0 Derek on course for USA trip

Aformer Lochmaben green keeper has been selected to travel to America to take part in a major golfing event.

Derek Robson, the head greenkeeper at The Duke's and the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, has been chosen to travel to New Orleans in February 2009 to attend the world's biggest golf industry show where he will represent the British Greenkeeping industry as part of the British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association (BIGGA) delegation which is sponsored by Bernhard and Co Ltd.

The Golf Course Superintendents Association America (GCSAA) Conference and Show is a major event that attracts members of the golfing industry from around the world.

The 10-strong BIGGA delegation will benefit from learning innovative ideas within greenkeeping practices, enabling them to bring home new skills and knowledge.

Mr Robson is originally from Dumfries and Galloway and carried out his initial training and the first four years of his greenkeeping career at Lochmaben.

Since then, he has become a key player in implementing the recent redevelopment works at The Duke's, which is the only heathland course in St Andrews.

The course reopened in 2006 following an extensive transformation by renowned American golf architect Tim Liddy while the most recent remodelling and creation of a further five tees on each hole has broadened the flexibility of the course, making The Duke's one of the finest inland championship tests in the British Isles.

David Scott, manager of The Duke's and estates landscape said: "Derek is passionately committed to promoting best practice and excellence in greenkeeping and is a highly respected member of the industry within the local community.

"He is also the current vice chairman of BIGGA's Central Section Committee, covering the Fife, Dundee and Perthshire regions, and will take over the chairmanship of this committee in two years.

"He is the perfect candidate to represent The Duke's, Kohler Company and BIGGA at this major golf industry event."

John Pemberton, chief executive of BIGGA, added: "Derek's inclusion within the group of 10 greenkeeper members of BIGGA, who will visit the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans, will provide him with a once in a lifetime opportunity to compare greenkeeping practices in the UK with North America, as well as enabling him to take advantage of some of the extensive educational seminars that are provided."

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