February 2018

Managing for the Future

21 FEGGA member Greenkeeper Associations gathered in Sofia, Bulgaria on 20th & 21st February for the 22nd Annual FEGGA Conference. This truly global, two-day conference, included the latest initiatives from the R&A, GEO, European Golf Club Owners Association, STERF, and the GCSAA – ably supported by Kajanni and Elmwood Colleges via video links. The focus of the Conference was very clearly aimed at linking Best Practice to Business to ensure European Greenkeeping helps Golf be sustainable, environmentally responsible, and profitable.

Golf in Bulgaria was at the opening of the agenda and Yavor Atanasov (Chairman of the Bulgarian Golf Greenkeepers Association) opened the meeting with a clear description of the growth of the game in Bulgaria, and the aims and objectives of the B.G.G.A..

FEGGA launched several initiatives aimed at the Greenkeeper members of its Associations. These included the opportunities of a place on the Ryder Cup Support Team at Le Golf National; the opportunity of a study tour for an Association; and the opportunity of taking part in the Greenkeeper Experience Programmes in several different formats. Any Association or Association member who is interested in personal development is urged to contact his home Association who will make arrangements with FEGGA.

All this alongside the development of the FEGGA Statement of Responsible Golf Course Management which is making progress on two separate fronts.
• The process of being translated into all major European Languages, assisted by Edwin Roald of Iceland. FEGGA asks that all Associations now complete a translation.
• The introduction of a “Responsible Toolbox” and also the possibility of creating a future “Pinterest Board”. This will be an area where members can place and read practical greenkeeping information, and view case studies of successful, quantified greenkeeping projects such as composting, wild flower establishment, renovation of playing surfaces etc.. The Pin Board will also be a place for Association news and events, Partner news and events, and industry developments.

FEGGA also delivered information through a webinar about a Sterf supported research project “Susphos” that they are partners of. This was presented by Trygve Aamlid, professor at the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). “Susphos” is focusing Sustainable phosphorus (P) fertilization on golf courses during 2017-20.

We are all working hard at trying to be more successful in how we deliver our social media, and in doing so we invited Emma Ballard from Medi8 to present her thoughts on this subject. Emma gave a real overview of the many tools that are available, and how best to use them. She also gave some very clear examples of what works and what doesn’t, and why.

In summary: Paul Worster said on behalf of the FEGGA Board that this was a major step forward for FEGGA in its stated objective of “Bringing people and Organisations together”.

The two days and nights included the FEGGA AGM where out-going Chairman Kamil Pecenka was thanked by the Czech Greenkeepers Association for his years in Office on the FEGGA Board which stretched to almost ten. This was wholly and unanimously endorsed by the Meeting. Incoming Chairman Paul Worster paid tribute to the FEGGA

Board and said that Kamil Pecenka was a giant among European Greenkeepers and had set a very high bar.

FEGGA Board; From Left: Martin Nilsson (Denmark) Emmi Pietarila (Finland) Paul Worster (UK) Erich Steiner (Switzerland) Joel Nunes (Portugal)

Proposals for the 2018 Board were elected by the meeting as good as unanimously; Chairman Paul Worster (UK); Vice-Chairman Joel Nunes (Portugal); established members Emmi Pietarila (Finland) and Darko Cecelja (Slovenia); Martin Nilsson (Denmark) was elected to the board; and Patron representative & advisor Erich Steiner of Steiner & Partners continued in this current position. This is a strong and representative Board which is looking forward to continuing the work of FEGGA.

Evening activities included watching a display of fire-eating and fire-dancing in the nearby Vitosha Mountains; and watching & taking part in traditional Bulgarian dance in a city restaurant following a guided tour of the city of Sofia. The Bulgarian Golf Greenkeepers Association was thanked for assisting with the organisation of all the events, and for their extraordinary hospitality which was hugely appreciated.

Delegates returned home motivated and inspired and FEGGA received many messages of support looking forward not only to the 2019 FEGGA Conference, but also to 2020 when FEGGA will host the International Summit as part of its Conference.

FEGGA is very proud of its partnerships, and for this Conference, want to say a big thank you to John Deere Golf, Syngenta and The Toro Company.

FEGGA closes by urging participation in its offerings and activities which range from introducing the opportunity of receiving Webinars for top-quality education, to support for Associations, to development for individual greenkeepers of member countries.

Paul Worster has the final thought – if there is one word for all of us to focus on; it is “Communication”. Expect to be hearing more from FEGGA during 2018.

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2018 Ryder Cup Greenkeeper Experience Programme

This is a wonderful opportunity for greenkeepers to be part of golfs most prominent golfing event, and also the third largest sporting event in the World. FEGGA, and its supporting Partners, Capillary Concrete and Le Golf National are able to offer 10 Support Team placements which will be working to Showcase the peak best practices in the industry in providing the ultimate in playing conditions for arguably the world’s top 24 professional golfers from Europe and the USA.

This opportunity will also combine education, networking and business relationship opportunities, which will enhance what will be a memorable experience for all attending as chosen Support Team Members.

  • Every Greenkeeper / Superintendent member of a FEGGA National Greenkeeper Association is invited to submit an application to qualify to attend, and to be part of this unique team of outstanding professionals for those lucky enough to be selected. (all applicants must be supported by their respected association)
  • It will provide unique hands on experience at preparing and maintaining the Albatross Course at Le Golf National, both before and during the Ryder Cup Matches. This will also be combined with educational sessions, and career development clinics led by leading teachers in our industry.
  • This will be 7 days of unique experience, and education. Meeting colleagues from all countries in a work/education environment, topped with the electrifying excitement of that unique live Ryder Cup experience.

This opportunity also builds on one of the strong missions of FEGGA of
“Bringing people and Organisations together”

All Greenkeepers /Superintendents being selected will have:

  • All accommodation and food provided during their stay
  • Will be supplied with a Ryder Cup uniform
  • Will be given support of €150 for their respected travel from home to the selected airport in Paris (Europe)

All applicants are required to:

  • Have a minimum of three years’ experience working as a greenkeeper and been member of their respected Association for a period of two years
  • Must be able to work the period 24 -30 September 2018
  • Confirm they will conduct themselves to the highest possible standard while on site adhering to The Le Golf National rules and regulations and codes of work practices during their stay

All applications to be submitted through an official application form through the link below

Click here to apply


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