A drone image showing the beautiful but harsh conditions faced by greenkeepers throughout winter has been revealed as the overall winner of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) Annual Photographic Competition 2023 sponsored by Syngenta.
Thetford first assistant greenkeeper and BIGGA member David Ball's image was chosen by competition judges as the overall winner, with the selection committee also taking into account the results of a public vote, held across BIGGA's social media accounts.
The image was taken by drone in January 2023 over Thetford's 5th hole at around 7.30am. It shows sunlight breaking through the clouds as a layer of mist rolls into shot. The fairways and surrounding trees are crisp with a layer of frost.
David said: "We greenkeepers are privileged to experience these times of day that most people don't get to see during their working hours. I was just lucky and in the right place at the right time on this beautiful morning. It is such an honour to win this award, so thank you to BIGGA and Syngenta."
BIGGA's annual photographic competition is a celebration of the wonderful golfing landscape and the role greenkeepers play in shaping it for golfers and the wider public to enjoy. Twelve images were selected in total for the annual BIGGA calendar, with winners also chosen in the separate categories of Greenkeeping, Landscape and Wildlife.
- Landscape: Alistair Morrison, head greenkeeper, Durness Golf Club
- Greenkeeping: Peter Meek, greenkeeper, Bath Golf Club
- Wildlife: Elliot Walters, greenkeeper, Robin Hood Golf Club
You can view all 12 images selected to form the BIGGA desktop calendar on the BIGGA website.
A downloadable version of the calendar for use on your desktop background is available here.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: "BIGGA members work in some spectacular environments and each year the judges struggle to separate the entries, such is the quality of submissions. It's always fascinating to see how the public votes when we post the finalists on our social media channels.
"David Ball's entry stood out to us as it showcases the beautiful golf course at Thetford at a time that golfers will rarely see it - deep in the depths of winter - yet there are greenkeepers present, putting in the hard work that makes golf possible when warmer weather returns. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you once again to our valued sponsors at Syngenta."
As overall competition winner, David has won a DJI Mini 2 SE Drone and a framed print of his image to be presented at BTME 2024, the greenkeeping community's annual gathering in January.
Each of the category winners receive a £150 Love2Shop voucher.
BIGGA's Annual Photographic Competition sponsored by Syngenta will return next year, so greenkeepers are encouraged to get snapping now to be in with a chance of winning more great prizes.
Registration for BTME 2024 and the associated Continue to Learn education programme is open. The event takes place from 21 to 25 January 2024 and you can find out more by heading to the BTME website, www.btme.org.uk