BIGGA and Toro are delighted to announce the finalists for this year's Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year awards, which for the first time ever features two separate categories.
The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award has been complemented by the inaugural Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, open to candidates aged 20 or under.
The prestigious Toro Student Greenkeeper awards are in their 28th year and once again attracted a large number of excellent nominations, with interviews taking place across the country throughout the summer.
BIGGA Head of Member Learning Stuart Green was a member of the selection panel and said: "The passion and enthusiasm of the students we interviewed never ceases to inspire me. The industry is blessed with great young talent that needs to be nurtured and celebrated."
"The Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award and the introduction of the Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award provides a fantastic opportunity to recognise these outstanding students. The caliber has once again been excellent, which makes our job tougher each year."
The finalists for the senior category are: Jimmy Heritage of Maylands Golf Club; Tom Smith of Cams Hall Estate Golf Club; Matthew Brighton of Alwoodley Golf Club; Alex Brougham of The Royal Automobile Club; Andy Clark of Remedy Oak Golf Club; and David Perdisatt of Naas Golf Club
The finalists for the young category are: Daniel Murdoch of Minto Golf Club; Jack Evans of Waltham Windmill Golf Club; Vincent DeMarzo of Barnehurst Golf Course; Peter Lewis of Royal Liverpool Golf Club; and Daniel Waring of Ashbourne Golf Club.
The national final will begin on Monday 19 September at BIGGA HQ, near York, when candidates will join an industry discussion group hosted by BIGGA Chairman Les Howkins.
Tuesday sees the Toro Student Greenkeeper finalists take part in a multiple choice quiz, complete an essay question and be interviewed by a panel from Toro and BIGGA.
The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper candidates will take part in a course walk around Aldwark Manor, where BIGGA HQ is based.
Barry Beckett, senior marketing manager at The Toro Company, said: "Congratulations to all this year's finalists. It is a real achievement to get this far, especially as the quality of candidates is always high. So to each of the finalists I would say enjoy the moment."
"I am sure for the finalists in our inaugural 'young' category, this will be the first of many positive moments in their career and they should take immense pride in the fact they are setting precedent for future finalists."
The annual awards are open to all student greenkeeper candidates actively working towards their qualification at the time of application.
This year's final sees four students from Myerscough College, two candidates from Reaseheath College, and other students from Writtle College, Teagasc College, SRUC Elmwood, Bishop Burton College and Hadlow College.
The Toro Student Greenkeeper winner will receive an eight-week expenses paid scholarship, including a six-week residential turf management study course at the University of Massachusetts, a trip to the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida, and a visit to the Toro factory.
The winner of the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper award will receive a 10-day placement at Vidauban Golf Club in France and a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME, including four days of education and a Toro training voucher for a course of their choice.