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Compiled by John Pryor

Some of the news items mention individuals. This is all done with the intent of keeping people informed about where people are in a good-natured way. If you have a problem with your name being mentioned here, please let me know and I will not use it on the web site.

For any comments or snippets of news, Please click here to Email Me

Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Brunei - 2012-12-11 to 2012-12-13

This was held at the luxurious Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei. There were many distinguished speakers at this great event organised by Mike Sebastian; Bob Moore, Brian Costello, David Dale, Jon Scott, Howard Swan, Jim Prusa, Bruce Williams, Ron Dodson, Steve Mona, George Chandra, Tim Trinka, John Holmes, Brad Burgess and many others.


John Pryor presented on the topic: "When is Enough (Water), Enough", an introduction to role of Soil Moisture Monitoring in financial and environmental sustainability.


Training for Jebsen & Jessen Staff at Padi Valley Golf Club - 2012-11-20

The training team complete with portable soil moisture probe and irrigation catch cups

Attendees included managers, technicians and installation staff from 5 countries. Attending were Irlus, Somchai Chokchalermwong, Fatema I. Mendrofa, Phothongsuk Yodpet, Nguyen Mau Thien (Stoney), Michael Chang, Suyanto, John Pryor, Pisal Chitanwat, Bremgopal, Budi Nugraha Kusumah and Yaakob Hitam.

John Pryor led the 3-day training session with J&J staff at the Padi Valley Golf Club. Hydrogold designed the irrigation system for this golf course designed by JMP Golf Design (Bob Moore). So it was an appropriate venue to conduct the training focussed on products, installation and maintenance.

VALE - ROBIN NELSON - 2012-11-19

Robin Nelson, 61, (b. 1951-01-27) of Mill Valley passed away after a courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with his wife Aniko and daughters Taylour and Briana at his side. He retained his sense of humor, friendships, curiosity and a remarkable appreciation for the world and people around him. His kindness and gentle humor will be missed.

Robin was born and raised in Mill Valley. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1973 and began his career as a golf course architect. In 1983 he moved to Hawaii where joined Belt Collins and established the golf course architecture arm of the firm, Nelson & Wright Golf Course Architects, now known as Nelson & Haworth Golf Course Architects. He and his company designed golf courses worldwide, many in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. His courses were particularly well known for their incorporation of and respect for the natural environment.

After nearly 17 years in Hawaii, Robin and his wife Aniko moved to Mill Valley in 2000 where he continued designing golf courses both in Hawaii and Southeast Asia.

Paraphrased from from the obiturary on the Honolulu Star Advertiser dated 2012-12-02 and other sources.


Final Inspection of Irrigation System at Laguna Hue Golf Course - 2012-10-29

Hole 11 (above) is a classic gem but it is the large, shaped waste bunkers with their unique landscaping that makes this course distinctive.

Laguna Hue Golf Course, a 1 hour drive north of Da Nang (Vietnam), is a Nick Faldo designed golf course for which Hydrogold designed the irrigation system. There is extensive use of part-circle sprinklers to avoid promoting weed growth in the large sand waste areas.


John Pryor staking sprinklers on hole 3 at Riverside Oaks Golf Course.

Riverside Oaks was built about 27 years ago and the first Golf Course Superintendent there was Darby Muller. Darby left there in 1988 to work on many early Greg Norman projects including Tering Bay in Indonesia where we first met in 1993. We have remained friends and it is very good to be working for Darby again on the irrigation design for this project. The Golf Course Architect is Bob Harrison who also designed Tering Bay while at Greg Norman Design. Bob, who spearheaded Greg Norman's foray into golf course architecture all those years ago, now works with another ex-Greg Norman designer, Harley Kruse, out of Sydney.

Nowadays Darby has his own company (Golfshapes - www.Golfshapes.com.au) and has come back to Riverside Oaks Golf Course to build this 9-hole extension to the existing 18 holes. The Golf Course Superintendent is Pat Budgen who took over from Darby when he left Riverside Oaks Golf Course. A lot of history and industry interconnections on this course (as on so many others).


While in Bali, I took time out to visit Mark Isley who I worked with when he was at Bali Golf and Country Club. This golf course was designed by Peter Thomson, Michael Wolveridge and Ronald Fream. It opened in 1974 and by 1987 was listed in the top 50 golf courses in the world.

A couple of months before my visit, a landslide of mud and topical jungle from the mountain swept through the villas. Fortunately the only occupant of these villas was not on the ground floor and escaped unharmed.

As with Bali National Golf Resort, there are very old Rain Bird sprinklers still operating at this course. At 1,142 m above sea level it offers a cool relief from the warmer temperature of coastal Bali. That combined with a high rainfall means the irrigation system does not have a lot of work to do.

The mountains, tropical rain forest and huge lake provided a great setting for the Golf Course Architects. Since his appointment, Mark has been hard at work restoring this old but great course. The condition of the cow grass fairways and bent grass greens is a testimony to his good work.

If you do go to Bali, I recommend you take time out to visit this unique Indonesian golf course.


John Pryor with a metal topped Rain Bird 51 DL sprinkler that has been operating in the field for 21 years. As could be expected, it is well past its expiry date.

The old Bali Golf and Country Club is under renovation and has been renamed to the "Bali National Golf Resort". A ground-breaking project back in 1990, this project was the first project in Asia for the Golf Course Architects, Robin Nelson and Rodney Wright. The Contractor, Mike Martin (Pacific Golf), was also on the first of his many Asian projects as was fellow irrigation designer, Allan Schildknecht (Irrigation Hawaii). Mark Isley was there during the construction and stayed on to be the long-term Golf Course Superintendent and later the General Manager. Nowadays Mark is still in Bali as the General Manager at the Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club.

Nelson-Haworth has been appointed as the Golf Course Architects for the renovation and Hydrogold will be doing the irrigation design for the new system. Another long-term Asian golf identity, Bruce Jellard, continues with the Club to oversee the renovation.


Dale has been recently appointed World Design Services Manager at Signature Controls (http://www.signaturecontrolsystems.com/). Since Dale entered the irrigation industry in 1964 (48 years ago to save you the math) he has fulfilled a wide range of roles (distributor, pumps, consultant). He (quite literally) has lived the development of the today's irrigation system.

Dale is well-known world-wide. In my mind (and many others), he is famous for his trademark assembly sketches. The distinctive style of shading and hand-drawing adds a nice artistic touch to these technical drawings. I first saw these back in 1994 and was so impressed I thought we would emulate them. But we never found the time so this type of sketch remains unique to Dale. Dale has kindly given me permission to share a sample of these wonderful sketches with you.
Click here to View Dale's Classic Sketches (PDF Document)

Back to the present; I wish Dale the best in his new role.
If you want to contact Dale, send me an email (Please click here to Email Me)


Spent 3 days at the largest golf show in Asia. Unsurprisingly, very well attended by many US Golf Course Architects (see previous news snippet). Many familiar faces and some new ones there. Also attended a great presentation by Kevin Frank on water analysis. This was part of the education seminar provided by the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America and the Golf Course Builders Association of America.


The National Golf Foundation reported today that last year saw the closing of 157 18-hole equivilent golf courses and just 19 new openings. That marks the sixth consecutive year that golf course closings have outpaced openings and represents the largest number of annual closings during that time.

According to the NGF, this "supply-side market correction" has been long overdue. Since 1991, the number of 18-hole equivilents in the U.S. has grown by 30 percent, far ahead of the 6.5 percent growth in golfers over that same span.

"The slow correction that is now occurring is very much overdue and necessary, to help return the golf course business to a more healthy equilibrium between supply and demand." said Joe Beditz, the president and CEO of the NGF.

Click here for the full story at the Golf Course Management web site.


John Pryor at the site entrance for the Ernie Els designed Desaru Coast Golf Course in Johor in Malaysia. On this golf course, Hydrogold is the hydrologist responsible for the water management for the golf course as well as the irrigation design and construction management. Hydrogold is also employed for the Vijay Singh designed Desaru Valley Golf Course being built adjacent to this property.

Thad Bell is representing Ernie Els on this project as well as the Vijay Singh project. Ernie Els also has a renovation project at The Golf Club at Datai Bay in Langkawi in Malaysia. Hydrogold is the hydrologist for this project too.

Hydrogold is happy to have CK Tan (Irrigation Golf Sdn Bhd) installing the irrigation system. Below is the excellent "Project Board" CK prepared for this project. This physical representation of our assembly sketches is very useful for project staff unfamiliar with irrigation systems. This is particularly true on landscape projects in Asia.


This seaside coconut plantation and the adjacent abandoned sapphire mine is the site of the new Shangri-La Hambantota Resort in Sri Lanka. This includes the golf course designed by Rodney Wright of Wright Golf Design (link to Wright Golf Design's web site) and Hydrogold will be doing the irrigation design for Rodney.

While in Colombo I also visited the colonial architectured National Museum of Colombo built in 1877. Well worth the visit.

Opposite this is Viharamahadevi Park. This was formerly Victoria Park after Queen Victoria of England but was renamed after a local Queen, Viharamahadevi. Conveniently the park still has the same initials (VP). A good range of trees. This park is reputably 240 years old - that is according to its genial gardener of 32 years who guided me around the park and collected a few dollars for his retirement next year :>)

TRAINING WITH TOW GREEN IN KOREA - 2012-01-17 to 2012-01-19

John Pryor with the training group at the offices of Tow Green in Korea. In this photo is Mr Kim Sung Il (principal) on the far right, Mr Jang Moon-Taek (lead designer) next to Mr Kim, Ms Betty Cha (who ably translated), Mr JaePil Chong (Toro sales manager for Korea) in the dark red jacket and Mr Shim Sung-Bo (sales manager for irrigation) on the far left.

Tow Green is a Toro distributor in Korea. Their committment to improving their irrigation designs was clearly demonstrated during this 3-day intensive design training course.

As an added bonus, I spent the Friday in Seoul visiting the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the surrounding streets with their many galleries and restaurants. There were also the delightfully tasty local treats in Insa Dong and a visit to a Korean tea house.


John Pryor on site at Senayan National Golf Club with Helena, Bob Moore, Qamal Mutaqin, and my son, Michael Pryor. This course is located in central Jakarta (location, location, location). The renovation, under the direction of Bob Moore of JMP Golf Design (link to JMP Golf Design's web site), a long-term Client of Hydrogold. It is a night to day transformation for this long neglected gem. Hydrogold designed the irrigation system which is being installed by PT. Sahabat Agritama (Hendra Sjaichudin). Sahabat Agritama has employed several Indonesians who had worked on our Natadola Bay Golf Course in Fiji.


Click here to download Hydrogold's 2012 computer desktop calendar...

Gives you a calendar background for your computer desktop with significant Asian region holidays and industry events.


With effect from 2012-01-01, Hydrogold is adopting ISO 8601 and encouraging others to do likewise.

In Summary, Hydrogold will use...

In a Picture - courtesy of Randall Munroe (http://www.xkcd.com/)

The prime advantages of ISO 8601 are:

All of us operating internationally know the confusion that arises from representing the date as 12-11-10. The British would interpret this as 12 November 2010, the Americans as 11 December 2010 and the Chinese as 10 November 2012.

ISO 8601 (first issued in 1998 in the leadup to Y2K) represents the date as yyyy-mm-dd and the time in a 24-hour format hh:mm:ss.

In a fairly basic form, 9:12:15 am on 24 September 2012 would be represented as 2012-09-24 T09:12:15 (note the T delineating the Time component). Since the ":" is not an permissble character for Windows computers, Hydrogold will use the ISO date format 2012-09-24 T09 12 15 in filenames.

Time Intervals can use the double -- (hypen) or the / (called a slash, forward slash or solidus). e.g. 2009--2010 or 2009/2010. Hydrogold will be using the 2009--2010 for time intervals since it is compatible with computer filenames and easier for the human eye.

As you may guess, there is more to the standard than outlined above.