Open Thanks 1

The Open is over for another year, but this one is worth remembering for a special reason. I'm an Australian greenkeeper working in Hertfordshire and have viewed The Open for many years on TV during the small hours of the morning. Little did I know that I would be given the privileged opportunity to view an Open Championship from inside the ropes. Being part of the Support staff, on the best links course in the world, has been the highlight of my career. The emotion I felt walking up 18 will remain with me forever. I wish to thank John Pemberton and BIGGA for looking after, not only myself, but also the other members. Looking after 50 greenkeepers cannot be easy!

Many friendships were made and I look forward to renewing them next year at Royal St George's.

Graham Blum
Redbourn Golf Club.

Open Thanks 2

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the BIGGA support team involved in the Open Championship. The assistance you gave with the bunkers and divoting was outstanding and gratefully appreciated. It was a great reassurance to know there were so many willing volunteers who were prepared to help in any way and in all weather conditions, to ensure the Championship ran smoothly.

Once again, thank you.

Colin Irvine
Course Manager HCEG

A Great Trip

I would like to congratulate Toro on their well organised Turf Professionals trip to the USA. I was impressed with the positive and relaxed attitude of all the Toro staff from the production line workers up to the top management. There were too many highlights to mention but I would like to give my thanks to all at Toro and also to the other greenkeepers/Superintendents who were on the trip who added an extra dimension to what was an excellent week.

Colin Mackay
Head Greenkeeper
Vejle GC, Denmark

Thanks for Coming

This is just a big thank you to all of the competitors who played at West Linton GC in the Scottish National Tournament in June which was a superb day.

I must say leading up to the tournament was very nerve racking when you think that 70+ of your colleagues are coming to play your course you want everything to be just right, but I shouldn't have worried as my team had the course in great condition and it was a credit to them.

A big thanks to the Captain and Council of WLGC for courtesy of the course, all the competitors for their praise and comments about the course which was much appreciated by myself and my staff. Peter Boyd, for all his hard work to set up this tournament, Robert Hogarth for his help on the day (hope the ankle gets better soon ) and everyone else who made the day go smoothly.

It was also nice to spend a couple of days with our National Chairman, Richard Barker. So Richard it was nice to have you up here at West Linton we hope you enjoyed your stay with us and I hope to catch up with you over the next few months. Also a big well done to all the trophy winners and our new Scottish Champion.

We hope to have you all back in the future as the club thoroughly enjoyed having you all here and have offered the course for the National Tournament in the next few years. I will speak to Peter and see what we can organise. Once again a big thank you to you all. It was a pleasure.

Chris Yeaman
Course Manager
West Linton Golf Club

B&B Recommendation

In late June two pals and I spent a week golfing in the Moray and Aberdeenshire area of Scotland.

We played six courses in six days (36 holes a day). They were: Hopeman, Turriff, Duff House Royal, Forres, Kemnay and the Boat of Garten. If you are looking to play golf off the beaten track I would thoroughly recommend this area. The people are friendly, the courses are in excellent condition and the green fees extremely reasonable.

Our accommodation was in Keith, run by Paul and Eileen Fleming (Chapel Hill Croft, Crossroads, Keith, Banffshire). Eileen worked at Chivas Brothers whisky distillers, and Paul was the Fat Controller at Huntley Station. The accommodation and breakfast was excellent, and I make that recommendation as someone who enjoys both food and whisky.

I sit writing this letter with a glass of Strathisla in my hand and toasting Paul and Eileen and all the clubs who were so helpful to us, for an exceptional week. To you all... Slange (assuming I have spelled it correctly).

Alan T Kelsall
Portal Golf and Country Club

Thanks for the Help

Through the pages of the magazine I would like to pass on my thanks to Adie Holt and his team from Birchwood GC for the tremendous assistance they gave us during the recent De Vere PGA Seniors Championship. Their efforts together with those of my own staff, in atrocious weather conditions, meant that we were able to resume play after a six hour rain delay and subsequently complete the full 72 holes on time.

It is reassuring in these competitive times that such helpful attitudes exist and it says much for the professionalism and camaraderie that is at the core of Greenkeeping and Golf Course Management in this country, and surely must lift the spirits of anybody currently doubting the commitment of Greenkeepers and the respect that they have for each other.

Adie, once again, many thanks.

Andy Campbell M.G, C.G.C.S.
Golf Courses and Estates Manager
De Vere Carden Park

All the Best

After almost 20 years service, Martin Smith, Head Greenkeeper at Burhill Golf Club, in Surrey, has taken up a new challenge as Head Greenkeeper at the Happy Valley Golf Club. Martin first worked with Burhill as an Assistant, he then went on to Hoebridge GC as Deputy Head. From there he went to Ramsdale Park GC as Head Greenkeeper to grow in the new golf course until he was invited back to Burhill to oversee the development of a further 18 holes to their flagship course. All this time, remaining within the Burhill company. The staff from Burhill wish Him and His family all the very best for the future.

Richard Hucklesby
1st Assistant Greenkeeper
Burhill GC

Well Done Sandy!

The two Sandy McDivot articles in July's magazine were creative, entertaining and in their own way thought provoking. Enough so that I shared them with the Grounds Committee Chairman, Superintendent and Golf Professional. I do not agree with the objection raised in the last issue.

Hopefully Sandy will return to Sludgecombe from vacation and write another article next month. He does not lack for subject matter.

David Chag, General Manager, The Country Club Brookline Massachusetts
Via email