Master Greenkeeper Certificate

The Master Greenkeeper Certificate is a professional designation awarded by BIGGA to experienced golf course professionals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the field of golf course management.

Master Greenkeeper certification is awarded by BIGGA and is not supported by any commercial supporters or the Learning and Development Fund.

To qualify for the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, a candidate must have at least 10 years' experience working as a greenkeeper including three years as a course manager, head greenkeeper or superintendent with two years at their current golf course. 

Certification includes the completion of a rigorous  assessment programme that covers all aspects of golf course management, including turfgrass maintenance, irrigation systems, pest and disease management and environmental sustainability. Candidates must also submit a detailed portfolio of work, which is assessed by a panel of industry experts. 

Those who meet the high standards set by BIGGA are awarded a Master Greenkeeper certificate, which is recognised as the highest level of achievement in the field of golf course management within the UK. Master Greenkeeper is a mark of distinction and is highly respected in the golf industry, signifying the holder has achieved the highest level of professional expertise with a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of golf course management.

BIGGA has awarded 90 Master Greenkeeper certificates since the scheme commenced in 1990.

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It was a great feeling to get the process done because I started over two years ago. I started greenkeeping in 2011 and I'm always looking to develop myself and progress my career, so this was the natural next step.

Janne Lehto

Hirsala Golf

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Opportunities to progress never present themselves, you have to go after them yourself. Master Greenkeeper is a process that validates everything you have done in your career.

David Perdisatt

Mullingar Golf Club

Achieving Master Greenkeeper

Recognised as a prestigious greenkeeping industry award, the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is achieved through a three-stage process:

Stage One – Education, training and experience

Candidates must earn a minimum of 200 Credits to complete Stage One. Credits are awarded for a range of formal and informal education and training and for years of greenkeeping experience. BIGGA CPD Credits can be used toward Stage One.

Stage One of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate is open to all Full members and International members of BIGGA.

To progress to Stages Two and Three, applicants must be Course Manager, Head Greenkeeper, or Superintendent and meet the following requirements:

  • 10 years working as a greenkeeper
  • 3 years working as a Head Greenkeeper/Course Manager/Superintendent
  • 2 years on their current golf course in the position of Head Greenkeeper/Course Manager/Superintendent
  • Be at CPD Approved status

Stage Two - Assessment of golf course operation

Carried out by two Master Greenkeepers during the growing season, the candidate will undergo an inspection to assess the operation of the golf course. The inspection comprises eight areas: Staff Organisation; Financial Management; Record and Stock Control; Management Communication; Course Development Programme; Maintenance Compound; Machinery and Irrigation and Course Presentation.

Stage Three – Case Study and Technical examination

2024 Examination dates:

25-26 April 2024

24-25 October 2024

2025 Examination dates:

24 - 25 April 2025

23 - 24 October 2025

Candidates will sit two, three hour examinations, a Case Study and a Technical paper. Held twice a year, the examinations are written and marked by a panel of assessors. Both examinations must be passed for successful completion of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate.

The Stages must be done in order i.e. the Assessment of golf course operation must be completed before the candidate becomes eligible to take the examinations.

All Master Greenkeepers are expected to be part of BIGGA's CPD Programme.  All BIGGA members have their own online CPD account that can be accessed in the My BIGGA pages.  Anyone joining the Master Greenkeeper scheme after 31 January 2005 will, on becoming a Master Greenkeeper, be expected to maintain a BIGGA CPD Approved status.  For further details on BIGGA's CPD Programme visit the Continuing Professional Development page.

Download the Master Greenkeeper Certificate Brochure and Application Form below. Past exam papers, inspection forms and all other relevant documents are sent once a candidate has progressed to stage 2.  All personal data collected from the application form is used for the processing and maintenance of your Master Greenkeeper application process and subsequently, the MG status once achieved. Data is not shared with any third party.

Master Greenkeeper Brochure


**Please note - BIGGA have moved premises, if you are posting in your Master Greenkeeper application form and certificates, please use the new address: BIGGA, Coxwold House, Easingwold Business Park, Birch Way, Easingwold, York, YO61 3FB.


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