Wentworth greenkeeping team receives BIGGA Award

Wentworth greenkeeping team receives BIGGA Award

The greenkeeping team at The Wentworth Club in Virginia Water has been recognised for its incredible performance in preparing the course for the BMW PGA Championship 2017 with the BIGGA Championship Performance of the Year Award sponsored by Rigby Taylor.

The redesign of Wentworth’s famous West Course was conducted by European Tour Golf Design, with the support of Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn and the Ernie Els Design group. But it was Director of Estates and Golf Courses Kenny Mackay and his team who were responsible for ensuring the changes were implemented ahead of the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017.

All 18 greens were stripped of the old turf and re-seeded with a new creeping bent, while four greens - on the eighth, 11th, 14th and 16th holes - were completely rebuilt. A sub-air system was also installed on all the greens, while new drainage and irrigation was introduced.

Furthermore, all the bunkers were redesigned and reconstructed, with 29 completely removed from play.

European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley said: “The greens are spectacular and aesthetically the golf course is considerably stronger. Stephen Gallacher was walking by and he said, ‘The golf course has significantly improved. It’s just absolutely fantastic and the greens are great’.”

Kenny accepted the award at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration sponsored by Textron Golf, held this evening in the Harrogate Convention Centre’s Royal Hall. The awards ceremony is one of the highlights of BTME 2018, the premier turf management exhibition in Europe.

Kenny said: "It's a very close-knit team. The big challenge we've seen is preparing the greens from tournament.

"When the new owners came in we knew we had a plan together. There was a lot of work behind the scenes and all that research came off. It's two years in the making to get to here."

BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “This was nothing short of a superhuman effort by the team at The Wentworth Club, who worked non-stop from the moment the 2016 BMW PGA Championship ended until the 2017 event began to ensure the course matched up to the incredible standards required when hosting the European Tour’s flagship championship.

“Well done to Kenny and to all his team on this spectacular achievement, and on being crowned winners of the Championship Greenkeeping Performance of the Year at BTME 2018.

“Congratulations also to the Dundonald Links and Moor Allerton teams, who were both worthy finalists after hosting exceptional tournaments during 2017. All are a credit to BIGGA and the greenkeeping industry as a whole.”

Also celebrating BIGGA Awards success at BTME 2018 was Alastair Morrison of Durness Golf Club and the team at Deeside Golf Club.

BTME 2018 runs until Thursday 25 January and features more than 150 exhibitors from all aspects of the turf management industry. Each year more than 4,500 greenkeepers, trade members, club managers and other representatives of the golfing industry come together to network and share news of the latest education and innovation.

You can keep up-to-date with all the latest developments at BTME 2018 by following us on Twitter using @BIGGALtd and the hashtags #BTME2018, #ContinueToLearn and #GolfBIC