The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association is proud to announce that a record number of members have achieved the Master Greenkeeper certificate following examinations in April.
The six BIGGA members have joined the ranks of course managers, head greenkeepers and superintendents who can count themselves among the most highly-qualified and respected individuals within the industry.
First awarded in 1991, the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is awarded to those BIGGA members who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management.
To be eligible, a BIGGA member must have spent at least 10 years working in greenkeeping, with a minimum of three in a head greenkeeper, course manager or superintendent role. They must also have been responsible for their current golf course or courses for a minimum of two years.
The successful BIGGA members who achieved Master Greenkeeper status are:
In achieving the certificate, Andy has become BIGGA's 80th Master Greenkeeper.
David McGregor and Rob Clare
For Matthew Gourlay, golf is a family business. His grandfather emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1948 and was a founder member of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, while the family name is synonymous with the feathery golf balls that were popular in Scotland in the first half of the 19th Century.
Matthew said: "I have always thought highly of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, having worked for Steve Cook CGCS MG. But it wasn't until attending BTME for the first time in 2016 and watching a mentor, Matt Wharton CGCS MG, being recognised that I made it a goal of mine. I attended that show with Tony Girardi CGCS MG and we both walked away with a huge appreciation of the rigorous standards needed to achieve this designation. We both set forth with the goal of achieving the MG certificate, with Tony obtaining his last year.
"I just enjoy continuing to learn about the golf industry. After achieving the MG certificate, I am asking myself, 'what's next?' as I believe in setting goals. Goals help me achieve the highest potential, they make me stretch beyong my normal self and reach new heights."
Andrew Sprunt, Bob Vaughey and Matt Gourlay
Sam Evans, course manager at Fulwell has achieved the accreditation aged just 30. An active member of BIGGA, Sam has participated in two Open volunteer support teams, the Future Turf Managers Initiative, the TPC Sawgrass volunteer programme and the BIGGA Delegation to the Golf Industry Show.
He said: "I wanted to do the Master Greenkeeper Certificate as I believe there is always a next level to aspire to and push yourself to. I have been brought up to aim high and, to me, the Master Greenkeeper certificate is an unrivalled pinnacle of professional status, which I still can not believe I have achieved. I am over the moon to be awarded this and it is another example of how hard work really does pay off."
For more information about Master Greenkeeper, visit the BIGGA website and click on Master Greenkeeper Certificate in the Education tab.
To find out more about the latest group of Master Greenkeepers, head to the BIGGA website.