Posts

BIGGA announce master greenkeepers

BIGGA announce master greenkeepers: The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association is incredibly proud to reveal the identities of the latest members to achieve the Master Greenkeeper Certificate.

Joining some of the leading names within the turf management industry from across the globe are five outstanding BIGGA members who have achieved what is widely perceived to be the highest recognition in greenkeeping.

BIGGA announce master greenkeepers

BIGGA announce master greenkeepers

For the first time since 2019, BIGGA is delighted to reveal the names of those who will be added to the roster of Master Greenkeepers, which began in 1991. They are:

  1. Gregory Jones MG CGCS, 40, Golf Course Superintendent, Champions Run, Nebraska
  2. Anthony Williams MG CGCS, 57, Director of Golf Course Operations, TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Texas
  3. Matthew Aplin MG, 40, Course Manager, Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Berkshire
  4. Alan FitzGerald MG, 45, Golf Course Superintendent, LedgeRock Golf Club, Pennsylvania
  5. Greg Fitzmaurice MG, 42, Course Manager, Hunley Hotel & Golf Club, North Yorkshire

The Master Greenkeeper Certificate is awarded to those members of BIGGA who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management. Examination is rigorous and candidates must pass three stages to achieve the certificate, including an assessment of golf course operation and a case study and technical examination, on top of 10 years’ experience as a greenkeeper with at least three years spent in a course manager, head greenkeeper or superintendent position.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “Congratulations to our latest batch of Master Greenkeepers, who join a prestigious list of some of the brightest and best names the industry has ever seen. Achieving the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is no mean feat and for a number of these candidates, the process has been long and has not been without setbacks. For those candidates, the courage and conviction to deal with the knock back and then return and achieve their goals is testament to the commitment and passion they’ve shown the profession throughout their careers and I’m delighted to welcome all five to the ranks of those we are proud to call Master Greenkeepers.”

Gregory Jones MG CGCS, golf course superintendent at Champions Run in Nebraska, said: “When I saw a phone call from the UK on my cell phone, I almost didn’t want to answer it. After failing the written exam before, I wasn’t prepared for another let down, but I gathered up the courage and answered it anyway. Receiving the news that I had passed was a feeling like none other! I was in the middle of spraying greens and I think I scared a couple of folks having coffee on their decks when I did a couple of fist pumps!”

Anthony Williams MG CGCS, director of golf course operations at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, said: “To become a Master Greenkeeper is the grandest of achievements for a greenkeeper. I thought, how can I say I have served my club at the highest level and not be a Master Greenkeeper? Being Master Greenkeeper number 82 is a dream come true and I will work hard to be worth it each and every day.”

Matthew Aplin MG, course manager at Goring & Streatley Golf Club, said: “It means the world to me to become a Master Greenkeeper. Once I attended the Master Greenkeeper workshop at BTME three years ago, I realised how much I wanted to challenge myself and my team, to see how far we could go. To pass the course assessment at Goring & Streatley was great and a reflection of what a great team I have the privilege to work with.”

Alan FitzGerald MG, golf course superintendent at LedgeRock Golf Club, said: “I cannot remember the last time that I was as excited as I was when I got word that I had become Master Greenkeeper number 84. The standards to become one are extremely high, which is shown by how few have gained the distinction over the last 30 years. Becoming a Master Greenkeeper is the accumulation of everything I have done over my career, which is why I am extremely excited and honoured to be a member of this select club.”

Greg Fitzmaurice MG, course manager at Hunley Hotel & Golf Club, said: “I have always looked at ways to improve, in order to be the best that I can be. Attaining the Master Greenkeeper Certificate has been another way of doing this and the process has been very challenging, motivating, rewarding and enjoyable. I have not only been able to improve my own attributes, but also improve the facilities at Hunley along the way.”

To find out more about the Master Greenkeeper Certificate and to get involved, head to the BIGGA website.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC

Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC: Renowned Agronomist Greg Evans has taken the lead a two-year turf maintenance programme that has transformed the historic Oxford Golf Club.

Oxford Golf Club recruited Mr Evans on a consultancy basis to help create and implement a detailed green keeping improvement and maintenance strategy at the 18-hole course. The programme of focused activity has enhanced the greens, tees and approach areas. Mr Evans help devise the bespoke strategy and worked in partnership with Head Green Keeper Doug MacGregor. The Green Keeping team all welcomed the new philosophy and worked together to transform the course.

Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC

Mr Evans said: “Oxford Golf Club is a fantastic course and has always been well regarded. Following the implementation of a targeted agronomy plan it now has perfect greens and the rest of the course is of a very high standard.

“The club was really supportive and allowed us to close the competition greens for a tight maintenance window to enable us to really focus on a big agronomy programme. The greens have a good sand profile and so we carried out deep aeration activity and then followed a strict maintenance plan. This included targeted hard watering and tight cutting to produce faster, smoother greens. Within nine months the greens were performing very well, and they are the jewel in the crown of the course.”

The green-keeping team also focused on tees and approaches as part of the wider agronomy plan. Mr Evans added: “As with a lot of older clubs the Oxford Golf Club was built before irrigation systems were introduced and so the course tends to hold water. We hired in a verti-drainer to fully drain the course and changed the fertility programme to add small amounts of nutrients every ten days.”

Head Green Keeper Doug MacGregor said: “The introduced and continuation of the intense agronomy plan has been fantastic for the course, members and staff. It has been an excellent experience for the green keeping team and we can all take great pride in the enhancements we have made to the course.”

Stephen Nicholson, General Manager at Oxford Golf Club, said: “As a club we are committed to continually improving the course and the agronomy plan has formed a key part of our strategy. The club has really reaped the rewards of this intensive activity and our members and visitors alike have commented on the quality of our greens and tees. The Green Keeping team have all embraced the change in philosophy and done a fantastic job.”

Oxford Golf Club is the oldest course in Oxfordshire and features a Harry Colt designed 18-hole course, putting green, practice area and coaching school. It is located on Hilltop Road, Oxford. The club’s head professional is Joe Pepperell, brother of European Tour player Eddie.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Valagro Launches Master Supreme

Valagro Launches Master Supreme: Valagro, a leading company in the production and marketing of biostimulants and other specialty nutrients, today presents their premium line of water-soluble fertilisers, Master Supreme, to the Chinese market at the NCIC Global Specialty Fertilizer Convention, a landmark event for the Chinese agricultural market, organised by China National Chemical Information Center (CNCIC).

Master Supreme is a new solution created by Valagro as a response to farmers’ needs and it is able to provide a guaranteed nutritional and biostimulant effect.     Master Supreme water-soluble fertilizers line has a high quality and purity and is enriched with biologically active compounds such as Ascophyllum nodosum extracts and humich compouds. These new formulations are the result of exclusive GeaPower technology (GEA 582) and guarantee greater and more efficient crop nutrition, naturally stimulating the physiological processes of the plant,ensuring quantitative and qualitative increase in production. The Master Supreme line offers 5 different solutions to ensure the correct supply of nutrients and biologically active substances in every phase of vegetative-productive development:

  1. Master Supreme Starter: the nutritional solution to improve the first stages of plant growth and to increase root development
  2. Master Supreme Development: formulated to nourish the plant while promoting vegetative development
  3. Master Supreme Flowering: the solution for stimulating metabolic activity, designed to nourish the plant during the flowering phase, it also stimulates metabolic activity
  4. Master Supreme Ripening: the presence of specific biologically active elements helps to improve the quality parameters of the fruit
  5. Master Supreme Balanced: the balanced formulation for every physiological process.

Valagro Launches Master Supreme

The launch for the Chinese market follows many events that have taken place in Italy, Turkey, Spain and Greece since 2017 with the involvement of farmers, technicians and the main distributors in these markets.

Derek Fang, Country manager Valagro (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd:
“Our Master Supreme Line can meet successfully the needs of the Chinese farmers. Often the Chinese agriculture is affected by nutritional imbalance during farmers planting. While using water-soluble fertilizers, more and more farmers begin to accept humic acid and seaweed fertilizer. All these above contributes to rise the demand for products which combine organic and inorganic fertilizer together in order to ensure a growing effective and sustainable nutrition to the crops. Also, this is in line with the demand for a growing sustainability in agriculture set by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA): in fact within 2020 the MOA want to improve the fertilizer use efficiency by achieving over 40% of the fertilizer efficiency rate (+7% over 2013)”.

Rita Basile, Valagro product manager:
“Numerous tests have shown that the active ingredients present in the Master Supreme formulations help activate the physiological processes that optimise the performance of the plant. For this reason, the solutions of the Master Supreme line are able to guarantee a better absorption and use of nutrients using lower doses, compared to traditional methods of fertigation. This translates into a more precise and intelligent use of fertilisers, with a consequent increase in ROI for farmers, as well as a reduction in the environmental impact of crops. These aspects certainly represent an effective response to the needs of productivity and sustainability of the Chinese agricultural market.”

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

BIGGA Latest Master Greenkeepers

BIGGA Latest Master Greenkeepers: BIGGA has confirmed the latest recipients of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate.

From London to Connecticut, two members of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association are celebrating after achieving their Master Greenkeeper certificates, marking them out as leading lights within the turf management industry.

BIGGA Latest Master Greenkeepers

Andrew Kerr, Course Manager at Surbiton Golf Club in London, and Anthony Girardi, Golf Course Superintendent at Rockrimmon Country Club in Connecticut, have become just the 73rd and 74th recipients of the Master Greenkeeper certificate.

Recognised as a prestigious and highly-sought after greenkeeping industry award, Master Greenkeeper certificates are achieved through a three-stage process. To be eligible, BIGGA members must have been working in the industry for 10 years, with three spent in a head greenkeeper, course manager or superintendent role.

Andrew Kerr, 39, was raised in County Antrim, Ireland, and hails from an agricultural background. He began his career working on golf courses in Northern Ireland, before making the switch to England, finally settling in to the course manager role at Surbiton.

Andrew said: “I feel the Master Greenkeeper qualification is important for the industry as it highlights great work, knowledge and abilities in a small industry within a global scale. Each of the stages helped me push my own knowledge and develop excellent standards from a course and administration point of view, which I hope to continue to do now and in the future.”

Anthony (Tony) Girardi, 49, has been in the golf business for 29 years, beginning his career as an intern while attending the University of Rhode Island. He graduated in 1992 with a degree in Environmental Science and earned a role as assistant golf course superintendent at Woodway Country Club in Connecticut.

After three years he became golf course superintendent at Rockrimmon Country Club, a position he has held for the past 24 years.

BIGGA Latest Master Greenkeepers

Tony said: “I had always heard of the Master Greenkeeper programme through the years, but it wasn’t until I attended BTME in 2016 that I became more aware of the certificate and what it entailed. You are never too old to learn, and in a very short two-year period, I can safely say that I have learned a great deal about course management from my peers in the UK and Ireland.

“The Master Greenkeeper process is an invaluable experience that allows you to grow both personally and professionally.”

Stuart Green, BIGGA’s head of member learning, said: “Congratulations to Andrew and Tony on becoming the latest recipients of Master Greenkeeper status. Our Master Greenkeeper certificate is now in its 28th year and yet only 74 golf course managers and superintendents from all over the world have made the grade, highlighting what an incredible achievement this is. Master Greenkeeper is a learning experience and I would recommend any golf course manager, who aspires to the highest standards, gives it a go.”

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.