The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and its partner Bernhard & Company have revealed the 10 sports turf managers who will be heading to San Diego, California in February 2022 for the GCSAA Conference & Show.
The delegates will represent the UK greenkeeping industry as they network with peers from around the globe and sample the education on offer at the world’s largest golf course management event.
Each of the delegates was chosen after demonstrating their commitment to professional development and a passion for the greenkeeping industry. This year’s delegation will mark the 200th BIGGA member participating in this incredible initiative, which was first introduced in 2001. As such, BIGGA is tremendously grateful for the ongoing support of Bernhard & Company, which hosts this invaluable opportunity for 10 members of the association each year.
The members selected for the 2022 BIGGA Delegation to the GCSAA Conference & Show are:
- Joe Curtis, head greenkeeper at Diamond Club Ottenstein, Austria
- Matthew Dobbs, course manager at Ringway Golf Club, Cheshire
- Allan Duncan, head greenkeeper at Broomieknowe Golf Club, Edinburgh
- Craig Haldane, golf course manager at The Gleneagles Hotel & Golf Courses, Perthshire
- Colin Hopper, head greenkeeper at Elsham Golf Club, Lincolnshire
- Matthew Houseman, head greenkeeper at Scarcroft Golf Club, West Yorkshire
- Chris Low, head greenkeeper at Walsall Golf Club, West Midlands
- Darren McLaughlan, course manager at North Berwick Golf Club, East Lothian
- Scott McTaggart, course manager at Sandyhills Golf Club, Glasgow
- Andrew Wilson, deputy course manager at Whitecraigs Golf Club, Glasgow
The BIGGA delegation to the GCSAA Conference & Show is considered one of the leading opportunities available to greenkeepers and the experience can be truly career-defining.
For Allan Duncan, the head greenkeeper at Broomieknowe Golf Club, a place on the delegation is reward for nine years of investment in his own professional development. Allan had been a greenkeeper for 20 years but had never really attempted to progress his career, until he considered the future he could provide for his children.
Allan explained: “I took stock of my career nine years ago. I had two young sons and I realised that in 10 years they would be learning to drive and going to university. The position I was in at the time wouldn’t have enabled me to support them, so I went to my boss and asked for a pay rise, but the club couldn’t afford it. I decided to go back to college and get myself the qualifications I needed to progress my career and since then I’ve done so many amazing things.
“To say that I am excited is an understatement. I come from a smallish town in Scotland and I was in the same job for 20 years, just going through the motions. Now, a few years later, everything has changed and I am overwhelmed to have been selected for the delegation. I don’t think it’s ever too late if you apply yourself and I hope I can inspire others to do the same.”
Bernhard & Company Director Steven Nixon said: “We are very proud to have been supporting the delegation for so many years. The quality of applicants is always incredible, making the selection process quite challenging. We are looking forward to taking our 200th delegate in 2022 and offering the 10 successful candidates a fantastic career opportunity.”
The BIGGA Delegation to the GCSAA Conference & Show is just one of countless exclusive opportunities that have been specifically tailored to help BIGGA members achieve their professional ambitions and fulfil our overarching ambition of raising standards of greenkeeping in the UK and creating a stronger and more dynamic golfing industry. For more information about BIGGA, head to www.bigga.org.uk