There are worse places to spend the final week in January than Orlando, Florida, and 10 BIGGA members are looking forward to soaking up some winter sun after being selected to take part in the BIGGA Delegation to the Golf Industry Show with Bernhard and Company.
Orange County Conference Center, Orlando, Florida USA
The BIGGA members will represent the UK greenkeeping industry as they network with peers from around the globe and sample the education on offer at the largest turf management exhibition in the world, taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in 2020.
The BIGGA delegation is considered one of the leading opportunities available to greenkeepers in the UK and the experience can be truly career-defining. There's not just the experience of attending the show, but the delegates will also visit some of the leading golf facilities in the region and they'll build a close camaraderie that can last their entire career. They'll also join the ranks of other BIGGA members who have taken part in the delegation, meeting up at BTME each year and even organizing reunions for many years after the event.
For the first time, a female BIGGA member has been selected to join the trip, with Wenvoe Castle head greenkeeper Lucy Sellick successfully applying for a place on the delegation.
All 10 delegates will benefit from fantastic networking opportunities and have access to the education seminars and workshops hosted by the American golf superintendents' association.
Lucy, 44, said: "I'm over the moon about being selected as everyone within the industry talks about the delegation and how rewarding it is. After cutting fairways this morning while wearing 10 layers because it was only 4 degrees, the thought of going to Florida in January isn't too bad."
"Greenkeeping has always felt like a family and then all of a sudden, 10 of you are going away on this incredible experience. I'm so grateful for the generosity of Bernhard and Company who are allowing this to take place and for the support of BIGGA who organise these amazing opportunities for members."
Tom Pattison was a delegate in 2019 and the Blyth greenkeeper said: "It's hard to pick out a single favourite moment from the trip as the whole thing was amazing and I could not have asked for a better group of people to spend the week with all the delegates and the Bernhard and BIGGA staff made this trip one of the most memorable experiences of my life."
Bernhard and Company Director Steven Nixon said: "The BIGGA delegation is always a very exciting initiative for Bernhard and Company. Each year we are hugely impressed with the caliber of applications and the candidates this year did not disappoint. We are pleased to give these 10 BIGGA members the opportunity of this trip and we're confident that it will be a great step in furthering their careers."
The BIGGA delegates are:
Andy Merry, course manager, Preston Golf Club
Callum Goodhind, deputy course manager, Prestbury
Jack Sims, course manager, Surrey Downs
Jake Boardman, deputy head greenkeeper, Roehampton
Peter Robinson, course manager, PGA National Ireland at Slieve Russell
Jonny Peacock, head greenkeeper, Rugby
David Roberts, course manager, Saddleworth
Chris Sharp, course manager, Hampstead
Lucy Sellick, head greenkeeper, Wenvoe Castle
Andrew Riley, first assistant, The Warrington