Two of the UK's top greenkeepers have urged their peers to enter the Golf Environment Awards 2010, having reaped the benefits of winning two of the most coveted prizes last year.
Matt Worster, assistant greenkeeper at Minchinhampton Golf Club and Graeme Taylor head greenkeeper at New and Jubilee courses at St Andrews, received the Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year and Overall Achievement Award respectively. In addition to the prestigious awards, both greenkeepers travelled to the USA as part of an educational programme.
In a packed itinerary, Matt Worster and Graeme Taylor visited some the USA's top golf courses, meeting golf course management experts including Jim Snow, head of USGA Green Section, Superintendent Rick Christian from Pine Valley Golf club, Dr Jim Murphy, program manager at Rutgers University Turfgrass Research Centre and Kevin Carroll, course manager at the Bethpage Black Course.
Commenting on the trip Matt Worster said: "I was honoured to win the Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year at last year's Golf Environment Awards. Winning provided me with an outstanding once in a lifetime opportunity to visit some of the top courses in the USA and meet with some high profile superintendents and research academics."
He added: "The experience has given me an understanding of the environmental management of golf courses in the USA, an insight into fine turf management practices in the North-East of the USA and highlighted the diverse opportunities that a career in golf course management can offer."
Graeme Taylor commented: "The Golf Environment Awards have been an incredibly rewarding experience. My knowledge of turf management, sustainability and environmental issues has improved greatly through discussions with the Superintendents and Ecologists in the USA. To communicate with guys dealing with substantial disease and pest pressures was thought provoking and I have been motivated to further promote environmental issues at my workplace."
The Golf Environment Awards are sponsored by turf care equipment companies Ransomes Jacobsen and Campey Turf Care Systems, turf company County Turf, fertilizer and plant protection company Scotts, seed and plant protection company Syngenta and media sponsors Golf Monthly and Pitchcare.
Entry to the 2010 awards is now open. Entry is free and details can be found on the new website www.golfenvironmentawards.com
There are 11 awards split into three categories.
Environmental Improvement - four awards recognising projects involving:
• Nature Conservation Management
• Turfgrass Management
• Waste Management
• Water Management
• Five regional awards and one overall winner award recognising golf courses that have implemented a successful environmental management strategy, with clear objectives and targets on how this strategy will directly contribute to a better environment
Conservation Greenkeeper Award
• To recognise an outstanding individual contribution to the success of environmental and ecological management