BTME and GolfBIC Roundup

The UK Golf Course Owners Association is celebrating the success of its annual convention the Golf Business & Industry Convention which took place on the 17-18 January 2017. 
The event, which is presented collaboratively between UKGCOA and the Organisation of Golf & Range Operators (OGRO) in association with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), was held in Harrogate alongside the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition for the second year running and attracted approximately 100 delegates in total, ranging from golf course owners and operators, greenkeepers, suppliers and leading figures from the golf industry. 
GolfBIC was hosted by self-confessed golf addict, BBC’s Naga Munchetty and included keynote speakers from across the golf industry who tackled subjects such as Golf Retail, Making Golf Fun, the US Golf Market, Forging the Team, Growing the Game and much more.
Grant Wright, CEO of World of Golf and keynote speaker at GolfBIC gave delegates an insight into how he has turned four of London’s driving ranges into perhaps the busiest and most popular golf facilities in the UK, if not Europe.
Also on the programme were award-winning golf facility 3 Hammers Golf Complex, whose owner Ian Bonser and academy directors and PGA Professionals Rob Bluck and John Cheetham, shared their award-winning formula on how they have successfully attracted hundreds of new golfers to the game. 
In addition to the line-up of top speakers delegates were treated to more than a couple of drinks at the networking drinks reception on Tuesday night. 
Alec Fernihough, Proprietor at Gaudet Luce Golf Club who attended the event, said: “I must admit to coming away from GolfBIC with a number of ideas which I will be implementing this year. Well done to all, I look forward to booking my time at GolfBIC next year and would advise all in the golf industry to do the same if they want to improve their business. It is well worth the time and great value when you look at the effect a couple of good ideas can have on your bottom line.”
Videos of each of the presentations delivered at GolfBIC will shortly be available for delegates to watch. 
Driving Range Automated Maintenance Technology
innovates at the BTME
Specialist distributors of outfield robot technology solutions, AMS (Automated Management Services), continues to challenge the golf industry’s perception of outfield maintenance equipment, by showcasing the automated outfield robots at this year's BTME show in Harrogate.  The purpose of the outfield robots is to automate the grass cutting, ball collection, ball wash and return to dispenser at driving range facilities. 
Highlights at the stand included the ball retrieval ditch, which forms part of the automated ball wash system. This system washes and returns the balls to the dispenser, ready for customer use. Also exhibited were the robot ball collector called 'Ball Picker' and robot lawn mower named 'BigMow'.  The Ball Picker robot works in tandem with the ball wash system by dropping the collected balls into the retrieval ditch. This partnership enables the ball management process at driving ranges to be fully automated. The BigMow robot's unique mulching technique, snips the tips of the blades of grass and allows the tiny grass clippings to decompose within 72 hours. This creates a natural fertiliser that all but eliminates the need for expensive treatments and maintenance, resulting in cost savings for the facility. 
“We were delighted to be exhibiting the robots once again at this year's show and are pleased with the great interest the robots have received. The show is always a great opportunity to meet new contacts and see the latest trends in turf management. In discussions at the show and amongst my many years of golf industry experience I have found that outfield maintenance is always listed amongst the top five issues owners/operators want to improve at their facility. “Our automated robots are a forward thinking solution to tackle the chores of  maintenance and offer great savings associated with the cost of labour, grass health and traditional equipment maintenance.  Overall the BTME show has been a positive indicator of the great year ahead and we look forward to the robot technology continuing to transform the way facilities operate for the better,” said AMS (Automated Managed Services) MD Philip Sear.
With no capital outlay, the cost of the robots is administrated through a monthly service plan called 'Range Ball Plan'. So you only pay for the balls collected, with your grass cut 3 to 5 times a week by the robot lawn mower included in the price.
  If you would like more information about the driving range outfield robots, please visit or call us on 01462 676 222.
BTME goes from Strength to Strength
6,501 individual visitors - that’s up from 5,890 in 2016.
1.46 - Average visits per delegate. What that means is visitors stay multiple days for the whole BTME experience.
3,064 individual educational experiences
These include seminars, workshops, and the great sessions hosted from people such as Neil Cleverly of the Olympic Golf Course and it equates to more than two hours’ education for every golf course in the UK.
Karl Hansell, Communications Executive for BIGGA said: "We’re really pleased with how BTME went and we had loads of delegates saying there was a fantastic buzz about the place – and not just because Wildflower Turf brought a colony of bees with them. 
"From the Welcome Celebration, again hosted by television presenter Naga Munchetty and featuring entertainment from comedian Ian Moore, to the ‘Ryder Cup: Past, Present and Future’ general session, which featured no less than five Ryder Cup course managers and superintendents. BTME 2017 reaffirmed its position as the premier turf management exhibition in Europe."