TPC Sawgrass looking good thanks to hard work of BIGGA members
Posted on Monday, 15th May 2017
A team of BIGGA members is undertaking the experience of a lifetime, helping to maintain the course at TPC Sawgrass for this week’s ‘Fifth Major’.
With the Players Championship taking place in Florida this weekend, volunteers from the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association have been on site all week, getting to grips with all the work that goes on behind the scenes at one of golf’s most high profile events.
“So lucky to be here! Amazing place!” tweeted Sam Evans, head greenkeeper at Fulwell Golf Club in Twickenham.
For Sam it was the third time he had applied to join the scheme, which sees BIGGA Partner John Deere fly five BIGGA members out to TPC Sawgrass in Florida for a week of hard work, alongside incredible career development opportunities and tournament experience.
Speaking at BIGGA’s Turf Management Exhibition in January, Paul Walton from Sharpley Springs in County Durham, said: “I know it’s going to be tough out there. I think it’s one of those things that’ll come and go in a flash, then it’s only once I get back that I’ll realise what I’ve done. It is a privilege and it’s one of those opportunities that’s once in a lifetime.”
The other BIGGA delegates who have joined the tournament support team are Harry Jones, of Wrekin, Christopher Hale, of Woodbury Park, and Richard Johnstone, of Nairn Dunbar. Also joining them is Johnny Ryan, a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland.
This year more than 160 greenkeepers and turf professionals have teamed up to assist Director of Golf Course Maintenance Jeff Plotts in preparing the course for the championship, using the latest state-of-the-art John Deere machinery.
Applications are now being invited for the 2018 TPC Sawgrass volunteer programme, which will once again be supported by John Deere. For the first time an additional member from overseas will also be invited to join the team, meaning six BIGGA delegates will be travelling to the US next year.