BIGGA announces first batch of Master Greenkeepers since 2019 as five members attain the "grandest of achievements" for greenkeepers
Alan Fitzgerald MG, 45, Golf Course Superintendent, LedgeRock Golf Club, Pennsylvania
The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association is incredibly proud to reveal the identities of the latest members to achieve the Master Greenkeeper Certificate.
Joining some of the leading names within the turf management industry from across the globe are five outstanding BIGGA members who have achieved what is widely perceived to be the highest recognition in greenkeeping.
For the first time since 2019, BIGGA is delighted to reveal the names of those who will be added to the roster of Master Greenkeepers, which began in 1991. They are:
81. Gregory Jones MG CGCS, 40, Golf Course Superintendent, Champions Run, Nebraska
82. Anthony Williams MG CGCS, 57, Director of Golf Course Operations, TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Texas
83. Matthew Aplin MG, 40, Course Manager, Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Berkshire
84. Alan FitzGerald MG, 45, Golf Course Superintendent, LedgeRock Golf Club, Pennsylvania
85. Greg Fitzmaurice MG, 42, Course Manager, Hunley Hotel & Golf Club, North Yorkshire
The Master Greenkeeper Certificate is awarded to those members of BIGGA who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management. Examination is rigorous and candidates must pass three stages to achieve the certificate, including an assessment of golf course operation and a case study and technical examination, on top of 10 years' experience as a greenkeeper with at least three years spent in a course manager, head greenkeeper or superintendent position.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: "Congratulations to our latest batch of Master Greenkeepers, who join a prestigious list of some of the brightest and best names the industry has ever seen. Achieving the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is no mean feat and for a number of these candidates, the process has been long and has not been without setbacks. For those candidates, the courage and conviction to deal with the knock back and then return and achieve their goals is testament to the commitment and passion they've shown the profession throughout their careers and I'm delighted to welcome all five to the ranks of those we are proud to call Master Greenkeepers."
Left: Gregory Jones MG CGCS Right: Anthony Williams MG CGCS
Gregory Jones MG CGCS, golf course superintendent at Champions Run in Nebraska, said: "When I saw a phone call from the UK on my cell phone, I almost didn't want to answer it. After failing the written exam before, I wasn't prepared for another let down, but I gathered up the courage and answered it anyway. Receiving the news that I had passed was a feeling like none other! I was in the middle of spraying greens and I think I scared a couple of folks having coffee on their decks when I did a couple of fist pumps!"
Anthony Williams MG CGCS, director of golf course operations at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, said: "To become a Master Greenkeeper is the grandest of achievements for a greenkeeper. I thought, how can I say I have served my club at the highest level and not be a Master Greenkeeper? Being Master Greenkeeper number 82 is a dream come true and I will work hard to be worth it each and every day."
Left: Matthew Aplin MG Right: Greg Fitzmaurice MG
Matthew Aplin MG, course manager at Goring & Streatley Golf Club, said: "It means the world to me to become a Master Greenkeeper. Once I attended the Master Greenkeeper workshop at BTME three years ago, I realised how much I wanted to challenge myself and my team, to see how far we could go. To pass the course assessment at Goring & Streatley was great and a reflection of what a great team I have the privilege to work with."
Alan FitzGerald MG, golf course superintendent at LedgeRock Golf Club, said: "I cannot remember the last time that I was as excited as I was when I got word that I had become Master Greenkeeper number 84. The standards to become one are extremely high, which is shown by how few have gained the distinction over the last 30 years. Becoming a Master Greenkeeper is the accumulation of everything I have done over my career, which is why I am extremely excited and honoured to be a member of this select club."
Greg Fitzmaurice MG, course manager at Hunley Hotel & Golf Club, said: "I have always looked at ways to improve, in order to be the best that I can be. Attaining the Master Greenkeeper Certificate has been another way of doing this and the process has been very challenging, motivating, rewarding and enjoyable. I have not only been able to improve my own attributes, but also improve the facilities at Hunley along the way."
To find out more about the Master Greenkeeper Certificate and to get involved, head to the BIGGA website.