Some of the most experienced and high profile course managers in the golf industry have signed up to BIGGA and Jacobsen's new scheme to train and mentor the greenkeeping stars of the future.
The Jacobsen Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI) will target the next generation of greenkeepers who demonstrate the ability and drive to become leaders of their profession in the future. A maximum of 20 students will be selected for FTMI in any one year to attend a three-day residential course in the early part of the year and then be mentored throughout by a high profile course manager.
BIGGA's Assistants Development Programme (ADP) has been rolled out across its five UK regions giving delegates in each region an insight into the key skills they require to move up the greenkeeping career ladder.
The ADP programme includes the 'So You Want to be Promoted' seminars which have already begun featuring presentations by the likes of Murray Long of Sunningdale Golf Club, Stuart Yarwood of Lymm Golf Club and Rob Hogarth of Remedy Oak Golf Club on subjects ranging from people skills to communication to interview skills and CV preparation.
The ADP will feed into the FTMI - and both training pathways will earn Continuing Professional Development points. The FTMI training covers a wide range of topics and skills needed to climb the ladder in the turf industry including team management, effective communication, networking, budgeting, marketing, construction and environmental awareness. It will take place annually and the first will be held at Ransomes Jacobsen's European headquarters in Ipswich.
The residential course will include hotel accommodation, all meals, half-day workshops presented by the various mentors and Ransomes Jacobsen staff, off-site visits and a round of golf on the RJ National par three short course. A lunch and presentation of certificates on the third day will close the programme.
It will also highlight some of the other fantastic opportunities open to BIGGA members such as volunteering at The Open Championship, The Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship.
Open to BIGGA members who are first assistants and deputy head greenkeepers, candidates can be nominated for this superb opportunity by their general managers, course managers, head greenkeepers and staff at BIGGA HQ.
Commenting on the initiative, BIGGA Chairman Tony Smith said: "I'm absolutely delighted that we are able to support Jacobsen in this fantastic initiative and to get this very important project off the ground. There are many young members out there who want to make greenkeeping a career rather than it just be a job and this scheme gives those individuals valuable information on how to climb the career ladder. It's delivered by Course Managers who have trodden the same path so they can offer genuine insight."
The FTMI is being funded by Jacobsen who were very keen to invest in the professional and personal development of greenkeepers. David Withers, president of Jacobsen, said: "We understand the value of education and the importance to our industry of having highly skilled and motivated leaders of the future. With the help and guidance of our mentors, the FTMI will provide young greenkeepers with the tools to enhance their skills and reach the top, and we're very excited to be part of this process."
Candidates will be selected by a panel from BIGGA and Jacobsen, and they will be looking for greenkeepers who show initiative, are actively involved in education and have the potential to emulate their mentors and go on to enjoy successful and fulfilling careers.