The R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship Programme started with one Chinese student studying at Elmwood College in 2004. Now 10 years on The R&A has awarded its 200th scholarship to student Joe Buckley from Huddersfield. Joe is in his first year studying FdSc Sportsturf Science at Myerscough College.
Joe describes himself as a self-motivated, versatile and hardworking individual with a practical hands-on approach, who always perseveres to achieve the best results. He has been a working greenkeeper at various courses since 2003 and has tournament experience from USA, UK and France. Over that time, he met a number of R&A Greenkeeping Scholars and when he considered entering further education he acknowledged their influence by saying, “the one piece of advice that each of them gave me was to apply for the scholarship.”
He understands the value of education for his future career prospects and is looking to further his career in the golf industry.
“Being responsible for a course that’s been the source of enjoyment for thousands of people long before I was born and maintaining those traditions to ensure that it will be around long after I’m gone would be incredible,” said Joe.
On hearing that he had been successful in his application to the scholarship programme, Joe said: “To be selected as a scholar is something I’m incredibly proud of. The opportunities that the programme presents and the network of people involved will have a massive impact on both my current studies and future career. Being part of a community of likeminded people who are passionate about helping protect and develop the game of golf is invaluable. I’m already looking forward to the annual scholars meeting at BTME."
In recognition of this milestone Joe will be presented with his Scholarship Badge at the annual scholars meeting at BTME Harrogate in January 2015.
To date the Scholarship Programme has assisted 202 scholars from 23 countries, with an investment by The R&A of over £800,000 in the course managers of the future. Stewart Brown, Senior Lecturer in Sportsturf Agronomy at Myerscough College commented: “We, as a college, are extremely proud to be involved with the R&A’s Greenkeeping Scholarship Programme. The fact that we are celebrating its 200th award is testament to the success of the programme and to The R&A’s commitment to greenkeeper education.”