Willingdon pro takes Toro’s Student Greenkeeper of the Year award
LUKE TURNER, a greenkeeper at Willingdon Golf Club in Eastbourne, has won the 25th Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, and with it an all-expenses-paid trip to study turf management in the USA.
The 28-year-old, who is also a student at Plumpton College in East Sussex, was awarded the coveted title thanks to the high level of technical knowledge he demonstrated in a series of practical tests, and his professional performance in what was a rigorous interview process.
He beat off stiff competition from seven other fellow student greenkeepers at the national finals at BIGGA House in York and will fly to America for eight weeks in January to undertake a six-week residential turf management course at the University of Massachusetts, courtesy of awards’ sponsors Toro. The trip also includes visits to Toro’s global headquarters in Minneapolis and renowned GCSAA Golf Industry Show & Conference in Florida.
“I was hoping, but not expecting, to win,” said Turner. “The competition was incredibly tough and I was up against seven really impressive guys – I think the achievement will take a while to settle in. I’m very much looking forward to my trip to the States, it’s a huge opportunity to go out there, learn as much as I can and then bring it home to implement at Willingdon. Gaining international experience is a big part of my career plan and I see this trip as the start of that ambition.
“I’m really grateful to Peter Negus, course manager at Willingdon Golf Club, who gave me a chance and my break into greenkeeping, and to all those at BIGGA, Toro and Lely for the opportunity and a good and fair interview process.”
For more information on the Toro Student Greenkeeper Award and how you can participate, visit bigga.org.uk.