Ormskirk and Farleigh win student awards

By Alistair October 1, 2023 14:07

The winner of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award has been named as Michael Russell, assistant greenkeeper at Ormskirk Golf Club in West Lancashire, while the winner of the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award is Daniel Martin, first assistant greenkeeper at Farleigh Golf Club in Surrey.

Russell 31, switched career four years ago from a role in the Civil Service and hasn’t looked back. A keen board game collector, he was a finalist in the 2021 hosting of the awards and has become an ICL Continue to Learn scholar and graduated from the Future Turf Managers Initiative. He is married to Megan and has a one-year-old daughter, Millie. He was also the first finalist to ever score full marks in the multiple choice stage of the examination.

He said: “It was a little bit of a shock, but I know how much preparation I’d done coming into the finals. I think you can always underestimate yourself, seeing those around you and how much experience they have and their passion for the industry, but I was absolutely delighted to win and I know in terms of the rewards that are available as part of the event and just networking has been a brilliant opportunity.”

Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards at Carden Park Golf Club, Chester. 06/09/23

Martin, meanwhile, is a keen mountain biker and climber, and is a thrill seeker who has found a professional passion in the greenkeeping industry. In another awards first, his grandparents were in the area and stopped by the awards ceremony, making it extra special that he came out on top in his category.

He said: “It’s a really good recognition of all the work that you have put into your career and studying to gain the extra knowledge to differentiate yourself from everyone else, so I felt satisfaction in the recognition of that work. For me, if I’ve achieved something well then it’s satisfaction of a job well done and on to the next one.”

The competition is run by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), Toro and Reesink UK.


By Alistair October 1, 2023 14:07

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