On the Course

Former Leyland Golf Club course manager joins BIGGA team as Head of Membership

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has appointed Scott Reeves as Head of Membership, overseeing the development of the association’s membership activities.

Scott, 53, was formerly the course manager at Leyland Golf Club, where he spent 17 years. He began his greenkeeping career at Wycombe Heights Golf Club, Buckinghamshire, followed by spells at Stock Brook Country Club in Essex and Chobham Golf Club in Surrey, before relocating to Lancashire in 2003. He spent three years at Preston Golf Club before a one-year stint with Saxon Industries in a sales role. He then returned to course management at Leyland Golf Club in 2007.

Scott has volunteered at every level of BIGGA, culminating in his appointment as chairperson of the association in 2019. The COVID pandemic hit during Scott’s term and he worked closely alongside BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton, the BIGGA staff and National Board as the association navigated the turbulence of that period, ensuring BIGGA was well-placed to offer support and guidance wherever required.

Following his term as chairperson, Scott retained an involvement with BIGGA and still lectures on the Golf Club Management Diploma, jointly run by the GCMA, PGA and BIGGA. He was also a part of the Committee for Golf Club Salaries for many years.

Following a recent restructure, the Head of Membership position has been created by BIGGA. Scott will be responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of the association’s membership strategy, as well as taking on a senior leadership role within the organisation. He will work closely with all BIGGA departments to ensure the association is fulfilling its responsibility to members, while seeking to evolve BIGGA’s activities and offering.

Scott said: “What attracted me to this job is it is such a huge opportunity. One of the things I really valued in my time as a greenkeeper volunteer with BIGGA was the chance to make the world a better place for greenkeepers, as we always say. With a little time away, focusing on my own job as a greenkeeper, it’s helped me see just what a valuable resource BIGGA is.

“What I’d say to BIGGA members is that another one of us has joined the association. I’m someone who understands you and understands your challenges as I’ve faced many of them myself. We’re here to help you, to serve you and to make sure that you can access everything BIGGA has to offer, to build a better career for yourself and a stronger industry for everyone.”

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “We worked hard to identify the correct candidate for this position and we put all the applicants through rigorous testing as the Head of Membership will play a key role in shaping the future of the association for years to come. 

“We had some outstanding applications but Scott’s passion for greenkeeping and belief in the value BIGGA brings to the industry shone through. He has been involved with committee work at all levels, including chairing the association from 2019 to 2022, a period which included the COVID pandemic and was therefore one of the most challenging of any in our history.

“I’m excited that Scott has joined the Association and look forward to embarking on what I believe is the next chapter in BIGGA’s history.”

A video of Scott discussing his new role and ambitions for the future is available to watch online here.

 

Age is just a number when It comes to Toro Ree.Own Machines

Braehead Golf Club’s new mowers proves Toro is built to last 

With Reesink Turfcare’s Ree.Own scheme, Braehead Golf Club located in Alloa Scotland has taken ownership of two new – or rather used – Toro machines as a cost-effective solution to updating machinery.

Harvey Harrower, the club’s head greenkeeper who has been at the club for 38 years, says when it comes to Toro, going second-hand isn’t a worry: “One of the things we like about using Toro is that they’re built to last. 

“Like most other clubs, we look at buying new machines every five years, but unlike the bigger clubs we tend to look in the second-hand market. The fact that the new ones could already be six or seven years old doesn’t concern us. The machines we’re replacing are 15 years old, and we have other Toro machines that have been going for over 20 years.”

The machines - a Groundsmaster 4300 and hybrid Greensmaster TriFlex 3420 - came to the club via Reesink’s Ree.Own scheme, a dealer network that provides access to all the best quality, Toro turfcare machinery in the UK and Ireland. 

Machines rehomed with Ree.Own are guaranteed to have less than 3500 hours use on the clock, used for less than seven years and been through a rigorous multipoint check by Reesink’s expert turfcare technicians.

The scheme is one that works well for the club. “This isn’t the first time we’ve sourced second-hand machines and it certainly won’t be the last,” says Harvey. “Because of the club’s finances, it’s the option that works best for us, and the machines still perform at a really high level. They go through the workshop and are refurbished before they get to us – ours also came with a 12-month warranty.”

Both machines were replacements for mowers the club had used before, but the Greensmaster has one key difference.

“We decided to go with the hybrid model of the Greensmaster 3420. You can slow the speed down and it just gives a better finish,” says Harvey. Something that can be appreciated by the very youngest of the club’s members.

“We have a very active junior section that has taken off recently. The club has put a lot of effort into that, building new tees and reserving tee times every Sunday throughout the year allowing them to play. Being able to play on a course maintained by Toro machinery means they’re able to play and learn on the best quality surfaces from the outset.”

The club’s new-used machinery came through Reesink’s Scottish branch in Livingston, who according to Harvey, made the whole process easy. “Working with Reesink has been great, they were really good at keeping me informed throughout. I just told them what machines I was after and when the machines became available they emailed me pictures with their age and condition, etc.”

Discover more about how your course can benefit from the UK’s only used Toro professional turf machinery network by visiting reeown.co.uk or contact Reesink Scotland by calling 01480 226800 or by email at info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk.

 

Club Car supply the Royal Golf Club

Club Car®, global industry-leading manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles, has delivered a new fleet of golf vehicles to the prestigious Royal Golf Club in Bahrain.

  The world-class venue hosted the Bahrain Championship on the DP World Tour in February and welcomes 42,000 rounds a year on its two courses – the magnificent Colin Montgomerie-designed 18-hole championship layout and a 9-hole par-3 course.

  Royal Golf Club chose the market-leading Club Car Tempo golf car in Metallic Blue Onyx complete with premium features including Visage (GPS technology), alloy wheels and comfort seats.

  The vehicles were delivered through Luxury Carts, the Club Car distributor in the Middle East, and also have coolers, sand bottles and inbuilt USB ports.

  Royal Golf Club General Manager, Juan Manuel Fuentes, said: “Our players use golf cars here because of the high temperatures and course design. That is why we commit to offer our members and guests an exceptional experience during their rounds with us. Club Car has given us just that – the 80 new cars are fantastic.”

The new cars were used to transport VIP guests during the Bahrain Championship earlier this year – the DP World Tour’s first return to the Kingdom since 2011 – held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“Club Car is an easy choice because the product is superior and the level of service is excellent,” Fuentes added. “The cars were delivered quickly – there was not a long wait after ordering.

Nicolas Le Glas, Club Car Regional Manager Middle East and Africa, said: “Royal Golf Club Bahrain offers its guests world class service, and we’re proud to play a part in that with these new vehicles.”

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the board of Royal Golf Club Bahrain, Juan Manuel and Troon for continuing the longstanding relationship with Club Car.”

Club Car Tempo has many customisable options including colour, seats, storage, wheels and three programmable drive modes to maximise performance.

For more information on Club Car visit: www.clubcar.com

For more information on Royal Bahrain Golf Club visit: https://www.theroyalgolfclub.com

Otter Creek’s Director of Agronomy becomes BIGGA’s 90th Master Greenkeeper 

Otter Creek director of agronomy Brent Downs has become the 90th Master Greenkeeper since the certification’s inception in 1990.

In doing so, Brent, 43, is just the 36th person to possess both Master Greenkeeper and Certified Golf Course Superintendent classifications, two of the highest accolades available to experienced golf greenkeepers on either side of the Atlantic.

Of the moment he was told he had been successful in achieving Master Greenkeeper status, Brent said: “It was amazing and there were a lot of different emotions. I know the journey to get there and a lot of people have walked it before me, so it was equal parts shock and gratitude. The elation, thankfulness and introspection came later.”

Although a resident of Indiana in the Midwest United States, Brent attributes much of his success to experiences gained during spells in Australia and the United Kingdom. Having interned at Loch Lomond Golf Club in 2007, Brent has become the fourth Master Greenkeeper to be associated with the Argyll & Bute course, following in the footsteps of Ken Siems, David Cole and Janne Lehto.

“Not a whole lot of people get the opportunity to intern in Scotland and Australia at the beginning of my career,” said Brent. “That just changed my perspective and my worldview so much. It was the first time I ever heard about Master Greenkeeper, because even though there are only 90 of us, four of them are in some way tied to Loch Lomond Golf Club – Ken Siems and David Cole, who were my bosses at the time, and now Janne Lehto and I are Master Greenkeepers 89 and 90.”

After word of Brent’s achievement was circulated to his fellow Master Greenkeepers, he was flooded by congratulations.

“I’m proud of the part I played in this, but you don’t ever accomplish anything like this on your own,” said Brent. “It takes a village and I’m grateful for the Master Greenkeepers that mentored me, coached me and calmed down – they just kept encouraging me to stay with it.

“The minute Deb [Burnett, BIGGA Learning and Development Manager] sent out that email, I don’t think I’ve ever received so many congratulations. It was at that moment I realised what a community or family Master Greenkeeper is.” 

To qualify for the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, a candidate must have at least 10 years’ experience working as a greenkeeper including three years as a course manager, head greenkeeper or superintendent. Certification includes the completion of a rigorous assessment programme that covers all aspects of golf course management. 

Master Greenkeeper is a mark of distinction and is highly respected in the golf industry, signifying the holder has achieved the highest level of professional expertise with a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of golf course management.

You can find out more about Master Greenkeeper on the BIGGA website, www.bigga.org.uk