This month's foreword falls back to me, after a necessary break to rid myself of breast cancer. I'm pleased to report that everything has gone well and I'm well on the road to a full recovery.
The support and well wishes from industry friends was nothing short of overwhelming and it goes to prove that we are a family. Thank you to each and every one of you, but the biggest thank you goes to my work family for being so supportive and holding the fort!
Also making a recent return was BTME. Whilst some exhibitors reported the show was quieter than usual, I think its comeback was bound to come with a little trepidation; both with some visitors choosing not to attend and have caution after the pandemic, plus some greenkeepers too busy in the calendar with a new March date.
BIGGA reported that, although numbers were down, exhibitors suggested valuable business was done as the exhibition halls buzzed with the greenkeeping industry reconvening properly for the first time in over two years.
Following the exhibition, CEO Jim Croxton made an appeal for greater support for greenkeepers and golf club staff to cope with growing memberships. "The success of this year's Continue to Learn education programme at BTME has proved once again that BIGGA members continue to rise to the challenge that managing a golf course in the 21st Century brings. Today's greenkeepers are better educated than ever before, overcoming the challenges they face each day to present stunning golf courses for their members to enjoy. Greenkeepers have held up their end of the bargain and now it is time for the golf industry to do the same."
Quite how we do this remains to be seen, although the appeal does come with a recommendation to increase salaries for golf staff by five percent! Again, how this is enforced and how we attract new people into the industry is the big question?
In this issue (page 82), David and John Lawrence from Edgbaston Priory explain in-depth about their involvement with the Heart of Birmingham Vocational College (HBVC) to provide working opportunities for young people with special needs. It is well worth a read to see if you too could support the initiative and increase productivity at your clubs.
With summer just around the corner, bringing longer nights and increasing temperatures, everything is beginning to look somewhat brighter!