BIGGA member Stuart Imeson has rounded off a banner year that saw him become a father for the first time and then be placed in charge of the entire operations at his golf club by winning a prestigious industry award.
Stuart, general manager and head greenkeeper at Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumbria was announced on Tuesday (22 January) as the winner of the BIGGA Awards 2019 Greenkeeping Project of the Year sponsored by Baroness.
The awards ceremony, which was held on 22 January, is a major feature of the BIGGA Welcome Celebration sponsored by Jacobsen, which kicks off the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition, taking place this week in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
In addition to taking on parenting duties and embracing his changing role at the golf club, Stuart has continued to provide excellent educational opportunities for fellow BIGGA members through his incredibly-successful Bunker Camps, which was a sell-out in 2018 as greenkeepers from across Europe came together to take part.
Bunker camp has been running for five years and was initially envisioned as a way for Stuart’s young team – he was only 23 at the time – to interact and network with other likeminded greenkeepers.
The camp sees volunteers head to Dunstanburgh Castle to participate in the construction of revetted bunkers over a two-week period, with educational seminars and workshops taking place alongside the practical greenkeeping. More than 250 people have now been involved since the start of the bunker camp and education days.
Stuart said: “To be honest I’m a little bit star struck by the whole thing. If you just look at the standard of people that were up for awards, it’s an amazing achievement. If you look at my three lads, it’s absolutely out of this world to even think we could win something like this.”
BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “Stuart is a fantastic example of the modern greenkeeper who is both highly-trained and keen to communicate about the work he undertakes to further improve standards across the industry. He has a genuine passion for greenkeeping and to develop the course at Dunstanburgh Castle, but the beauty of the Bunker Camp project has been that it has helped hundreds of golf courses across the region to improve their own standards, which is highly commendable.
“Congratulations also to the teams at Skipton Golf Club and Prince’s Golf Club, who both overcame massive challenges to complete incredible projects at their clubs during 2018. All are a credit to BIGGA and the greenkeeping industry as a whole.”