Greenkeepers selected for Open support work

By Alistair March 13, 2022 08:44

Several volunteer greenkeepers have been selected to help prepare the Old Course’s famous fairways for the 150th Open at St Andrews this summer.

Each year The R&A requests the assistance of British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) members in the staging of the event. Those who are selected are given incredible access to golf’s greatest championship, supporting every match with bunker raking duties.

The history of the Volunteer Open Support Team began at St Andrews in 1984 following years of complaints from golfers and the governing body that bunker raking at The Open was inconsistent. Walter Woods BEM, links superintendent at St Andrews at the time, proposed that members of the Scottish & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (SIGGA), which existed prior to the formation of BIGGA in 1987, could be enlisted on a volunteer basis. Having a deputised band of trained greenkeepers on site would also provide the home greenkeeping team with additional support, should the need arise. The Volunteer Open Support Team was formed and has attended every Open since, providing hundreds of BIGGA members with incredible memories and inspiring them to achieve greater things both in their careers and at their home facilities.

Joining the BIGGA volunteers will be Gordon Moir, BIGGA president 2022, himself a former links superintendent at St Andrews and an industry veteran who supervised the hosting of five Opens.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “The 150th Open will be a spectacular celebration of the sport of golf and in some ways the Volunteer Open Support Team recognises the vital role greenkeepers have played over the centuries in the development and prospering of this wonderful game, so we are thankful to The R&A for providing this opportunity for BIGGA members each year. The Open is the world’s greatest golf tournament and this is set to be the biggest and best instalment ever, so everyone at BIGGA – including those members who form the home St Andrews greenkeeping team – is looking forward to playing our part in the hosting of the championship.”

The selected greenkeepers are: Robert Acheson, Thonock Park; Daniel Ashelby, Reddish Vale; George Barr, Worthing; Robert Bemment, Elsham; Simon Bone, Royal Wimbledon; James Bonfield, The Hertfordshire; Adam Brackley, Heworth; Tim Brown, Hockley; Michael Budd, Richmond Park; Steven Carmichael, Dumfries & Galloway; Stuart Christon, Middlesbrough (Brass Castle); Paul Clarkson, Sherborne; Mark Cleverley, Ludlow; David Davies, St Annes Old Links; Jack Fairbairn, Shipton; David Forbes, Faughan Valley; Dean Franks, West Sussex; Michael Gibbons, Dunham Forest; James Gilchrist, Harborne; Andrew Harding, Boyce Hill; Darren Hexley, Muir of Ord; Stevie-Jon Hood, Ljunghusens, Sweden; Jamie Hughes, Lyme Regis; Paul Law, South Staffordshire; Craig Littlejohn, Douglas Park; David McCormick, Royal Porthcawl; Matthew Milligan, Rudding Park; Tiffany Mills, Ryston Park; David McCormick, Royal Porthcawl; William Morton, Llanishen; Ronnie Myles, Buchanan Castle; Ian Nichols, Orsett; George Nock, Enville; Joshua Raper, Hosel EV, Germany; Scott Rigby, Gathurst; Scott Robertson, Strathmore; Harry Roe, Alwoodley; Andrew Sellars, The Grove; Chris Sheehan, Chorlton-cum-Hardy; Niels Sorensen, Randers, Denmark; Craig Surgeon, Kirkcaldy; Rick Tegtmeier CGCS MG, Des Moines, USA; Mark Thompson, Galgorm Castle; Ross Traill, Kilmarnock (Barassie); Sean Tully, Meadow Club, USA; Jeremy Ward, Bradford Moor; George Watton, Ludlow; Aidan Wright, Camberley Heath.


By Alistair March 13, 2022 08:44

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