Photo courtesy of GIE+EXPO

Hosted by the Kentucky Turfgrass Council, the conference will take place Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center during the annual trade show.

Thursday’s programs will offer golf sessions in the morning and sports turf sessions in the afternoon, allowing attendees to spend half of the day in education and half of the day visiting the trade show. A combined general session is set for Friday morning.

“With 900 exhibits – indoors and out – that showcase the newest turf management equipment, lawn and garden products, light construction equipment and UTVs, it’s a natural fit for golf course superintendents and sports turf professionals," said Warren Sellers, show director. "Having the conference sessions in conjunction with the trade show makes GIE+EXPO their one-stop shop for new products and education."

Golf Sessions

Sponsored by The Toro Company with Century Equipment & Kenney Machinery Corp.

Thursday, Oct. 20; 8:30 a.m. - Noon

Pat Jones, Moderator
Surviving a Natural Disaster as a Golf Course Superintendent, From Disaster to Rebuild

Josh Pope, golf course superintendent, The Greenbrier

Pope will share his experience seeing The Greenbrier face a disastrous flooding event June 23, 2016, rebuilding The Old White TPC and hosting a PGA Tour event - The Greenbrier Classic - a year later.

Inside the Ropes on the PGA TOUR - A Look at Course Conditioning Goals and Maintenance Practices

Paul Vermeulen, vice president competitions agronomy, PGA Tour

Vermeulen will give attendees an inside look at course conditioning goals and provide best practice tips for maintenance.

Sports Turf Sessions

Sponsored by Southern Athletic Fields

Thursday, Oct. 20; 1:30-5 p.m.

Oversight and Management of High-End Sports Fields

Dan Bergstrom, certified field sports manager, BBVA Compass Stadium

This expansive session will cover topics ranging from daily maintenance of athletic fields, tips for enhancing fields on low budgets, renovation techniques for grass and skinned areas, and ways to keep fields in good condition for year-round use.

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Healthy Soils, Better Sports Fields, Fewer Pesticides

Tom Samples, PhD, UT Extension Turfgrass Specialist

Samples will discuss ways to maintain nutrient-rich soils and the importance of soil texture, structure, organic matter and microorganism activity and drainage.

Fundamentals of Sports Field Specifications

Laith Ross, PE, LEED AP, senior principal, RossTarrant Architects

Ross will explain how to write and review sports field specifications for construction projects, provide ways to enhance your specifications for field construction projects and go over different types of bids for those projects.

Sports Turf in the Region - Past, Present and Trends for the Future

Carla Hagan, Eastern Kentucky University; Dr. Greg Munshaw, University of Kentucky; Dr. Paul Woosley, Western Kentucky University

This panel discussion will highlight trends in sports turf based on research, site visits and the panelists’ experience in the turf industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in the discussion about a variety of issues regarding the planning and maintenance of sports fields.

General Session

Friday, Oct. 21; 9-11 a.m.

A pre-session networking breakfast, 7:30 - 9 a.m., is included with general session fee.
Real World Advice for Twitter and Social Media

Pat Jones and Guy Cipriano

This session will cover the do’s and don’ts for starting or managing an effective social media presence. Attendees will come away with answers to questions related to "all things" social media.

Golf, Sports Turf and Landscape Irrigation Trends - Where things are headed

Bob Scott, PIC ASIC, CID, CLIA, president, Irrigation Consultant Services

Scott’s session will cover a variety of irrigation trends in the areas of technology, water resources, green codes and budgeting. Topics will include Cloud-based controls, HDPE pipe, storm water harvesting, water treatment, pumping systems and filtration options, as well as ground water and reuse water development.

Pre-registration is required for the Golf and Sports Turf Management sessions. The fee for each Thursday session is $99. Friday’s session is $89. A $50 upgrade includes a networking reception Thursday, 5:30-8 p.m. at The Galt House Hotel. The reception ticket includes networking, hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets.