Students participating in the Gleneagles Excellence in Golf Award Scheme visited the GCSAA Conference in Dallas recently as part of their further educational development.
The winner of this year’s Gleneagles award was Damian Brown, a brilliant young turf science technician from Adelaide, Australia. He was awarded a bursary of £2,000 sponsored by Textron Golf, Turf and Specialty Products and used it to finance his visit from ‘Down Under’ to Dallas to further his career development. He was accompanied by fellow students, Ian Colley from Ireland and John McLoughlin from England whose trips were also funded from the Textron bursary.
Jimmy Kidd, director of turfgrass management at Gleneagles, explained how the award scheme works. “The students for the Gleneagles Excellence in Golf Awards are selected using a dual interview process. Firstly, tutors from BIGGA-accredited colleges in the UK interview a range of students from their respective colleges to determine their suitability. The details of the most deserving student are then forwarded to Gleneagles and they are invited for an extensive interview and tour of the golf facilities. The successful candidates are then awarded a place on the Gleneagles Excellence in Golf Award Scheme. A similar selection process is undertaken in Europe, Canada and Australia, with telephone interviews determining the successful candidates. They then team up with the UK’s most promising, young Gleneagles greenkeepers, helping to create the first stages of a world-wide golf course maintenance network.”
Todd Gilmour, a turf science graduate from Arkansas University of Agronomy and last year’s winner of the award, was also present. He is now a superintendent at a brand new golf project on the Big Island in Hawaii designed by David McLay Kidd, Jimmy Kidd’s son.
Harold Pinto, managing director of Textron Golf, Turf and Specialty Products comments, “We share the excitement and enthusiasm of Jimmy Kidd for this innovative and highly successful award scheme and are delighted to be partners with Gleneagles to ensure its continued success. Our bursary has made it possible for these young people to gain experiences that would otherwise be denied them and it can only benefit their progression in their chosen career.”
The scheme is to be restructured in the next session to involve FEGGA, the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations, thereby widening its educational network across Europe.