BIGGA and Campey Turf Care Systems announce the winners of the Excellence in Communications Awards
The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association and Campey Turf Care Systems have revealed the winners of the BIGGA Excellence in Communications Awards.
Whether using digital and social media, community outreach or by producing an article for the monthly journal of BIGGA, Greenkeeper International, the awards recognise those greenkeepers who have embraced communication as a vital tool available to the modern turf professional, helping to improve understanding and appreciation of the greenkeeping industry among the public or sharing ideas and best practice for the turf management community.
Three awards categories were up for grabs and the winners will receive their prizes at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration on the opening night of BTME 2022, which is taking place at the Harrogate Convention Centre from 22 to 24 March.
The Innovation and Thought Leadership Award is given to the BIGGA member who has written the most thought-provoking article for Greenkeeper International in the previous calendar year. The judges selected as the winner a feature written by Prestonfield Golf Club’s course manager Shaun Cunningham. Included within the February 2021 edition of the magazine, Shaun discussed the topic of out-of-play areas and whether a golfer’s enjoyment of a golf course depended as much upon the wider environment and landscape as it did the playing surfaces.
The New Media Award is given to a BIGGA member who has embraced the possibilities of digital media to raise understanding of what goes on behind-the-scenes at a golf course. This year’s New Media Award winner is John Rowbottom, greenkeeper at Woolley Park Golf Club in Barnsley. John began using social media as a bit of fun but quickly gained a large following with his entertaining look at life at this West Yorkshire golf club, often joined out on the course by his ‘turf dogs’. One video of the greens team preparing a bunker was viewed over 23 million times.
The Outreach Award seeks to recognise those BIGGA members who have taken their message beyond the normal work boundaries. This can be to the local community, schools or environmental groups. The winner of this year’s award is John Milne, head greenkeeper at Garmouth & Kingston Golf Club. John has presented in schools and at careers events to raise awareness of life at the golf club. He also invites students to the golf course to show how golf facilities can be beneficial for the natural environment. Activities have included primary school pupils planting trees and taking part in an on course wildlife safari, the establishment of an ecology group and encouraging wildlife photographers to visit the site.
Karl Hansell, head of marketing and communications at BIGGA, said: “At BIGGA we work tirelessly to raise awareness among the public about just what it takes to maintain a modern golf course. Greenkeepers too must do their bit if the message is to reach a wide audience and so I’m pleased that we are able to highlight the incredible work of these three BIGGA members, who go far beyond the requirements of their daily working lives to try and improve the lot of greenkeepers everywhere. The wide range of activities they have undertaken shows not only what a wonderful profession greenkeeping is, but how golf clubs can play a positive role in the health and wellbeing of the wider community.”
“Our thanks also go to Campey Turf Care Systems for enabling us to reward these three BIGGA members with such fantastic prizes. To see BIGGA, our members and the turf industry working together in such a great way gives confidence that there is a bright future ahead for the greenkeeping industry.”
BTME is taking place this week at the Harrogate Convention Centre, having been postponed from January 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Registration is free and more details can be found at www.btme.org.uk
Karl has been head of communications for BIGGA since March 2016. His duties include editing the monthly Greenkeeper International magazine, in addition to other communications activities for the association.