Perthshire Ryder Cup host venue unveils new training programme for nine would-be greenkeepers
By Chris Johnston
A new scholarship programme is offering nine lucky individuals the chance to become fully qualified greenkeepers at one of the world's most prestigious golfing resorts and a former host venue for the Ryder Cup.
The Gleneagles Greenkeeping Scholarship programme is designed to equip successful candidates with the practical and theoretical skills required for a successful career in golf course management.
The funded programme will provide candidates with the option to complete a one-, two- or three-year paid apprenticeship, encompassing practical training in machinery and equipment handling; skills development in course management; placement opportunities across Gleneagles and partner organisations; and the completion of sportsturf SVQs towards a final HND in Golf Course Management in the third year.
Golf Courses and Estate Manager Scott Fenwick - Gleneagles' longest-serving member of staff - joined the Perthshire hotel 36 years ago as a 16-year-old apprentice greenkeeper.
Scott, whose first tasks in those early days were raking bunkers and learning how to operate machinery for cutting grass, now leads Gleneagles' 57-strong greenkeeping and gardening team.
He said: "I had a dream of becoming a professional golfer, but that was never going to happen, and I realised a career in greenkeeping was a superb opportunity to still be involved in the sport."
"Over the years, greenkeeping has given me the chance to travel all over the world, because it's a profession that provides so many different opportunities."
"Greenkeeping is the ideal career for people who don't want to be stuck in an office or tied to a nine-till-five job, and, as long as you don't mind early starts, you get to see the best part of the day."
You're out in the environment, seeing wildlife, breathing fresh air, watching the beautiful sunrises and the changing seasons, so it's enjoyable every single day.
The Gleneagles Greenkeeping Scholarship application form and entry requirements are available at gleneagles.com/careers. Informal enquiries should be directed, in the first instance, to Scott Fenwick at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01764 694392.