The Director of Golf and Greenkeeping at Wentworth Club has spoken about his pride at the return of a greenkeeper support team to assist with course maintenance during the BMW PGA Championship this September.
Final preparations are underway for the BMW PGA Championship
Members of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) will head to Wentworth for the European Tour's flagship event, which for the 2019 season has shifted from its traditional May hosting to September.
The shift in dates has been necessitated by changes to the world golf calendar and reduced competition from other events should mean a star-studded field of players head to Virginia Water for the Rolex Tour event, taking place from 19 to 22 September.
Wentworth's Director of Golf Courses and Greenkeeping, Kenny Mackay, is eager for the BIGGA volunteers to get the most out of their time as part of the team and so the group is divided between those who will undertake bunker raking duties and those who will play an active role in the preparation and maintenance of the West Course for the duration of the event.
Kenny said: "With the change in the schedule, the hosting of the BMW PGA Championship is going to be a completely new experience for the Wentworth team. The preparation of the course each morning is going to be very tight if we're to stay ahead of the golf and so the BIGGA volunteers will prove vital as we work to achieve our aims of preparing a course fit for the European Tour's flagship event."
"Over the last two years we've really evolved the support team experience, so a portion of the volunteers have the opportunity to fully integrate with the Wentworth team. If you ask the volunteers who come regularly, every year is getting better and better. We want to ensure they learn many things that they can then take back to their own club."
2018 winner Francesco Molinari alongside Kenny Mackay and The Wentworth team
BIGGA members are invited to participate in the BMW PGA Championship Volunteer Support Team as an opportunity for career development that is provided as part of their membership. July will also see a separate team of members head to Royal Portrush to assist with The Open, while teams will also attend other major events, such as the Ladies British Open and the Solheim Cup.
To hear more from Kenny Mackay about the changes to the European Tour schedule and what it means to the Wentworth team, listen to episode 8 of the Green Room Golf Course Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts and via the BIGGA website.
The BIGGA Support Team for the BMW PGA Championship 2019 is:
Preparation support team
Adam Baldwin, Lilley Brook; Anthony Duffield, Ham Manor; Craig Woodman, Bramshaw; Daniel Evans, Maesdu Llandudno; David Ball, Thetford; Josh Dunn, Bramcote Waters; Kevin Tigg, Merrist Wood; Leigh Powell, Windlesham; Phillip Slater, West Herts; Rob Patrick, Stoneham; Sam Ewing, Crane Valley; Jonny Peacock, Rugby; David Taylor, The Bristol; Peter Meek, The Wisley; Seamus Gaughan, Migros Golf Park (Switzerland); Tim Leat, Rich River (Australia); Luke Lacey, Exminster; Callum Atkinson, Prestbury; Harry Misselbrook, Harewood Downs; Henry Aggar, Windlesham.
Bunker support team
Jeff Drake, Newbury & Crookham; Oliver Kirk, unattached; Sam Amey, Basingstoke; Nathan O'Sullivan, China Fleet; Kevin Weller, Dale Hill Hotel; Iain Biggs, Chesterfield Downs; Oli Norfolk, Tylney Park; David Westwood, Kingswood; Jamie Ingerson, Rochester and Cobham; Nick Street, Crews Hill; Billy MacArthur, Temple; Craig Gibson, Essendon Country; Steven Maples, Coventry; Oliver Clark, Mill Hill; Matthew Winney, East Sussex National; Jacob Kennard, Milton Abbey School; Aaron Stead, Surrey Down; Ashley Darnley, The Bristol; Charlie Cripps, Cams Hall Estate; Sam Bethell, Chipstead; Steve Bridgeman, Woking; Steven Hirons, Kirtlington; Tony Bartram, Wentworth; Stuart Simmonds, Boundary Lakes; Robert Brown, Bognor Regis; Adam Young, The Players Club; Daniel Allsworth, Drayton Park; Nicholas Edwards, Remedy Oak; Stevie-Jon Hood, Forest of Galtres; Lewis Turner, The Dyke; Ryan Lindsay, East Sussex National; Matthew Lindsay, Highwoods; Chris Mitchell, Maidenhead; Ryan Frankish, Spalding; David Smith, Newmarket Links; Gary Nimmo, Oundle; Jordan Belong, Camberley Heath; Patrick Redmond, Woking; Stuart Fry, Old Thorns; Jakob Schur, Rudding Park; Jorge Manso, Coombe Wood; Daniel Cowley, Stanmore; Lee Williams, Phoenix; Martin Coe, China Fleet; Kevin Hensman, Rowlands Castle; Steven Morgans, Harrow School; Jack Holman, Middleton Hall; Graham Down, Harewood Downs; James Lomas, Hadley.