Master Greenkeeper 76: Sam Evans
In May 2019, Sam Evans, course manager at Fulwell Hill in Middlesex became the 76th BIGGA member to achieve the Master Greenkeeper accreditation.
I wanted to do the Master Greenkeeper Certificate as I believe there is always a next level to aspire to and push yourself to, I have been brought up to aim high and to me, Master Greenkeeper is an unrivalled pinnacle and professional status, which I still cannot believe I have achieved. I am over the moon and it is another example that hard work does really pay off.
My love for turf began with my father, Trev. Together we set up our own small gardening business while I was at university, studying BA(Hons) Sports Management and Coaching Studies.
Following this, I started my greenkeeping career under Phil Helmn MG at Heythrop Park, as an assistant greenkeeper. I then moved to deputy course manager at Oakland Park under Graham Down, until he moved on and I became the course manager.
I learnt a lot under both men and they have helped me formulate my own management style.
During my time at Heythrop Park, I had a spell outside of greenkeeping to become a recruitment consultant, but this was just not for me and made me realise my love was in producing a golf course. After six months and jobs as a bar man, bank clerk and a removal man, I was luckily offered my old position back at Heythrop. Since then, I have achieved my Level 3, Level 4, R&A Scholarship and Jacobsen Scholarship. I have been part of volunteer support teams at Hoylake in 2014, Carnoustie in 2018 and Wentworth in 2018. I have also been lucky enough to be selected for the Jacobsen FTMI programme in 2014, the BIGGA Delegation to the Golf Industry Show with Bernhard and Company in San Antonio in 2015 and represented the South East at the John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme in 2017. I have worked with so many different characters and met so many friends, too many to mention, but all have helped me form some part of what I am today and what I will be tomorrow.
In February 2016, I moved to my current position as course manager at Fulwell Golf Club. The club is a very supportive employer, which I am very grateful for. During this period I have worked closely with Greg Evans MG, who has helped to give me the confidence and knowledge to be the course manager that I am today, and I would like to thank him for all his help. However, I am most indebted to my family, in particular my father, for giving me the work ethic and values to enable me to achieve what I have to date.
I don’t really have too much going on outside of work, I play rugby and cricket, have a young family, a beautiful wife and a dog called Digger. Between working and being a parent there is little time left. However, I have just finished the second year of MA Sustainable Golf Course Management, which requires nearly all my spare time, but is proving to be well worth it.
I feel very fortunate to have been involved with the above, and to now achieve the legendary MG status and to be part of the same list as some industry leaders, it is a real honour. Especially when you consider I was working for a high street bank only eight years ago!