association tournaments, as well as the USB Hong Kong Open, which is a stop on the European Tour. The club is comprised of four different courses totaling 63 holes. The New, Old, and Eden courses each have 18 holes and are located 40 minutes north of Hong Kong Central and 10 minutes south of China in Fannling, Hong Kong with the remaining 9 holes at the Club in Deep Water Bay, Hong Kong.

The three 18-hole courses at Fannling (where I will be spending most of my time) have many different grass species. Below are the grass species and varieties that cover the three courses here:

Bermudagrass (Tifdwarf, Tifeagle, Fanling 27, Fanling 33, and common Bermudagrass, and Transvaalensis)

Bentgrass – A note on the Bentgrass green – On the 13th hole of the New Course, there is an option to use one of two targets available. On one target we have Bermudagrass and on the other is Bentgrass. The average temperature in June (according to has been 78 overnight and 86 during the day and averaging 67-89% humidity. This green was installed September 2009 and has been a struggle to keep alive so far this summer. It will be interesting to see how it performs over the coming months. The green is purely an experiment to see how well bentgrass can do in this area and how intensively it must be managed to be kept alive.

Fairways –
Seashore Paspalum (Salam)
Emerald Zoysia (Zoysia japonica)
Manillagrass (Zoysia matrella)
Bermudagrass (419, common Bermudagrass)

Seashore Paspalum (Salom)
Zoysiagrass (japonica and matrella)
Bermudagrass (common Bermudagrass)

Bermudagrass (419 and common Bermudagrass)
Seashore Paspalum (Salam)
Zoysia (japonica and matrella)

Due to the nature of these warm season grasses, we must have nursery stock available for repairs and renovations. Since we have so many species of grass on the course, it is necessary for us to have a large nursery area. Here we have multiple nurseries totaling approximately 10 acres in size.

To increase the understanding of warm season turfgrass in Hong Kong, there is research is being conducted here based on discovering which species grow best in our area, and what types of management practices are needed to achieve the best quality turf for golf. The unique climate of Hong Kong (hot, humid, rainy, and limited sunlight in summer, and extremely dry and cool in winter) makes it a very challenging place to grow grass. The club has developed a research center that has over 40 plots of numerous species and varieties of turfgrass. Dr. Micah Woods of the Asian Turfgrass Center is employed as a consultant for collecting and developing data from the research area.

I look forward to sharing more about my internship with the readers of iaTURF and will be discussing many new discoveries I have made at the Hong Kong Golf Club, as well as other clubs that I visit in Hong Kong.

Damian Richardson