A Very Significant Month

In years to come July 2002 will be recognised in the BIGGA annuals as one of the most significant months in the development of the Association.

That was the month when the ClubHouse Exhibition was purchased by the Association and joined with BTME to create a 'Super' week at Harrogate each year.

Now it may pale into insignificance alongside the other transfer which occurred that month - that of Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United to Manchester United - but within our particular industry it may just create a similar impact. Hyperbole? I don't think so, and if you consider the facts I think you may agree.

Next January 21-23, Harrogate will be the place to visit for everyone concerned with golf on the non-playing side. Now, to the layman, that may sound a little daft, but if you take the golf professionals and the club and ball manufacturers out of the equation there is still a vast amount of golf to consider.

Through BTME the golf course side has always been well catered for, with machinery, agronomic aids and products, advisory services, indeed everything required to ensure that the golf course can be maintained to the highest possible specification.

Now ClubHouse, which will be housed in Hall D of the Harrogate International Centre, will provide exactly the same opportunities for those seeking the latest information and product advice on what goes on inside the clubhouse.

For those people with overall responsibility for both sides of a golf club's management Harrogate will provide a unique 'one-stop' shop for all their professional needs, while Club Owners, Managers and Secretaries will be able to accompany their Course Managers or Head Greenkeepers to Harrogate and extract just as much from the week as their colleagues.

The much vaunted 'Continue to Learn' programme which runs during the week will be augmented to ensure that educational opportunities are also available to clubHouse, as well as golf course staff.

As I said it is a hugely significant development within our industry and I hope that, as BIGGA members, you can take pride in what your Association has achieved on behalf of the golf industry in general.

While I am in the business of issuing good news I'd like to thank Bernhards for the continuation of the very successful Bernhards Scholarship programme for a third year. Over the last two years it has seen 20 BIGGA members attend first the Canadian Conference and Show and last year the GCSAA Show to develop their knowledge and experience as greenkeepers. Next year the 10 successful candidates will again travel to the GCSAA Show and will return full of new found knowledge and ideas. Thanks to Stephen Bernhard and his team for making this possible.

Finally I'd like to congratulate Colin Irvine and his fine team for the truly stupendous condition in which they presented Muirfield for the 131st Open Championship. It was absolutely fabulous and did so much to represent the greenkeeping profession to the highest possible standard.

Scott MacCallum, Editor