Careers in greenkeeping

Many readers may remember the greenkeeping career video called 'Keeper of the Green' that was produced, jointly, by BIGGA and the GTC, some ten years ago. This video, supported by information on training providers, on qualifications and the type of careers available was the mainstay of careers advice from both organisations for many years. However, much of the information included in the video had become dated and the stock of videos had been exhausted.

Following discussions between BIGGA and the GTC, it was decided to bring Careers Advice for Greenkeepers up to date and a jointly funded project was agreed earlier this year. The idea of the project was to bring the video up to date and include all the previous, paper based, information on one medium. Goodwood Productions, the company who produced the recent Irrigation and Ecology videos, was chosen to produce the package, which will be available on DVD and on CD.

DVD and/or CD will allow the package to be produced as an interactive, menu driven presentation around a 12 minute video section which shows that:
a. A career in greenkeeping is open to all abilities.
b. There is a wide range of golf courses.
c. There are education and training courses to suit all abilities.
d. There is a wide range of jobs in greenkeeping.

Filming began in late July, when we hoped to get some good summer shots on a range of golf courses. The first day started at 6.30am, at Lytham St Anne's. The 30 knot wind was blowing in off the sea, the rain was falling horizontally and the cloud was on the ground. We arrived at Royal Lytham St Anne's Golf Club to be met by greenkeepers in cold weather clothing, who were preparing the course for ladies day. Paul Smith, the Head Greenkeeper, told us that greenkeepers got used to changes in the weather but we were unsure about filming in such conditions. Luckily, the rain stopped and we managed to film various activities around this, lovely, links golf course before loading up the camera and sound equipment and heading off to Myerscough College.

The weather was slightly better and we proceeded to film scenes outside on the college golf course and inside in classrooms and laboratories, before filming a range of interviews.

A night at Guy's Lodgings set us up for our trip to Liverpool and filming at Croxteth Hall before we made the short journey to Bowring Municipal Golf Club in Knowsley. We spent the afternoon filming the course and several of the greenkeepers, before loading up again and heading for Carden Park.

The weather was kinder when we reached Cheshire and we were out early in the morning to film switching of greens, hand mowing of greens and cutting of fairways. We also filmed on the job training and conducted interviews with a range of people including two Master Greenkeepers, College Lecturers Students and greenkeeping staff.

At the end of three days, we almost had three hours of film recorded and we returned to Yorkshire.

The next stage is to edit the film, include shots of golf being played and try to produce the 12 minute programme. Once we agree on the content, the Programme is turned over to Peter Alliss to add the voice over, the graphical and text content is added and the DVD/CD is produced.

We anticipate that the package, which will be available in late October, will be sent to Careers Offices, schools and colleges and, on request, to golf clubs and greenkeepers.

BIGGA would like to thank contributors to their Education and Development Fund and the GTC who made it possible to produce this careers package.