A spectacular dawn image of a greenkeeper preparing his course at a modest North Wales golf club has claimed first prize in the prestigious annual BIGGA Photographic Competition.
From The Remarkables Mountain Range in New Zealand to the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, BIGGA members from all over the globe submitted entries for the competition, which has seen the judge’s favourite 12 images selected for inclusion in the greenkeeping association’s calendar 2017.
The winner of the photographic competition was announced exclusively in Greenkeeper International, the monthly magazine received by each of BIGGA’s almost 6,000 members.
The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Life on the Course’, with images focusing on the hard work and dedication of greenkeepers, most of which goes unseen by golfers.
There were spectacular sunrises and sunsets, beautiful wildlife and a whole load of mud, rain and snow, but in the end there could only be one winner.
Wrexham Golf Club’s Acting Deputy Head Greenkeeper John Parry used his eye for a photograph to capture the winning image.
The photograph, taken on his Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone, shows a silhouetted greenkeeper installing a hole on the club’s 6th green at dawn one morning.
“I’m over the moon to have won,” said John. “There were a lot of really good pictures entered into the competition, so I actually can’t believe it.
“It was a beautiful morning and I was out there with my boss at the time, changing holes. I took hundreds of photos that morning, and I saw him on the 6th hole with the sunrise behind. He didn’t know I was taking the photo and so it was very natural.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to have won and I can’t wait to defend my title in next year’s competition.”
In winning the competition, John scooped the top prize of John’s prize of an Apple Watch. He will also be presented with a framed print of his photograph at the Welcome Celebration, to be held at BIGGA’s annual trade exhibition, BTME, in January.
The BIGGA Calendar 2017 was sent out to each of the association’s Course Manager and Head Greenkeeper members with the November issue of the magazine. Almost 250 BIGGA members took part in an online vote to help determine the competition winner.
Greenkeeper International Editor Karl Hansell said: “We’d like to thank every BIGGA member who took part in the online voting. The calibre of entries was so high that we were really struggling to pick a favourite, so we couldn’t have done it without your help.
“BIGGA members are a talented bunch when it comes to preparing their courses to the highest standard, and each year a growing number prove they also have considerable skill when it comes to capturing the spectacular natural beauty found on golf course in the UK and around the world.
“Congratulations to John for his victory, which speaks a thousand words and more about the hard work and dedication of greenkeepers – showing, as it does a solitary greenkeeper installing a hole at the break of day to ensure his course is in top condition for the enjoyment of golfers, who would still be snuggled up warm in bed at the time.”
For more details about BTME and the Welcome Celebration, head to www.btme.org.uk