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Is there a crisis in golf greenkeeping? BIGGA launches major survey to find out more

Is there a crisis in golf greenkeeping? BIGGA launches major survey to find out more

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has launched an industry-wide survey that will quantify information relating to a perceived ‘crisis’ within the greenkeeping and wider golfing sector.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that golf clubs are struggling to fill available vacancies, particularly in the greenkeeping department. Reasons generally put forward for this include the requirement to work anti-social hours, lack of appreciation and a relatively low entry salary. However, for those who do embark upon a career in greenkeeping, the positives are many.

This survey is crucial as it is vital the scale of the challenge is quantified, as well as the key drivers for the issues. Effective golf club staff are critical to the health and growth of the sport as they strongly influence the experience of golfers on a day-to-day basis.

As BIGGA seeks to fulfil its overarching ambition of creating a more positive working environment for the UK’s greenkeepers, BIGGA hopes the hard data from the survey will enable the association to positively guide the broader golf industry.

Head greenkeepers, course managers and other members of the turf management team at golf clubs are invited to complete the survey. Only one response is required per golf club. The survey can be completed online at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2VZ52PH

BIGGA has requested the support of partner organisations with regards this research and will publish the results in full when the periods for submissions has closed.

BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “With the ongoing cost of living crisis at the forefront of our minds and the COVID-19 pandemic having caused many people to consider their priorities, the golf industry faces a very real challenge to engage sufficient staff at club level, to effectively deliver the sport to the nation’s five million regular golfers. Participation in the sport is booming at just the time that recruiting and retaining greenkeeping staff is at its most challenging. It is vital the golf industry – utilising real data – considers positive solutions to the ongoing labour issues.

“We encourage all our members to respond to this survey, which we believe will benefit all greenkeepers and golf club staff.”

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Rain Bird Appoints Golf Sales Specialist for Spain and Portugal and Regional Sales Manager Southwest Europe

Rain Bird Appoints Golf Sales Specialist for Spain and Portugal and Regional Sales Manager Southwest Europe

Two new recruits to Rain Bird Europe this spring are Julien Guigny (above) as Regional Sales Manager Southwest Europe and Daniel Sanchez (below) as Golf Sales Specialist Spain and Portugal.

Daniel Sanchez

Julien Guigny, MBA, has over fifteen years’ international sales and business development experience in industrial healthcare, pharmaceutical, aeronautical and energy markets across Southern Europe gained during a career at Sontara, Laboratoires Anios – Soluscope, and Berry Plastics Group. Living in France, he is an aviation enthusiast and also enjoys trail running, mountain biking, cycling and swimming.

Madrid-based Daniel Sanchez, a Bachelor of Electronic Communication, re-joins Rain Bird after the past five years at LogisticH2O where his focus was the effective installation and operation of Rain Bird irrigation system technology. Prior to this, he spent a decade as a Rain Bird field service engineer providing valuable technical support to customers and distributors.

Tina Baumgartner, Europe Sales Manager Golf at Rain Bird Europe comments: “Julian and Daniel are joining Rain Bird at an exciting time as technology is developing fast, helping our golf customers address the challenges of water management. They both have valuable customer service as well as varied technical expertise across many sectors and territories and we’re looking forward to welcoming them into the European team.”

Contact details:

Julien Guigny, Regional Sales Manager Southwest Europe

M + 33 60 87 69 789

jguigny@rainbird.eu

Daniel Sanchez, Golf Sales Specialist Spain and Portugal

M +34 67 85 59 656

dsanchez@rainbird.eu

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INTERNATIONAL GREENKEEPERS HAIL NEW LINKS COURSE AT LA HACIENDA DURING FEGGA CONFERENCE

INTERNATIONAL GREENKEEPERS HAIL NEW LINKS COURSE AT LA HACIENDA DURING FEGGA CONFERENCE

Members of The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA) travelled from 15 countries across the globe to check out the transformation of La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort, formerly known as Alcaidesa, as part of its three-day annual conference.

FEGGA serves as the umbrella body for the national greenkeeping associations in Europe with its members and key partners gathering at La Hacienda to discuss key initiatives and challenges facing the industry, as well as learning about the multi-million investment project currently in progress at the 36-hole Spanish venue.

La Hacienda’s head greenkeeper, Raúl Tineo Brea, and course architect, Kurtis Bowman, discussed the exciting plans for the new Links Course, which has been completely reconfigured and redesigned, before attendees were able to enjoy a tour of the layout and signature holes.

As part of the conference, members also dined in Sal Verde, the recently-opened restaurant in La Hacienda’s renovated clubhouse.

Dean Cleaver, Executive Officer of FEGGA, said: “We’d like to thank La Hacienda for having us and for its exceptional hospitality.

“There’s no better compliment than from the experts of the industry and some of the best greenkeepers in Europe, and all of them had positive things to say about the facilities and new Links Course.

“We were all in agreement that it’s now going to be in the conversation for one of the best golf courses in Spain and has catapulted it into amongst Europe’s elite. We are still getting our breath back after seeing some of the stunning views over the ocean and Rock of Gibraltar!”

Located in the Cadiz municipality of San Roque, close to Sotogrande, the Links Course is scheduled to open in June 2022 and will run along the beachfront with spectacular views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Africa.

The contemporary clubhouse, driving range and practice area have already been completed ahead of the golf course reopening this summer, while the development of a five-star hotel with 150 rooms, halfway house with restaurant, 51 luxury villas and a beach club will mark the next phase of the project and La Hacienda’s elevation to a flagship venue and golf destination in Southern Europe.

FEGGA is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996 with a view of promoting the profession and helping greenkeepers through educational programmes and environmental policies, resulting in the highest standard of course conditions and professionalism across the continent.

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FEGGA Statement on the situation in Ukraine

As the body representing European Greenkeeping, the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA) deplores the actions of the state of Russia and stands by the people of Ukraine. FEGGA fully supports the recommendations outlined by the IOC, and subsequently supported by the IGF and other golf organisations and as such FEGGA will not be inviting at this current time the Russian Greenkeeper Association to participate within any of FEGGA’s events and programmes that benefit greenkeepers and its industry throughout Europe and beyond.

FEGGA will continue to closely monitor in coordination with golf’s governing bodies and FEGGA may reassess its decisions and measures according to future developments. FEGGA joins its fellow organisations within golf to echo the belief that sport, and its supporting industry can contribute to peace and unite people across cultures.

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Opportunities to Develop your career – FEGGA Student Chris Krawczyk shares his experiences

Opportunities to Develop your career – FEGGA Student Chris Krawczyk shares his experiences

I decided to write this article because maybe someone will be looking for an opportunity like me to develop their career. I’m Chris and I took part on the FEGGA Greenkeeping Scholarship Programme at Kristianstad Golf Course in Sweden last season. I strongly recommend to anyone who is hungry for professional success to find out more about this unique opportunity.

I’m 44 years old and I started to work in the greenkeeping business quite late. I decided to change my career when I was 40. I was a web designer and clicking on my computer all day wasn’t me being happy. I started working as a greenkeeper on a golf course in Sweden. I loved this job and after one season I knew I wanted to make a career in this business.  I started to plan my career and set goals. I wanted to be a Head Greenkeeper.  On May 2020 I saw the FEGGA scholarship brochure about the scholarship programme at Kristianstad Golf Course in Sweden – that’s something for me I thought. I wanted to join but was little too late and I decide, I must join in 2021 and I did it! On September 2020 I started study at Elmwood college on my HNC, according to my plan, after its graduation it was supposed to give me a promotion to Head Greenkeeper.

On the beginning of April, I started the scholarship at Kristianstad Golf Course in Sweden. I heard the same thing repeatedly from the very beginning. How you benefit from your time here depends on you. And it was very true. I was the guy who knows what he wants with clear goals, and I decided to use my time on the scholarship the best as I can for my future career. When you are over 40 you don’t have time for waiting and wasting your time. You must be focused on your goals and successful career oriented.  Each scholarship student, in addition to regular work on the golf course, attends a very interesting educational program and has his own project that he or she manages with support of the Kristianstad’s team. Me and my scholarship friend Viktor’s project was to manage and maintain one of the practice greens on the golf course, commonly known as the padel green, because it was in front of the padel tennis court. Our goal was to increase the speed of green and provide an excellent playing surface for a big tournament, the Creekhouse Open. I prepared the completed the maintenance plan with fertiliser and disease protection included.  The speed at the beginning was 7.5 on the stimp and after a couple weeks later we had a stimp of 12. Normally on high season we kept the speed at 10-12 level on stimp. We were greenkeepers and head greenkeepers for this project as well.  For preparing this plan the easiest way would be to ask Bevan Tattersall, the Course Manager of Kristianstad Golf course and along with FEGGA the co-founder of this scholarship but he wanted to make us learn for ourselves. Of course, we could always count on him and consult everything with him. He also provided us with full support, not only knowledge, but provided everything that would be needed (fertilizers, seeds, etc.). It was like a test for me. I am ready for managing my own course? I wasn’t sure but this project confirmed that if I had the opportunity to get such a job as a Head Greenkeeper I would have managed.

Figure 1: Padel green

Click here to view the Padel Green presentation presentation

Figure 2: Complete maintenance plan

Figure 3: Hand topdressing on padel green

Figure 4: Irrigation was a part of my maintenance plan.

Figure 5: Everyday moisture measuring was important to proper irrigation.

In the first half of the scholarship, I started to think about the future season. One day during the searching of job offers on websites I saw an offer of a  Head Greenkeeper position, and I read it and I thought, I meet all the requirements of what they are looking for. So, I decided to apply, but before I did I asked Bevan for advice. He agreed with me I should try, unfortunately I didn’t get this job. It would be maybe a step to high, like a dream but I didn’t give up. I started to be very proactive in searching. I consulted my plans with Dean Cleaver and Bevan. When I saw some new offers, I applied.

The session with Frank Newberry was very useful for me. It was part of our educational path. During his course – Career Clinic, I learned how to improve my CV. I also gave my CV to Frank for evaluation. I used all his advice and suggestions and started receiving meeting invitations. At that time, Frank’s advice on how to deal with a job interview was helpful. In further job interviews I found out that my CV looked great, and I am very career oriented. As a result, after completing the scholarship, I had three job offers and I could choose the most suitable one for me. Next season I start new job as Head Greenkeeper at Skyrup Golf & Hotell in Tyringe in Sweden.

Would I have achieved my goals without this scholarship? Probably yes, but I certainly wouldn’t have done it so fast. I was convinced I could be a Head Greenkeeper; I must go through the various stages of my career. First work as a Senior Greenkeeper, then Deputy Head Greenkeeper and only then can I think about being a Head Greenkeeper. It is thanks to this scholarship that I have elevated my career. I have met many valuable people, without whom I would not have been able to. One of my greenkeeper friends asked me what he can get on this scholarship that he cannot get at his job. I replied that there are many things, but most of all.

  • You get to look at your golf course, thanks to the opportunity to work at Kristianstad GK – ranked within the top 3 golf courses in Sweden, you will look differently at the aesthetics, details and work under time pressure.
  • Acquaintances – as a future Head Greenkeeper you certainly do not know everything, but in important moments it is worth knowing someone who can help. There is an educational path during the scholarship, at each seminar you can ask questions, establish contact with the teacher, and these are very significant people from the greenkeeping industry.
  • Experience in organising tournaments – during the scholarship I worked on the most prestigious tournament in Sweden, Scandinavian Mixed, it was a fantastic experience. In Kristianstad, we organized the Ladies European Tour Creekhouse Open tournament, which was also an interesting experience, especially having the possibility of planning, organising and preparation. Your CV will look better with this experience.
  • Take this as a test to see if you are ready to be a Head Greenkeeper. Thanks to the projects you will learn how to manage the golf course on your own, you have excellent help in the form of Bevan, who is always ready to advise and help.

For me, the most valuable part was the opportunity to meet people, I made many acquaintances and friendships. In the person of Bevan, I found my mentor with whom I am constantly in touch. Bevan helped me a lot in completing my Soil Science in Elmwood and I know I can always count on his help.

Figure 6: Graduation of scholarship – Amazing experience to participate in this endeavour.

The best you can do for yourself and your career, if you are determined to be successful, you must apply for this scholarship. Remember that there is only room for 8 people from all over Europe….

Christopher Krawczyk

Student of the FEGGA scholarship in 2021

Head Greenkeeper at Skyrup Golf & Hotell

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BIGGA and GEO Foundation team up at BTME to celebrate golf’s sustainability champions

BIGGA and GEO Foundation team up at BTME to celebrate golf’s sustainability champions

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has teamed up with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf to host a place for sports turf managers to meet and exchange ideas during March’s BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME).

GEO Foundation is an international not-for-profit, dedicated to helping inspire, support and reward credible sustainability and climate action across golf.

BTME takes place at the Harrogate Convention Centre from 22 to 24 March 2022 and during the event the GEO Foundation will be joined by a number of other partners to host the ‘Sustainability Lounge’, which will provide a dedicated space for attendees to find out more, get involved and join discussions about key sustainability issues with experts in their field.

In addition to its strategic support through partnerships with associations including BIGGA, the GEO Foundation assures the OnCourse programmes for grassroots golf facilities, new developments and tournaments, each of which can lead to the widely endorsed and externally recognised GEO Certified label.

During BTME, the Sustainability Lounge will be a gathering and meeting place and in addition to the team from GEO Foundation, experts from around the UK will often be on hand, including BIGGA’s very own sustainability champion, James Hutchinson.

James, who is Membership Services Manager for Ecology and Sustainability for BIGGA, said: “Of all the key topics up for discussion at BTME, among the most important will be the need for golf courses all over the world to adopt increasingly sustainable practices. With the changing availability of resources and rising costs, alongside an increasing awareness of the important role we can all play to protect the natural environment, golf has a massive part to play and I am excited that our colleagues at the GEO Foundation, and partners from other golfing bodies, will be joining us at BTME for what stands to be a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas and discover new sustainable practices.”

The GEO Foundation will also be recognising Sustainable Golf Champions and will celebrate GEO Certified venues, with representatives invited to showcase what initiatives they have implemented at their golf facilities. There will also be prize draws for those who stop by to vote for a sustainability or climate action project shared by a fellow greenkeeper.

Kelli Jerome, Executive Director at GEO Foundation, added: “BTME is an important event in the golf industry calendar and the advocacy, education and engagement opportunities provided are important to golf’s sustainability progress. We are really excited about the space BIGGA has made available for the Sustainability Lounge and we’re looking forward to working closely with BIGGA and other UK golf associations to support and engage attendees – meeting, hearing views, answering questions and sharing inspiring stories from as many people as possible during the week.”

BTME is free to attend and registration and more information can be found on the BTME website, www.btme.org.uk

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AMS Robotics, exclusive UK distributors of Belrobotics and BIGGA unite to celebrate achievements of BIGGA members on opening night of BTME 2022

AMS Robotics, exclusive UK distributors of Belrobotics and BIGGA unite to celebrate achievements of BIGGA members on opening night of BTME 2022

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) is proud to reveal that AMS Robotics has become lead sponsor of the BIGGA Welcome Celebration, taking place on the opening night of BTME 2022.

Presented by popular television presenter and leading golf personality Naga Munchetty, the BIGGA Welcome Celebration is a an informal event that recognises the achievements of BIGGA members throughout the previous year, including the presentation of the BIGGA Awards 2022.

The free-to-attend welcome event takes place in the Main Auditorium of the Harrogate Convention Centre and will recognise the many people who have contributed positively to the industry since the previous BTME in January 2020. BIGGA and AMS Robotics are united in their belief that building a strong community is key to growing a thriving sport for years to come.

The BIGGA Welcome Celebration takes place on Tuesday 22 March at 5.30pm. At the event BIGGA will announce:

  • The winners of the BIGGA Awards 2022
  • The winner of the Innovation and Thought Leadership Award sponsored by Campey Turf Care Solutions.

BIGGA will also recognise the:

  • BIGGA Annual Photographic Competition winner
  • BIGGA’s latest Life Members
  • CPD achievers
  • Master Greenkeepers

BIGGA will also introduce the BIGGA president and BIGGA Vice President for 2022.

AMS Robotics is the exclusive UK distributors of Belrobotics robots. Belrobotics has created a high performance and innovative range of robot lawn mowers, along with a ground-breaking robotic ball collector. The robots form part of AMS’s automated maintenance service offered to golf facilities, sports clubs, land owners and other public and private green spaces.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “The BIGGA Welcome Celebration is the one event of the year where every BIGGA member can join us to recognise all the hard work that has been done across the association. It’s free to attend so you don’t need an invitation and there’ll also be all necessary COVID safety measures in place. All we ask is that you come along and celebrate everything we have overcome since the last time we were together in January 2020. The world has changed, but let’s use this as an opportunity to announce that we are back and better than ever!

“Our thanks go to AMS Robotics for their support of this fantastic event. AMS Robotics is an innovative company that is helping to drive the greenkeeping industry forwards and as such their values align closely with those of BIGGA members and the association.”

Philip Sear, CEO of AMS Robotics, said: “We are very much looking forward to attending the show this year. Pitching at BIGGA has always and will continue to open up many opportunities for us. The last few years has been challenging for the industry and we want nothing more than to support the work carried carried out by BIGGA and everyone involved.”

Registration continues for BTME this March on the BTME website and we look forward to seeing you in Harrogate in March.

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Campey Goes Big for BTME 2022

Campey Goes Big for BTME 2022

For the first time, Campey Turf Care Systems will be showcasing models from nine product ranges at BTME 2022.

The exhibition in Harrogate is one of the most popular events in the greenkeeping calendar, attracting turf professionals from across the world. In March, attendees will see over 15 Campey machines in one place with equipment covering everything from renovations and aeration to overseeding and utility vehicles.

To exhibit this bumper range of machinery, Campey has stands 248 and 249 in Red Zone North, along with their renowned product specialists who will be on hand to give expert advice, talk turf and catch up after a year away from Harrogate.

With the 2022 edition of BTME delayed until March, Campey viewed it as an opportunity to bring the latest turf technology to greenkeepers who may have missed out during the pandemic.

Campey Director Lee Morgado explains: “We are delighted to be going back to Harrogate after a long time away with our most extensive presence ever at BTME.

“Turf technology moves quickly, and maintenance trends move with it. We’re seeing more and more people renovating tees and other areas of their course with the Universe® rotor, and the desire for all-electric options like the AllTrec Tool Carrier is growing as well.

“For us, this is an excellent opportunity to bring all of those machines together for people to assess the latest options we have and look into new maintenance practices they might have spoken about or seen on social media.

“Even though we’ve all still been out and working directly with customers, there’s nothing like a show to catch up with people from the industry, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone onto the Campey stand.”

The machinery line-up will encompass every area of maintenance. Topdressing is covered by the industry leading Dakota range, and the effective TB220 and UniRake complete the grooming line-up.

The combination of the Universe® Rotor and Vredo Super Compact, an increasingly popular duo for renovating tees, will be on display with advice from Campey product specialists on how to get the best from the equipment.

Campey’s all-electric products will also be shown with the AllTrec Tool Carrier featuring mowing, hedge cutting, weed brush, and burning attachments.

These staple industry favourites are joined by machines from Omarv, Koro, New Holland, Campey and Imants, with new products to be launched at the show.

 

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FEGGA open applications for the 2022 Education Scholarship Programme

FEGGA open applications for the 2022 Education Scholarship Programme

Applications are now open for the 2022 FEGGA Education Scholarship Programme in Kristianstads, Sweden.

You can download the brochure by following this link 2022 Excellence in Greenkeeping Programme Brochure final

Please contact Dean Cleaver dean.cleaver@btinternet.com for further details and to submit your application.

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John Deere to Acquire Majority Ownership in Advanced Battery Company Kreisel Electric

John Deere to Acquire Majority Ownership in Advanced Battery Company Kreisel Electric

  • Provides Deere with the vertical integration necessary to efficiently design vehicles and powertrains around superior immersion-cooled, high-density battery technology
  • Leverages Kreisel’s battery-buffered charging technology to build out infrastructure to support global customers
  • Aligns with Deere’s electrification and sustainability goals

MOLINE, Illinois — Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire majority ownership in Kreisel Electric, Inc. (“Kreisel”), a battery technology provider based in Rainbach im Mühlkreis, Austria. Kreisel develops high-density, high-durability electric battery modules and packs. Additionally, Kreisel has developed a charging infrastructure platform (CHIMERO) that utilises this patented battery technology.

Since 2014, Kreisel has been a leading innovator focused on the development of immersion-cooled electric battery modules and packs for high-performance and off-highway applications. The company has a differentiated battery technology and battery-buffered charging infrastructure offering and currently serves a global customer base across multiple end markets, including commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles, marine, e-motorsports, and other high-performance applications.

John Deere sees demand growing for batteries as a sole or hybrid-propulsion system for vehicles. Products in Deere’s portfolio such as turf equipment, compact utility tractors, small tractors, compact construction, and road-building equipment could rely solely on batteries as a primary power source. Deere intends to continue to invest in and develop technologies to innovate, deliver value to customers, and work towards a future with zero emissions propulsion systems.

The majority investment in Kreisel Electric will allow Deere to vertically integrate vehicle and powertrain designs around high-density battery packs while leveraging Kreisel’s charging technology to build out infrastructure required for customer adoption.

“Kreisel’s battery technology can be applied across the broad portfolio of Deere products, and Kreisel’s in-market experience will benefit Deere as it ramps up its battery-electric vehicle portfolio. Deere will provide the expertise, global footprint, and funding to enable Kreisel to continue its fast growth in core markets,” said Pierre Guyot, Senior Vice President, John Deere Power Systems. “This is an opportunity to invest in a company with unique technology that’s designed for the demanding conditions where Deere customers work.”

“Furthermore, building an electrified portfolio is key to John Deere’s sustainability goal of pursuing new technologies that reduce the environmental impact of new products and work toward zero emissions propulsion systems on equipment, while increasing our customers’ efficiency and productivity,” Guyot said.

Kreisel Electric will retain its employees, brand name, and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location in Austria to serve its growing customer base. The company was founded by the brothers Johann, Markus and Philipp Kreisel and has approximately 160 full-time employees.

“The Kreisel team looks forward to expanding our base business, leveraging the Deere channel to accelerate adoption of battery-electric vehicles and charging stations, and working with Deere’s vehicle design teams on product advancements,” said Markus Kreisel, who serves as Managing Director, along with his two brothers, at Kreisel Electric.

The transaction requires final regulatory approval in Austria, with closing expected to take place in approximately 60 days. Financial details are not being disclosed.

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