From Australia to the British Open
Date: 6th March 2017
The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has unveiled the line-up for the support team that will be heading to Royal Birkdale this July to help maintain the famous links during the Open Championship. Askham Bryan College Level 2 Sport Turf Apprentice Chloe Gallagher is one of the lucky few to be selected to be a part of the BIGGA team at this prestigious event.
Chloe is currently on her work experience placement in Melbourne, Australia where she is spending six months at Sorrento Golf Club. Whilst there she has been preparing the grounds for competitions and tournaments and has been discovering how intense the aeration period is compared to the UK, “In the UK You find most golf courses aerate greens and tees whereas in Australia everything but the rough was worked on from scarifying greens right through to coring fairways. It was so consistent and the greens came up beautifully for the season. It was a long three weeks in what turned out to be the coldest and wettest spring that Melbourne had ever experienced!”
She added, “Being in Australia has given me an insight into warm season grasses and how they are maintained, something I would not have learned in the UK. I have also been given the opportunity to use different machinery than what we have at home. I cannot thank enough the people who supported me for the opportunity of a lifetime, I would definitely recommend this to any greenkeeper.”
Whilst away in Australia Chloe applied to BIGGA for the volunteering opportunity at The British Open at Royal Birkdale. BIGGA members who gain a place on the team are given unprecedented access, with a greenkeeper on hand to assist every match that will take place throughout the championship. The team will be required to rake for the players during the tournament itself, and may also be needed to help with early morning preparation work and evening divot duties until the Claret Jug is lifted on Sunday 23 July.
BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “Each year we are able to reward some of our most hard-working members with the opportunity to get a front row seat at the Open Championship. It is a long week, and our team work extremely hard, but the rewards are incredible, and many of them go on to describe their time on the Support Team as one of the highlights of their careers.”
Askham Bryan College would like to congratulate Chloe on this amazing achievement. To see the full list of the BIGGA members who will be heading to the Open at Royal Birkdale this year click here.