David Perdisatt is Ireland's second-ever Master Greenkeeper

25 November 2022 Feature Article

David Perdisatt, course manager at Mullingar Golf Club in Ireland, has become just the second Master Greenkeeper based in Ireland and the 88th overall.

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David Perdisatt MG

The latest BIGGA member to attain Master Greenkeeper status has dedicated his success to the memory of his mother, who passed away just weeks before he achieved the certification.

David Perdisatt, course manager at Mullingar in Ireland, said his mother, Marion, was a “massive supporter” of his career, making it bittersweet that he wasn’t able to tell her when he discovered he had achieved the highest accolade available to BIGGA members.

David, 41, said: “Becoming a Master Greenkeeper is a massive milestone in my career and the first person I would have told would have been my mother. She has been so supportive in my career but she passed away last month at the age of 68 very unexpectedly, so it was a bittersweet moment.”

David has become just the second Master Greenkeeper based in Ireland and is the 88th to achieve the certification since 1991.

Master Greenkeeper is a process that validates everything you have done in your career

“Opportunities to progress never present themselves, you have to go after them yourself,” said David. “Master Greenkeeper is a process that validates everything you have done in your career. It’s a tough process but in any industry, if you are recognised as a master of your trade, that’s something to aspire to. I have lots of hopes and ambitions for the future and I think being a Master Greenkeeper might be pivtoral for my career in the years to come.”

An R&A Scholar, David has previously worked at Beechpark and Naas golf clubs and in 2016 was a finalist in the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards. He was also the first Irish greenkeeper to participate in the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme.

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David (front row) was a finalist in the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards in 2016


Throughout his career, he has been keenly aware of the importance of formal education in the development of a greenkeeper’s abilities and the way it can open up opportunities. In his role at Naas he was also a tutor, training other greenkeepers around Ireland. David has completed all formal greenkeeping education certification in Ireland, plus the HNC and HND with Elmwood College and he is currently studying towards a BSc (Hons) in sports turf science and management with Myerscough College.

David has been superintendent at Mullingar since 2018 and said: “I absolutely understand the value of experience and it does trump education in some ways, but I feel qualifications give you the confidence to put yourself in a good position for any roles and opportunities that come along. Formal education is a great way to boost confidence in your own abilities.”

Mullingar is a championship parkland golf course that is steeped in Irish history. Designed by James Braid, it holds the annual Mullingar Scratch Cup, an amateur competition that has been won by many of the leading names in Irish golf, including Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.

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Mullingar Golf Club sits beside Lough Ennell in Ireland's midlands


Leading a team of six, increasing to eight during summer, the post-COVID golf boom continues to pressure on the team. Although their operations will be aided following a recently-agreed three-year machinery deal with John Deere, the reduction of chemicals available to EU-based greenkeepers will mean David will have to call upon all his years of experience and education to maintain standards for Mullingar’s 1,300 members.

“As we look to the future and doing things more sustainably, greenkeepers must take a more proactive approach to the management of pests and diseases and everything that comes along with it,” said David. “In the near future, there’s going to come a day when we have nothing left in our arsenal to remedy every situation we have. But these are things that every greenkeeper is aware of and we’re all actively looking at solutions.”

Until recently David was education officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland (GCSAI) and is therefore confident that no matter the challenges ahead, Irish greenkeepers will support each other.

“It’s a close-knit community,” he said. “Because it’s such a small industry, everyone knows each other and the majority of people are happy to share information.”

For David to have achieved Master Greenkeeper during such a busy period is testament to his dedication to the profession. With such a strong education background, he knew what to expect in the examination portion, but couldn’t help feeling nervous when the facility inspection took place, conducted by David Cole MG of Loch Lomond and David Callanan MG, his former superintendent at Beechpark.

“It was a pretty miserable week weatherwise, so I was slightly nervous,” said David. “It can be daunting as Loch Lomond is held in such high regard and has resources and facilities that far outweigh what we have, but David [Cole] understood that and when we passed, I felt it was a validation of all the plans and procedures that we have put in place over the last four years and that we refer to on a daily basis.”

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Mullingar is a historic Irish parkland venue


Moving forwards, certification won’t only help David in his career, but he believes it will also give him added weight when involved in conversations around the golf club.

“We no longer have a general manager,” he said. “A massive emphasis has been put on my role to lead the daily operations of everything outside the clubhouse. I feel that having the Master Greenkeeper certificate will mean that when I’m presenting to a committee, I’ll have the respect of the room. They will understand that what is being said is coming from a professional, which is the way it should be. In general, the attitude towards greenkeepers in Ireland is still lacking and the appreciation for the work that’s carried out and for the experience, education and knowledge the greenkeepers have, is massively undervalued in a lot of clubs.”

As educational standards continue to rise and greenkeepers continue to excel, including through the attainment of Master Greenkeeper status, the golf industry cannot fail but begin to appreciate the expertise of BIGGA members and others in the industry.

David will be presented with his Master Greenkeeper certification at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration, taking place on the opening evening of BTME in January 2023.

David added: “I want to thank BIGGA for everything they’ve done for my career. I lean on them, particularly through the education side. I’m always accessing the website and the resources on there and I just want to say a massive thank you for the opportunity to help progress my career with the Master Greenkeeper certificate.

For more information about Master Greenkeeper, head to www.bigga.org.uk or contact BIGGA Learning and Development Executive Deb Burnett on [email protected]


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Karl Hansell
BIGGA | Head of Marketing and Communications

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.


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