BIGGA greenkeeper training event hosted by Ransomes Jacobsen in Ipswich

Some of the delegates from golf clubs across the UK who attended a BIGGA (British and International

Some of the delegates from golf clubs across the UK who attended a BIGGA (British and International Greenkeepers Association) Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI) event at Ransomes Jacobsen in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Delegates from 19 golf clubs around the UK attended the third BIGGA (British and International Greenkeepers Association) Future Turf Managers’ Initiative event which was hosted by Ransomes Jacobsen in Ipswich.

The three-day educational event was aimed at up-and-coming greenkeepers aiming to progress to head greenkeeper or course manager roles, and used the expertise of course managers, training specialists and industry experts to mentor and educate a new generation of leaders.

The group was welcomed by Rupert Price, sales director at Ransomes Jacobsen, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk, before being given a tour of the company’s Ipswich factory.

This was followed by a light-hearted golf competition on the company’s three-hole golf course, the “RJ National”, and the first day finished with dinner at a local hotel where BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton welcomed the delegates and introduced the mentors and the Ransomes Jacobsen/BIGGA team.

Day two began with renowned golf consultant Eddie Bullock, a former PGA captain and now a non-executive director of Golf at Goodwood, delivering a class on what it takes to become an effective leader.


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Following lunch, Lorna Sheldon, a personal communication and presentation skills trainer, provided valuable insights into writing a CV and preparing for an interview. The delegates then returned to their hotel for dinner, after which, one of the mentors, Steve Chappell, head greenkeeper at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, gave a presentation on the benefits of volunteering opportunities at major tournaments.

The final day began with a presentation by Lee Strutt, course manager at gWest, the residential resort next door to Gleneagles, which provided an introduction to golf course maintenance budgets.

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An early lunch was required to accommodate the final speaker, Crystal Mathews, a member of Jacobsen’s HR team, who had flown in from the United States to deliver a presentation offering the delegates advice on how to conduct themselves when faced with awkward situations in their new managerial roles.

Will Carr, Ransomes Jacobsen’s UK & Ireland golf sales manager, closed the event, thanking the delegates and the mentors for their time and contribution.

Fraser Jardine, first assistant at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, said: “It was a fantastic experience and I learned so many new skills that I can apply to the workplace.”

Matt Perks, deputy head greenkeeper on the Old Course at Sunningdale Golf Club, added: “It was a great three days and the hospitality, from start to finish, was excellent. All of us received priceless education and information that will be hugely beneficial in our careers.”

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