TPC Sawgrass Experience for Greenkeepers

John Deere’s Chris Meacock (far left) and Stuart Barber (far right) with Lorcan Finnegan (second left), David Feeney (third left), Ian Kirwan (fourth left), Aidan Wright (fourth right), Colin Hopper (third right) and Adam Brackley (second right).

Harrogate, Yorkshire, England: The British and Irish greenkeepers travelling to TPC Sawgrass to volunteer at The Players Championship in March met at John Deere’s BTME stand as they prepare for the experience of a lifetime.

The seven-strong contingent was selected to be part of the programme organised annually by John Deere in partnership with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and the Association of Turfgrass Professionals Ireland (ATPI).

At the tournament in Florida they will get the unique opportunity to work alongside greenkeepers from around the world, gaining invaluable experience of elite championship agronomy as they prepare the course for the world’s best golfers.

The 2024 BIGGA volunteers are Aidan Wright (Camberley Heath Golf Club), Adam Brackley (La Grand Mare Hotel), Colin Hopper (Elsham Golf Club), Ian Kirwan (Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club), David Feeney (Prestwick Golf Club), and Adam Champion (Bearspaw Golf Club, Canada). The ATPI’s chosen representative is Lorcan Finnegan (Malahide Golf Club).

At the BTME event in Harrogate the volunteers from Britain and Ireland met each other for the first time and spoke with John Deere’s golf and turf experts about what to expect from trip.

“The TPC Sawgrass experience is just a few weeks away so the excitement is building among the group,” said Chris Meacock, Division Sales Manager for Golf and Turf at John Deere, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“Professional development of greenkeepers is fundamental to both the individual and to the golf courses they will work on during their careers. There can be fewer better ways to test their skills and learn from others than by being part of The Players championship,” added Meacock.

Volunteer Feeny, Deputy Course Manager at Prestwick Golf Club, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity which I can’t wait to take part in.”

Finnegan, a greenkeeper and mechanic at Malahide Golf Club in Dublin, said: “To have won a place on this programme feels like a dream. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done and learnt as a greenkeeper so far, but TPC Sawgrass is going to be on a different level.” 

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