The British & International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association has set up a telephone helpline for members who need to talk to someone about their problems. The new phone line, which opened on 1st January, gives direct access to trained counsellors who can offer support on matters that are causing concern.
These can range from employment worries to bullying in the workplace. This service can extend beyond a single telephone call to a series, with further support available if required.
News of this service has been quickly picked up by national media. Scott MacCallum, communications manager at BIGGA, told The Times that many greenkeepers “have to deal with members who do not understand how difficult the weather conditions have been. They have a bad round and blame the greenkeeper.”
BIGGA chief executive John Pemberton was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme on 23rd December and Scott also appeared on Talk Sport on the same day.
“I guess it just seems to prick the media’s imagination,” says Scott. “Imagine golf greenkeepers feeling stress!”
The Times reported that two wet summers in succession have led to a major fall in golf course attendances in the UK, with greenkeepers often deemed ‘surplus to requirements’.
Based in York, BIGGA was founded in 1987 and now includes over 7,000 members. The Helpline Service comes as part of the membership package for a full BIGGA member and does not involve any additional costs.