Rolf-Stephan Hansen, from the island of Sylt, in north Germany, has beaten a field of 18 other candidates to win the 2002 Toro Student Golf Course Architect Award. The winner of the associated Barenbrug Award is Steve Pope, from Derbyshire.
Both annual award schemes are open to all students studying on recognised courses in golf course architecture organised by the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA). They are run in recognition of the important role played by golf course architects in the creation of quality golf courses around the world.
Both award winners studied on the professional diploma course in golf course architecture at Merrist Wood College, in Surrey.
The Toro award is presented to the best design student. Along with the other candidates, Rolf-Stephan presented his final design project to the judges, which included a master-plan, detailed drawings, specification and costings for a new golf course. The expert judging panel from EIGCA comprised David Williams, Ken Moodie and Simon Gidman.
Rolf-Stephan is developing the golf course architecture side of the family landscape design business. “This is the result of two-and-a-half years of hard work, so it’s a very important win for me,” he said. “I feel very honoured and pleased to receive this prestigious award from Toro and to be associated with a study course which has such a high standard.”
As his prize, in February 2003 Rolf-Stephan will enjoy an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to the Toro Company’s worldwide headquarters in Minneapolis, USA, and the Toro irrigation division facilities. He will also visit the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Show in Orlando.
The Barenbrug Award is given to the student who submits the best course dissertation. Its winner, Steve Pope, is starting a full-time position with a golf course architect’s practice. “I am delighted to receive this award and very grateful to Barenbrug for its support,” he said. “These courses provide an ideal port of entry for those who have come from outside the golfing industry, such as myself, and want to gain a qualification in golf course architecture.”
Steve’s prize is a visit to Barenbrug’s Dutch Wolfheze breeding station this summer. He is also looking forward to joining Barenbrug breeders on the annual walk of all five courses at St Andrews later in the year.