10 reasons to enter the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards
Awards finalists and winners in 2017
Being part of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards allows you to meet and compete with the best greenkeeping students in the UK.
Here are 10 reasons why you should enter this year’s competition, ahead of the deadline on 18 May:
1. Make a name for yourself
Whether it’s Greenkeeper International, BIGGA online, or the various golf and turf industry magazines that cover the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards, the competition receives a huge amount of coverage, and as a finalist your name will be a part of that. And if you happen to win, then your journey is extensively featured in Greenkeeper International.
When it comes to career development, getting your name out there is a fantastic opportunity and the Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards gives you an immediate headstart.
2. The winner of the Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards gets six weeks at the University of Massachusetts Winter School for Turf Managers
The UMass Winter School for Turf Managers is a world class certificate programme and the winner gains an all-expenses paid place. Students are immersed in an intensive, full-time programme which covers between two and four years’ education in six weeks. Close-knit classes offer an opportunity to learn from the experiences of fellow students and form relationships that will last a lifetime.
You’ll also get to travel to the Golf Industry Show in San Diego and enjoy a visit to the Toro Factory in Bloomington, Minnesota.
3. The winner of the Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year award gets a work experience placement at the Vidauban Golf Club in France
For two weeks, the winner of the Young Award will be flown to the south of France, where they will experience methods of course management at the prestigious Vidauban Golf Club. With flights, accommodation and food all thrown in, a warm welcome awaits the award winner at this exclusive European club.
Craig Woodman of Bramshaw was a finalist in 2017
4. Past winners have gone on to great things, and many are now course managers
There have been 29 winners of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, with 15 currently holding course manager or head greenkeeper positions. Another two are deputy head greenkeepers, one (Alan Pierce) holds a Master Greenkeeper certificate and another (Steve Nixon) has found success as a director of Bernhard Company.
Nothing in life is guaranteed, but participation in the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award is a demonstration of your commitment to the profession, and success in it is a massive boost to your CV.
5. Nominators benefit, too!
If you are the manager or tutor of a student, you have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes. The endorser of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Golf Industry Show in the USA, including flights, hotel, education and show accreditation, while the endorser of the Young Award receives a trip to Vidauban Golf Club for the last two days of their student’s placement, including flights and hotel.
6. Good interview experience during both the regional and national interviews
If you’re a student greenkeeper, the chances are you’ve had, at most, one interview in your career – the one that got you into the job you’re in now. It may even be that you’ve never had a formal interview. So when it comes to progressing your career and performing well in interviews, what better opportunity to gain experience in the process than in the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year application process? You will receive instant and unbiased feedback from industry experts and whether you win or not, you’ll learn a huge amount that will come in handy as you look to progress your career
7. Invaluable networking opportunities with industry peers and judges
During the finals of Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year, you’ll get the opportunity to bond with your fellow finalists, BIGGA staff and award judges, which includes the BIGGA chairman and president.
Away from the finals, you will spend two evenings in a social setting, that will give you the opportunity to forge friendships and network with the people who have been successful within the industry and are well-placed to offer support and advice.
Joe Spadaccini of Scraptoft ndertakes the course walk with Holly Jones, Chris Kennedy and Stuart Green
8. Runners-up for both awards get hotel and education packages for BTME and a Toro training voucher
Prizes aren’t only reserved for the competition winners, the award runners-up benefit too. The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year runner up will receive a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME, including four days of education, five nights' hotel accommodation, travel and £125 expenses, plus a Toro training voucher.
The Young Award runner up will receive a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME comprising three nights' hotel, education, travel, £75 expenses and a Toro training gift voucher
9. Applicants invited to local interviews will receive a memento from the sponsors
Reaching the interview stage in an achievement in itself and everyone who takes part will receive a memento from Toro and Reesink Turfcare to acknowledge their success in getting there. Students will also receive a £30 contribution from the sponsors towards travel expenses.
10. Increase skills and knowledge
Finalists get to spend two days at BIGGA HQ alongside some of the best student greenkeepers in the country and industry veterans such as BIGGA chairman Les Howkins MG, BIGGA head of member learning Stuart Green and BIGGA president Chris Kennedy.
During the discussions you’ll be tested on your greenkeeping knowledge, but successful candidates aren’t necessarily those who know the most, rather it’s the ones who are most eager to learn. Either way you’ll come out knowing more than when you went in!