Diana Carel, a Golf Course Management graduate from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has become the first female greenkeeper to work full-time on the Old Course in St Andrews.
Diana Carel, 47, is one of nearly 700 students celebrating their graduation from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) at live virtual events on Friday 20 August.
With in-person graduation ceremonies cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, online celebrations via Zoom have been organised for each faculty. The events celebrate the achievements of HN, degree and postgraduate degree students at the North, Central and South & West faculties and will be followed by individual class get-togethers on Teams or in person.
Carel, who has dual Spanish and French nationality, is graduating with an HND in Golf Course Management from SRUC’s Elmwood campus.
Having been offered a job as a seasonal greenkeeper at the Old Course in St Andrews, she was then given a permanent greenkeeper position – becoming the first woman to work full time there – before moving to The Castle Course.
She is only the second woman to work as a full-time greenkeeper on the St Andrews Links courses – seven public golf courses, including the Old Course and The Castle Course.
“Studying at SRUC has offered an opportunity to start a new career,” said Carel, who previously worked as a marketing consultant in housing and golf development, as well as in sustainable agronomy in the olive oil sector. “I gained a lot of new skills and now I’m confident enough to work and grow into the golf industry.”
In a message to the graduates, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC Wayne Powell said: “While the last year-and-a-half has been incredibly challenging for us all, I have no doubt that SRUC as an organisation, and you as people, will come out the other side stronger, more determined and more resilient.
“Life has already thrown so much at you, and it will throw so much more but, if the pandemic has given us anything, it’s a greater appreciation of the world’s fragility and a greater drive to help tackle global challenges, including climate change, biodiversity and food security.
“Your new qualification is a ticket to go out there and make a real difference. I encourage you to use your passion and your new skills to make an impact. As Scotland and the world recovers from the pandemic, people like you will be needed to drive change.”