John Deere and training provider ProVQ have announced plans to open a brand new Apprentice Training Centre this autumn, at a farm site in Upper Saxondale near Bingham in Nottinghamshire. This will mark the 30th anniversary of the company’s first Ag Tech apprentice intake, who were enrolled at original partner Brooksby Melton College in 1992.
Designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices attending the company’s award winning Ag Tech, Turf Tech and Parts Tech training programmes, the first John Deere Apprentice Training Centre was established at Radcliffe-on-Trent five years ago. These premises have now been outgrown, due to the programmes’ success and increasing dealer demand.
The Ag ,Turf and Parts Tech apprenticeships focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for dealer personnel of the future. Each year group trains at the centre for up to eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks. Some of this time is also spent at John Deere’s Langar HQ when working with the largest equipment and the latest technologies.
John Deere appointed ProVQ Limited in summer 2015 as its new business partner to deliver the apprentice training programmes on behalf of its dealers in the UK & Ireland. Since that time the strength of the partnership has allowed the programmes to develop and grow to meet the needs and expectations of a modern John Deere dealership. The current full-time ProVQ staff will continue to be managed by James Haslam at the new Apprentice Training Centre from the autumn.
ProVQ started its apprentice training programmes in 2005, and went on to develop a full range of national services including apprentice recruitment, training, vocational assessment and qualifications. Today the company trains over 600 apprentices and many hundreds of adult learners on technical, parts and customer service programmes.
“We are really looking forward to establishing this new bespoke facility close to our UK headquarters at Langar,” said John Deere Limited training centre manager Allan Cochran. “Our joint investment in the expanded Apprentice Training Centre will be in the region of £1.5 million. This will allow us to continue our growth and ambition to attract more young talent to develop successful careers in land-based engineering through the John Deere agricultural, turf and forestry dealer network.
“As our dealership businesses continue to grow, there is increasing demand for qualified technicians equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to support that growth. We have therefore recognised the need to increase the capacity of our already successful and industry leading training programmes even further.
“The new site will feature a purpose-built two-storey unit in addition to refurbished and extended farm buildings, effectively almost doubling our available square footage. The premises will include a bigger workshop space as well as larger classroom and cafeteria facilities.
“Most importantly, this will give us the capability to double our throughput of trained technicians to meet dealer demand. ProVQ will maintain its current staffing levels and continue to provide the full suite of apprentice technician training programmes at the new premises.”
ProVQ managing director Stuart Jones added: “Together with John Deere, we have already jointly developed a very high quality training environment in which apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the company’s comprehensive agricultural and amenity turf product ranges.
“We are now looking forward to seeing many more young people come through the doors of our new training centre at the start of what is undoubtedly a very exciting and rewarding career in engineering and parts support. The facilities we are developing will help them to achieve their full potential in a rapidly changing industry that offers a great opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technologies supporting food production, land management and environmental sustainability.”
Camille Chevalier has become a Sustainable Golf Champion – partnering with the non-profit GEO Foundation to help support the group’s mission to advance sustainability in and through golf.
The move follows in the footsteps of nine-time Solheim Cup player Suzann Pettersen and represents another significant step forward in building a community of credible champions across the sector.
As part of this network, Camille will work closely with GEO Foundation to promote and celebrate the positive impacts golf has on nature and people, as well as encouraging further action on key issues such as pollution prevention; resource efficiency and climate change.
In addition, all activities will be closely aligned to The Ladies European Tour sustainability initiative – “Celebrating the Green, presented by Dow”, which was launched last year and aims to showcase environmental, climate and community action across women’s golf and celebrate sustainable activities stemming from players, tournaments, venues and partners.
“I have always had a special relationship with nature and the outdoors – one of the main reasons I have loved golf is because it takes place in beautiful environments,” said Camille, who won the Hero Women’s Indian Open in her first season on the Ladies European Tour. “My interest naturally evolved towards the preservation and protection of nature as I grew up during a period of increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and the need to live more sustainably.
“As a golfer, I used to practice a lot at Le Golf National and became particularly interested in the course preparation and maintenance, learning a lot about turf and agronomy from passionate people. Now on Tour I am always looking at the different ways of managing the course environment.
“Golf courses can play a key role in creation and preservation of local ecosystems. Biodiversity is very rich throughout a golf course environment and can flourish in areas subjected to very little or no maintenance. This way, local species can develop and blossom naturally.
“And it is important golfers look around them when they play. They can marvel at landscapes and wildlife that can be found on the course – to be amazed is already a first form of action to protect the ecosystem. By keeping this close contact with nature we become aware of its need for protection.
“I am excited about working with the GEO Foundation, exploring how I can live, work and play more sustainably and help celebrate all the good things that are happening in golf for nature and people.”
Camille joins a growing community of Sustainable Golf Champions across the sport, a group which also includes course and club managers, and association leaders who are making real and measurable contributions to sustainable golf. As well as promoting the positive activities throughout golf, as a Sustainable Golf Champion Camille is committed to becoming a “Climate Neutral” golfer. To do so she is calculating all unavoidable travel emissions each year relating to her playing schedule, and offsetting those in the most credible and impactful way using an approach developed by GEO in direct partnership with The Gold Standard.
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation, said: “Athletes have the power to draw wide attention to really important issues as well as inspire change. We are very excited about the energy, passion and commitment that Camille will bring to driving sustainability in and through the sport. We hope that more professional players with follow her own and Suzann’s lead, and step forward as champions for sustainable golf.”
Emma Allerton, Commercial Director at the Ladies European Tour added “As an organisation, the LET is also seeking to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and climate action through our ‘Celebrating the Green’ initiative, and this will also give Camille a wonderful platform to help raise awareness of some of the issues and the solutions throughout golf and inspire her fans around the world. Sustainability needs a big team effort, and we welcome others across the LET community to join and take action.”
About Camille Chevalier
Camille Chevalier is from Aix en Provence, France and turned pro in January 2017 at the age of 23. After earning a degree from Indiana University in the US, Camille earned full status through the 2016 Qualifying School to play on the Ladies European Tour. During her first season she secured her maiden professional win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, finished 10th of the Order of Merit, and became the 2017 Rookie of the Year. The following season she competed on both the Symetra Tour and the Ladies European Tour during which she made cut made in her first Major, the Evian Championship and gained a top 10 in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open and in 2019 came close to adding to previous win with a third place finish at La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational. She will be embarking on her fifth season on the LET in 2021, starting her campaign with the Investec South African Women’s Open in May.
About GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf
GEO Foundation is the international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf. Its goal is to work collaboratively to help the sport embrace environmental and social issues and become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources, building healthy communities and taking climate action. In addition to its strategic support through partnerships with associations, GEO assures the OnCourse® programmes for grassroots golf facilities, new developments and tournaments, each of which can lead to the internationally accredited, endorsed and independently verified GEO Certified® label.
About LET ‘Celebrating the Green, presented by Dow’
Championing environmental, climate and community action across women’s golf.
Celebrating the Green, the LET’s sustainability initiative, aims to recognise and promote great environmental work being achieved through the Ladies European Tour community. The initiative aims to celebrate and support the successful sustainability activities stemming from our wonderful players, partners, tournaments and venues, whilst inspiring and encouraging others to become involved and engage in sustainability and climate action, addressing some of the most important issues of our time.
Outstanding service and product quality have seen one of Europe’s most prestigious golf clubs, Le Golf National, renew their Jacobsen partnership for a further five years and include an E-Z-GO fleet.
The club has had great success with Jacobsen mowers with the Albatros course for the Ryder Cup in 2018 widely recognised by participants and spectators as one of the best the tournament has seen. That quality isn’t reserved for the Ryder Cup and is regularly seen during the Open de France which the club has hosted 27 times between 1991 and 2019.
A wide range of mowers including the new lithium-ion powered Eclipse 360 ELiTE and AR530 articulated contour rotary mower are included in a 27 strong list that also features models from the HR, TR and SLF ranges as well as GP400s. Following an audit of the machines currently used on the course from the previous leasing agreement, 39 Jacobsen and Cushman mowers and utility vehicles have been purchased by the club for continued use.
Thirty-four RXV Elite E-Z-GO golf carts that use the industry-leading ELiTE lithium-ion battery technology now shared with the Eclipse 360 ELiTE are also included and will feature the Textron Fleet Management (TFM) 10EX system.
For Ransomes Jacobsen, France’s General Manager, Laurent Proupin, Le Golf National’s commitment to Jacobsen comes not just from the signature cut or industry-leading features, but from the service they receive during tournaments and throughout the year.
“I’m very, very excited to have one of France’s major courses continuing to use the Jacobsen brand,” Laurent begins. “It’s been a considerable effort by the entire team at Ransomes Jacobsen France, and one which is a result of always, whoever the customer is, giving the best service we can. I think the support we offer during a tournament and on a day-to-day basis is as important as the quality of cut and is very valued by superintendents.
“The importance of the deals with firstly Le Golf National and then the Ryder Cup was huge because it showed that the Jacobsen brand is very strong. We can point to Le Golf National and the 2018 Ryder Cup which was played on one of the best courses the tournament has had, and that feedback has come from the players.
“And that is the importance of tournament service. We are very close to the customer, and I try to have a spirit that when there is a tournament it isn’t just a tournament for Le Golf National, it’s a tournament for Le Golf National and the Ransomes Jacobsen France team. That worked brilliantly for the Ryder Cup and many Open de France competitions, and we are already looking forward to carrying that into the Golf Amateur World Championships in 2022 as well.
“During each tournament, there are two technical staff from my team on the course, ready to step in if there is any problem. For us, that is assuring them that they will have no problem. And I think it is the main argument for using one company because you can get your mowers and golf cars serviced by the same people.
“For the other brands, several providers are necessary, but for us, all of our technical staff can work on E-Z-GO, the Textron Fleet Management GPS system, Jacobsen or Ransomes and it makes it much easier to manage for our customers.”
Commenting on the renewal of this partnership, Pascal Grizot, President of the French Golf Federation, said: “Golf National must remain the venue for major international golfing events and offer optimal maintenance conditions throughout the year for all types of public. The new high-performance training area also requires technical equipment that matches our sporting ambitions. The continuation of our partnership with Jacobsen EZGO, both in terms of equipment and human resources, allows us to remain confident in preparing for the future French Open and the World Team Championships in 2022. We share together the will to prepare excellent quality courses with the necessary support for our field teams.”
The Director of Le Golf National, Mr Philippe Pilato, detailed the main reasons for this choice: “The teams of Golf National and Ransomes-Jacobsen have built a relationship of trust over many years. Beyond the quality of the service and the machines, we were very sensitive to the knowledge and know-how that guided our collaboration.
Ransomes-Jacobsen has accompanied us through various incredible experiences. The renewal of this partnership highlights our common ambitions to offer excellence in the quality of maintenance and to ensure the durability of this excellence. “
Ransomes Jacobsen France services many of the country’s leading golf clubs from branches in Paris, Rennes and Toulouse. The quality of the products on offer along with the customer service, has been a pivotal selling point for clubs such as the Evian Resort, the Terre Blanche Golf and Spa Resort, the Roquebrune Resort, Golf du Touquet, Blue Green Golf Course of Pléneuf-Val-André, Golf du Prieuré and many others.
From Left to right; Michel Van Uffelen (Belgium), Christopher Krawczyk (Poland), Alexandru Gherman (Romania), Łukasz Królikowski (Poland), Cormac Barry (Rep of Ireland), Viktor Veleski (Sweden), Damir Lučić (Croatia), Bevan Tattersall – Golf Courses Manager, Kristianstads Golfklubb
The first week of April saw the FEGGA Scholarship Students arrive at Kristianstads GolfKlubb to start their 6-month long programme.
Bevan Tattersall, Golf Courses Director welcomes the 2021 FEGGA Students in this opening article.
A very warm welcome to Alex, Chris, Cormac, Damir, Lukasz, Michel and Viktor.
If the FEGGA students were under the impression they would be attending the beautiful Swedish seaside town of Åhus and enjoying the fantastic beaches and weather I am afraid so far, they have been very disappointed. Unfortunately, we have had a very tough winter with two months of snow and for the first month of the student’s time with us we have been experiencing the coldest spring that I can remember in my 16 years working in Sweden. In the last 30 days we have had only 5 days without frost. Not ideal when we have a season that is only seven months long.
The idea both Dean and I had over three years ago was to develop an education programme that could offer both practical training/experience and theory, presented by industry leaders. It is with great pride for FEGGA, Kristianstads Golfklubb and myself that this is growing year on year and it shows with the quality of the individuals that are attending the 2021 programme. Individuals that want to learn and want to make this fantastic profession their chosen career, and to use this programme to bridge the gap between college education and taking the leap into Golf Course Management.
We have seven individuals of mixed ages from six different countries who will be with us for next six months. With the first month just coming to an end the students have enjoyed seven different presentations covering – Course Management Overview, Soil Biology, Creating CV’s, Health and Safety, Golf in Sweden, Irrigation installation and a presentation from FEGGA. All this whilst working on our two Golf Courses. At present the students are split with five working on our East Course and two based on our West Course. Everyone will over the experience have chance to work on the two courses. Two courses with two totally different characters and different challenges.
The East was opened for the season on the 1st April and the West, which is coming to the end of a major renovation/redesign, will open the start of this summer.
Over the next month we hope to see a change in the weather and will focus on repairing winter damage, work on the ‘grow in’ on the West Course, and to enjoy more fascinating presentations/training sessions.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thanks to Gary, Alan, David, Niklas, Ludde, Åke and Dean for giving up their valuable time and producing outstanding presentations, and to Alan Lindsey from The Sportsturf Maintenance Company for his outstanding support and commitment to this programme.
Bevan Tattersall – Kristianstads Golfklubb and Destination
This is what our Students had to say following their first few weeks……
Michel Van Uffelen (Belgium) – From the National Stadium to Kristianstads Golfklubb
“I’ve been a Greenkeeper, Head Greenkeeper, Course Manager and Field Manager in my country. I rose quickly through the ranks and had some good successes but often felt like something was missing, that I could do something more or better. I wanted to test all my greenkeeping skills starting from the base while also improving my managing skills. To be able to do this I’d have to learn from the best on a daily basis and that’s exactly what the FEGGA program offers. After two weeks of working for Bevan Tattersall and his team of highly skilled and motivated greenkeepers, I know I’ve come to the right place.”
Hi all my name is Łukasz and since the beginning of April I started my FEGGA training.
“I am interested in personal development and have a passion for learning new things which is the first reason why I joined the FEGGA program. I started my career as a greenkeeper in 2020 with no knowledge of it and wanted to try something new. My trial turned out to be the most accurate because I can’t imagine working in another industry at the moment. After my first season on the golf course, I wanted to learn more about building a golf course and everything that affects quality and care, which was another reason to join the FEGGA program, because that’s all in this program. There is an amazing atmosphere here and a lot of concrete knowledge. I would like to recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn more about the golf course, who has patience and likes to watch how small pieces of our work translate into later results of the quality of the golf course.”
Firstly, my name is Cormac and I am 21 years old. I am from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow in Ireland.
“Previous to coming to Kristianstad Golf Club, I had only worked one season as a greenkeeper in Powerscourt Golf Club located in my hometown. After speaking with numerous golf courses about positions for the upcoming season, I then spoke to Dean about a position on the FEGGA scholarship and accepted it without hesitation. I felt it was the perfect opportunity for a young greenkeeper like myself to really progress in my career and also become a better person in general. Edgar to learn as much as possible from the scholarship I believe it offers all of us FEGGA students a bright and promising future.”
Viktor – Why i chose the FEGGA program?
“It all started with my education with the Swedish Greenkeepers Association where I got the feeling that I am on the right track to a new career which was a life change. Also I could not miss the chance to continue to make it practical with people who are one of the best leaders in their job. The best thing about the program is that you meet people from all over the world who are really dedicated and who have a lot of knowledge in their subject, regardless of whether it concerns irrigation, ferilizers, golf course management and more.”
Alexandru Gherman, 35, Romania
“After 5 years working on a golf course in Belgium and my passion for greenkeeping I decided that now is time to deepen my knowledge. FEGGA Scholarship is a good chance for me to do just that because we are working with some of the best professionals in this business. Topics like soil science, disease, course construction, tournament planning are the ones that I’m looking forward to learn more about. All aspects of Golf Course Management are covered in this 6 months and that makes this scholarship one of the best opportunity I couldn’t miss.”
Christopher Krawczyk (Poland) I change my career after 40’s.
“I’ve been a web designer for a long time. This is probably most people’s dream job, but not for me. I didn’t like spending a lot of time in front of the screen and clicking on the keyboard. I was 40 and decided to change my career. I started at a golf construction company but started working as a greenkeeper in Sweden 3 years ago. After the first season I knew this was what I wanted to do in my life. I’m studying Golf Course Management at Elmwood College. Now I’m aiming the Head Greenkeeper Assistant, but my goal is to be the Gead greenkeeper in 6 years. I came to Kristianstad GK to expand my practical knowledge as there is often no time for this during the regular season. This FEGGA program is a great opportunity to learn about the regular maintenance of greenkeeping and ask anything you want to know about it.”
My name is Damir Lučić from Croatia.
“I have joined the FEGGA Scholarship Programme in order to gain skills, knowledge and qualification in this continually growing Golf Greenkeeping Industry. The program is a very well structured combination of lectures and precisely directed hands-on experience. Lectures are given by the most prominent people in their fields and the entire team of Kristianstads GK, led by Mr. Bevan Tattersall is the most kind and cooperative towards us, the FEGGA students. Our clothing, protection and equipment are all the top notch – there’s absolutely nothing missing. Great care is invested into making sure that the students are happy and comfortable. We will host the Ladies Open, here in Kristianstads GolfKlubb and we will also spend a week in Vallda GC for the European Tour event. The strawberry on the cream on the cake will be saved for the very end of our Programme: visiting Scotland for the Dunhill Links at the Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and Yes – St. Andrews as well!”