There is probably no better location for the graduation ceremony of the first degree course of WINSTONuniversity, aiming to educate the best golf managers, than Scotland and St. Andrews ”The Home of Golf“. At the end of March twelve students from eleven countries stayed at the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa located right by the infamous 17th hole, better known as the “Road Hole”.
Walter Woods who for 21 years served as the Superintendent for the St. Andrews Links Trust and was one of the founding fathers of the British & International Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA) together with the management of WINSTONuniversity handed out the diplomas. Professor A. Turgeon, one of the most renowned specialists in turf grass management and one of the lecturers at WINSTONuniversity, travelled for this special occasion from the U.S. to Scotland to congratulate the graduates.
Celebrations took place at the Road Hole Restaurant of the Old Course Hotel and the famous Road Hole Bar as well as at the St. Andrews Golf Club both offering great views over the Old Course, the stately clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the beach and the sea.
The trip to St. Andrews topped off six months of a unique education for golf course and Club managers at WINSTONuniversity. During the trip to Scotland the group gained new insights in the maintenance of world class courses like the Duke’s Course owned and managed by the Old Course Hotel as well as the links of Kingsbarns. On top of learning from the management teams of these world class venues the students had a chance to play the courses.
On the way to Scotland the group made a stop-over at the headquarters of Ransomes Jacobsen in Ipswich, where they received first hand information on the turf care equipment of one of the world’s leading manufacturers. On this occasion Frank Rossi of Cornell University also gave a final lecture.
In February the students had stayed in Lisbon for one month to experience the challenge of golf resort management in a different climate hosted by Orizonte Golf, a collection of seven courses in the greater Lisbon area.
For six months the students stayed at Gut Vorbeck, right next door to WINSTONgolf near Schwerin, the state capital of Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania in North-eastern Germany. With two 18-hole-championship courses (WINSTONlinks designed by David Krause and WINSTONopen) plus the Par-3-course WINSTONkranich, the resort is ranked amongst the top facilities in Europe. Due to many case studies and the guidance by world-renowned lecturers the students gained valuable experience for their future professional careers.
Frank Ahern who had completed the WINSTONuniversity course said: “We not only learned about turf and resource management but also gained a solid background in the economics and strategic marketing of golf courses. I can only advise anyone who sees his future in golf course management to apply for studies at WINSTONuniversity.”
Ian Butcher, the English director of WINSTONuniversity added: “Proof of how much our graduates are sought after is demonstrated by the fact that all the graduates are now working in the industry, either having returned to their clubs such as Crecy Golf Club in Paris, or found internship/ residencies including US-Open-site Baltusrol or Loch Lomond. Engelmann, a leading golf course maintenance company with clients all over Germany and Austria, also took three of our alumni.”
At present the application process is open for the second course at WINSTONuniversity starting in October 2014. Hubertus von Treuenfels, CEO of WINSTONuniversity, said: “The demand is already very high. Since we only can accept 20 students per course we are in a very comfortable situation where we can choose the best applicants. This being said I would like to stress that we do not want to deter anyone from applying for the new semester which will start in October 2014 and run until the end of March 2015.“
The six-month course at WINSTONuniversity costs €14,900 (excluding boarding). ”A worthwhile investment“, said Hubertus von Treuenfels, ”because it opens up a viable career opportunity for our students in the golfing industry, either as a golf course manager or club manager but also in the management of a variety of golf businesses, not forgetting that at WINSTONuniversity friendship and networks for life are formed.”