Putting the golf back in the greens

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Whether it’s the iconic holes of the Masters at Augusta, or the rugged splendor of Gleneagles, pristine golf courses are something to behold.

But it takes a great deal of knowledge and passion to maintain these masterpieces, and with this in mind, a college in Cornwall has launched a new Golf Greenkeeping apprenticeship. Duchy College at Stoke Climsland near Callington has worked in conjunction with employers to develop the apprenticeship, ensuring it meets business needs.

The responsibility for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course falls to greenkeeping staff to maintain top quality playing surfaces on the course, explained Sarah Hernandez, Business Development Manager for the rural sector at CCB Training.

“There are a wide range of areas on a golf course which require high maintenance,” she continued.

“The Golf Greenkeeping new standard apprenticeship not only develops core skills and knowledge, it builds the apprentices confidence to share ideas making a positive impact on the golf course.”

The apprenticeship is recognised by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (B.I.G.G.A) the professional body for greenkeepers. The apprentice will be registered with B.I.G.G.A. and on successfully completion will become a B.I.G.G.A. accredited greenkeeper.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to develop your staff and grow your business,” Sarah explained.
“If you are interested in taking on an apprentice there is funding available, plus a £1,000 incentive when you employ a 16-18 year old apprentice.”

The Golf Greenkeeping apprenticeship is delivered over 24 months at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, East Cornwall.

“To maximum the time in the workplace, apprentices will to attend college in the quiet months of the industry from September to April, plus they can start their apprenticeship at any point during the year to fit around the business’s needs,” stated Sarah.

“Additionally the apprentice will be trained to use and maintain a wide range of machinery, understand the importance of health and safety, turf treatment, drainage and irrigation systems as well as develop the skills to renovate and construct golf course features and bunkers.”

Technical knowledge includes the primary aspects of soil and plant biology, the process of germination, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration.

“Other elements will include strategies to control weeds, pests, diseases and turf disorders, as well as an understanding of how fertilisers, top dressings and chemicals affect the environment,” added Sarah.

To find out more about Golf Greenkeeping apprenticeships at Duchy College contact CCB Training’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Team on 0330 123 4785, [email protected] or visit their website or to view current vacancies visit