Everything you need to know about the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association and how they work with the GCMA.
What does BIGGA do?
Have you ever thought about what goes in to the presentation of a course? It may be more than you think. Greenkeepers are turf managers, team leaders, scientists, agronomists and ecologists. They are highly-educated professionals who manage the needs of golfers against tight budgets and limited staffing. BIGGA is the membership association for almost 6,000 golf greenkeepers, mainly within the UK but also in more than 20 other countries worldwide. Our members help prepare the courses at the world’s largest golf tournaments. They work to raise the profile of greenkeepers, while also ensuring they receive the best support and education available to any profession, whether within golf or elsewhere. As well as hundreds of events, educational seminars and development opportunities, the association organises the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition each January. The biggest event of its kind in Europe, BTME boasts an unrivalled education programme, which this year delivered over 6,000 hours, the equivalent of more than two hours for every course in the UK.
How does BIGGA work with the GCMA?
Over recent years BIGGA, the GCMA and PGA have strengthened ties and formed the Golf Club Management Partnership out of the belief that stronger relationships would be for the benefit of the wider golfing industry. Nowhere has this been more evident than the launch of the new Diploma in Golf Club Management. Greenkeepers have made extraordinary progress over the last 30 years based on the twin pillars of education and passion for the craft, and the diploma will ensure the profession of club management progresses on similar lines.
How would BIGGA like to work with clubs?
With four million people in the UK playing the game regularly, the task of educating them on the work greenkeepers do is vast. It increases when you consider the topics: appreciation of greenkeeping and greenkeepers, course etiquette, appropriate green speeds and so on. Greenkeepers don’t shout about their work, but we are encouraging them to engage more widely with the members at their club. Every one of our members has a responsibility to the golfing industry to present themselves as highly educated and highly-skilled professionals. In so doing, the rest of the industry will surely follow suit.
This interview was first published in The Golf Club Manager – the official journal of the GCMA. If you would like to receive the journal, either join the GCMA today, or subscribe to the magazine.