THE MAN WITH THE GREAT­EST RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY

Pre­par­ing a golf course for a PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour event is not an easy task. The Head of Agron­omy for TPC Kuala Lumpur, 46-year-old Mohd Nizam Oth­man, has that un­en­vi­able task.

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - The Golf Life -

GOLF DI­GEST MALAYSIA (GDM): How long have you been Su­per­in­ten­dent of TPC Kuala Lumpur (For­merly KLGCC)? MOHD NIZAM OTH­MAN (MNO): Since 2009, about 8 years. GDM: Can you de­scribe to us how it was like work­ing on the first CIMB Clas­sic and SDLPGA events?

MNO: It was a re­ally great ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­po­sure for us. Dur­ing the first CIMB Clas­sic in 2013, it was re­ally ex­cit­ing to work with PGA TOUR team. Every sin­gle thing that we did must be per­fect on the golf course be­cause we are rep­re­sent­ing Malaysia with mil­lions of peo­ple watch­ing our golf course. GDM: Since then, what have you and your team learnt so far work­ing with both Tours? MNO: We learnt im­por­tance of team­work, work with full ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The en­tire team put ex­tra ef­fort and they al­ways strive to be best of the best. GDM: What were the big­gest chal­lenge ini­tially? MNO: The big­gest chal­lenge is the er­ratic Malaysian weather with sun­shine dur­ing the day and thun­der­storms in the evening. Our cli­mate with a lots of rain, hu­mid­ity and cloud are the main con­cerns for the turf grass per­for­mance. GDM: Af­ter so many years pre­par­ing the cour­ses for both events, what would you say were the great­est lessons learnt?

MNO: The great­est lessons learnt are to have a strong and ded­i­cated team. This is the best team that I have worked with. They un­der­stand their roles and have a great pas­sion in car­ry­ing out their tasks. GDM: Be­ing Malaysia’s first GCSAA-cer­ti­fied su­per­in­ten­dent, what is next for you per­son­ally? MNO: It is truly a great hon­our for my pro­fes­sional ca­reer and per­son­ally, I would like to some­day see my team mem­bers and even more Malaysian green-keep­ers at­tain sim­i­lar cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. I am happy to share my knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence; which I have been do­ing through sem­i­nars and con­fer­ences.

GDM: Af­ter learn­ing more about agron­omy and course main­te­nance in Amer­ica, how does that trans­late back to pre­par­ing for the PGA TOUR’s CIMB Clas­sic?

MNO: Pre­par­ing such a big event for the PGA TOUR in the form of the CIMB Clas­sic, we need one year to plan ahead. Feed­back from play­ers, Rules Of­fi­cials and the PGA TOUR Agronomist are noted, dis­cussed and im­ple­mented in time for the next tour­na­ment. The ob­jec­tive is to make the golf course more com­pet­i­tive with some mod­i­fi­ca­tion on the de­sign, en­hance playa­bil­ity and turf grass per­for­mance. GDM: Af­ter the TPC brand­ing, were there any new re­quire­ments needed to set-up a TPC

cer­ti­fied golf course?

MNO: We have gone through all the TPC Golf Course main­te­nance ‘Stan­dard Op­er­at­ing Pro­ce­dure’ and they are mostly al­ready in place. One re­quire­ment that we are work­ing on is to be a more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly golf course. The next goal is to make TPC Kuala Lumpur a Cer­ti­fied Audubon Co­op­er­a­tive Sanc­tu­ary on the golf course. This pro­gram is an award-win­ning ed­u­ca­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that helps golf cour­ses pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment and pre­serve the nat­u­ral her­itage through the game of golf.

GDM: In your years man­ag­ing the CIMB Clas­sic, how is it like work­ing with the PGA TOUR greens keep­ing team?

MNO: Af­ter five years of col­lab­o­rat­ing with the PGA TOUR Agron­omy team, the ben­e­fits in­clude best prac­tices in tour­na­ment set-up, agron­omy sup­port, vol­un­teer­ing for The Play­ers at TPC Saw­grass and at­tend­ing the TPC Agron­omy Con­fer­ence. GDM: In your opin­ion, do you think Malaysia can be­come a train­ing cen­tre for su­per­in­ten­dents in South East Asia? MNO: Def­i­nitely. I think it is high time we hone younger Su­per­in­ten­dents or As­sis­tant Course Su­per­in­ten­dents as fu­ture lead­ers in our in­dus­try to have some sort of Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in green-keep­ing. Malaysia has a strong po­ten­tial to be the train­ing cen­tre for South East Asia.

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