Do you have what it takes to be a future course manager?

Karl Hansellin Golf

BIGGA and Jacobsen have once again teamed up to provide twenty of their most ambitious members the opportunity to learn vital management skills that will help them as they take the next step in their career.

Andrew Wilson, 45, is Deputy Course Manager at Whitecraigs in Glasgow. He said: "I'd been told that the Future Turf Managers' Initiative was an excellent course for greenkeepers who wanted to develop themselves professionally. Having applied unsuccessfully for FTMI 2018, I tried again and was one of the lucky twenty chosen for FTMI 2019. It turned out to be by far the best experience I have had in greenkeeping to date."

The Future Turf Managers Initiative provides BIGGA members the opportunity to learn skills that are vital to a successful manager, including:

  • Presentation skills
  • Communications
  • How to present a professional image
  • Interview techniques
  • Writing a successful CV
  • Organisational politics
  • Building a budget

FTMI 2020 will take place from Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th March 2020 at Jacobsen's headquarters in Ipswich.

To be eligible for a spot on FTMI 2020 you must have:

  • Three years' experience working full time as a greenkeeper.
  • A completed Level 2 qualification
  • Your application supported by a nominator, such as manager, supervisor, BIGGA membership services manager, club manager or trade representative
  • You will need to show a genuine interest in the industry and be actively involved in education at both a regional and national level

The deadline for applications is 4 October 2019, so don't delay and get applying today.

How FTMI grew into an international success

Karen Proctor, Director of International Marketing at Jacobsen, and Sami Strutt, Head of Member Development at BIGGA, discuss how FTMI has grown into an international success.

Sami: "FTMI began when we were approached by Jacobsen as they realised there was a gap in the market for training beyond agronomy and greenkeeping for those taking the big step up into management. We worked with Jacobsen to produce a programme and seven years on, we're still developing it every year!"

Karen: "We were looking at the industry, and there was a lot of training to help people become a greenkeeper, but we were missing that next step. In many industries, there is a lack of training to provide individuals with the skills required to be a manager. We felt we could give back to the industry by providing training that was missing at that time."

Sami: "It's exciting to know that we've developed something that is looked upon worldwide as a career‑defining opportunity for BIGGA members. Other greenkeeping associations around the world are coming to us and asking whether they can get involved. It has become one of those events where the graduates say 'yeah I'm class of…' as they're so proud of having been to FTMI."

Karen: WWhen you see students, they talk to you about not only how great the course was, but how it's actually changed their lives, and that's what makes it so great.W

Sami: "One of the things we didn't have right at the start was getting the candidates on their feet. Every one of them now has to stand up and introduce themselves. We've heard stories about people having sleepless nights because they're so nervous about it, but in their career, they're going to have to do that every day."

"It's so rewarding to see them, right from the very beginning when they've been so nervous, to then seeing them even speaking at Continue to Learn in front of a full room for an hour. And they say 'I could never have done that if I hadn't done FTMI'."

Karen: "This is one of the best parts of my job because you get to see the difference it makes to their career. In the space of a year, some of them have already gone into management because they've got the confidence and the skills to handle it. When you speak to them, they'll tell you it was the FTMI that helped them take that step."