Knowledge can be acquired in many ways, but it is an essential attribute for anyone wanting to progress in course or club management. Experience cannot be beaten, but you will often encounter situations that you have never faced before and going back to the basic principles of greenkeeping and management will help invariably resolve those problems as they occur.“
Education has never been more necessary, or so available
Greenkeeping has never been more technical. Nor has Club management ever been so all-encompassing. Education has never been more necessary, but the good news is that it has never been so available. There are learning courses to be had from education establishments around the world, and conferences and seminars abound. Gaining knowledge is now possible throughout a career as there is support for those entering the industry with vocational qualifications, all the way to degree level. It is also now no longer necessary to attend education centres as on the job training and distance learning make life-long learning an accessible reality.
Other than formal qualifications in course management, the majority of education is organised by greenkeeper associations. These form one of the main elements of Continued Professional Development (CPD) within the industry. Although many national greenkeeper associations provide some sort of event, often a one or two day seminar, the two largest international exhibitions which includes significant education sessions are the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) held in Harrogate, England, every January and the GCSAA Golf Industry Show, held at various locations across the USA each February.
The R&A has long recognised the importance of education:
- supporting organisations such as Greenkeeper Training – Europe bringing together education programmes under the same standards of competences
- supporting key events such as the annual Sustainable Turfgrass Management conference in Asia
- offering Scholarships to greenkeepers who want to further their careers on the basis of a sound education
- participating in education events around the world.
To those working on golf courses who think they know it all, think again!
Course management demands a lifetime of absorbing knowledge and encouraging others to continuously learn through a combination of education and experience.