The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association has accredited a record six members with Master Greenkeeper Certificates following examinations in April.
First awarded in 1991, the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is awarded to those BIGGA members who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management.
To be eligible, a BIGGA member must have spent at least ten years working in greenkeeping, with a minimum of three in a head greenkeeper, course manager or superintendent role. They must also have been responsible for their current golf course or courses for a minimum of two years.
Two of the successful BIGGA members who achieved Master Greenkeeper status were from the UK, while four were from the United States.
The successful UK-based greenkeepers were Sam Evans (Fulwell GC, Middx) and Rob Clare (Brough GC, Yorks, pictured above), while the American members who achieved Master status were Bob Vaughey (Rolling Hills CC, California); David McGregor (Westwood CC, Virginia), Matthew Gourlay (Colbert Hill GC, Kansas City) and Andrew Sprunt (Florissant City GC, Missouri).
Sam Evans, the course manager at Fulwell, has achieved the accreditation aged just 30. An active member of BIGGA, he has participated in two Open volunteer support teams, the Future Turf Managers Initiative, the TPC Sawgrass volunteer programme, and the BIGGA Delegation to the Golf Industry Show.
He said: “I wanted to do the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, as I believe there is always a next level to aspire to and push yourself to. I have been brought up to aim high and, to me, the Master Greenkeeper certificate is an unrivalled pinnacle of professional status. I am over the moon to be awarded this, and it is another example of how hard work really does pay off.”