Five BIGGA members have been selected to join the first ever John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme - another superb educational opportunity offered by the Association.
Candidates first filled in an online application form via the BIGGA website, then completed a video application outlining their greenkeeping knowledge, career aspirations and why they wanted to join the Programme.
A shortlist was then drawn up, and candidates successful after the video stage then underwent interviews with BIGGA's five Regional Administrators, BIGGA officials and a representative from John Deere.
We can now confirm the successful five are:
Northern Region: Michael Burgin - Greenkeeper, Normanby Hall Golf Club
Scotland & Northern Ireland Region: Chris McArthur - Greenkeeper, Portstewart Golf Club
Midland Region: Graham Down - Course Manager, Aldwickbury Park Golf Club
South East Region: James Bledge - Deputy Course Manager, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
South West & South Wales Region: Mike Ellis - Deputy Course Manager, The Point at Polzeath
This five will now join the maintenance team at the legendary venue for the entire duration of the Players Championship on the PGA Tour with travel, accommodation, subsistence and uniform all provided courtesy of BIGGA Partner John Deere.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: "We were delighted with the standard and volume of applications, the introduction of a video element to the application process visually demonstrated to us the hugely impressive breadth of greenkeeping knowledge and passion of the impressive candidates.
"Our five Regional Administrators, together with representatives from John Deere and BIGGA officials, faced a very tough decision to pick just one successful candidate from each of our Regions. Well done to all who applied, and congratulations to the final five who can now look forward to this outstanding career development opportunity at the 'Fifth Major'. I'd like to thank John Deere for providing this superb opportunity to our membership."
Chris Meacock, John Deere Turf Division Sales Manager, said: "The response from BIGGA members to the TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme has been phenomenal - confirmation that this is a really valuable opportunity for greenkeepers to gain some great experience at a major tournament.
"The standard of the applications has been outstanding too, making it a very hard decision for the BIGGA and John Deere interview teams to choose the final five. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to BIGGA, who have supported this initiative so enthusiastically, and I look forward to congratulating the winners at BTME!"
The Players Championship, which takes place in May 2015, is the unofficial '5th Major' of the golfing calendar, and was won last year by Martin Kaymer.