The Great BIGGA Bunker Competition

Ellie Parryin Industry News

Martin Wood with Andrew MellonEverris helps draw attention to the work of greenkeeping staff by sponsoring The Great BIGGA Bunker Competition

Everris, formerly named Scotts, has supported the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) in promoting the work of golf greenkeepers to the media at the 2011 Open Championship, held at Royal St. George's recently.

The Great BIGGA Bunker Competition has been run each year since 1995 and all journalists and golf writers who attend the Championship are invited to take part.

BIGGA's communications manager, Scott MacCallum, explains more: "The competition is a light-hearted opportunity for us to provide the media with some information relating to the part that greenkeeping staff play in staging such a prestigious tournament."

"At each Open Championship, BIGGA members from across the UK and from overseas volunteer to assist the greenkeeping team at the host venue in maintaining the course during the Championship as part of the BIGGA Open Support Team. They play a crucial role and have raked an incredible 17,000 bunkers between them since 1995!"

"We ask each member of the team to make a note of all the bunkers that the players find during their round. We then calculate how many bunkers were found during each round, and cumulatively, which players had found the most and the fewest, and which holes were the most dangerous etc. They also record anything of interest that they see during each day, mainly funny or quirky things that happen during a round, as the media often like to receive that kind of information to add to their summary of the day's play."

"We collate all the statistics into a daily press release which is circulated within the Media Centre and the Commentary Box. To increase interest, we've run it as a competition asking the media to predict how many bunkers were found."

Everris, a global manufacturer of fertilizers used on golf courses across the world, provided £250 of Marks & Spencer vouchers to the winner, well-known Scottish golf writer, John Huggan who reports for The Scotsman and Golf World. His estimate of 995 and was 21 bunkers away from the actual figure of 1,016.

Proving the wealth of golfing knowledge that can be found amongst the Open Support Team members was Martin Wood of Bedlingtonshire Golf Club in Northumberland who was just one bunker out with his estimate of 1,015. He also received vouchers to the value of £100.

Martin Wood from Bedlingtonshire Golf Club (left) won £100 of vouchers with his guess of 1,105 bunkers, just one out from the actual figure of 1,106. He is pictured with BIGGA National Chairman, Andrew Mellon.

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