A new scholarship programme at Gleneagles is offering nine people the chance to become fully qualified greenkeepers.
The Gleneagles Greenkeeping Scholarship programme is designed to give candidates the practical and theoretical skills required for a successful career in golf course management, starting at one of the world’s most prestigious golfing venues.
The funded programme will provide candidates with the option to complete a one, two or three-year paid apprenticeship, with practical training in:
• Machinery and equipment handling;
• Skills development in course management;
• Placement opportunities across Gleneagles and partner organisations;
• Completion of sportsturf SVQs towards a final HND in Golf Course Management in the third year.
Scott Fenwick, Golf Courses and Estate Manager and longest-serving member of staff, joined the Perthshire hotel 36 years ago as a 16-year-old apprentice greenkeeper and 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.
You get to see the best part of the day
“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.”
Gary Silcock, Director of Golf, added: “Through this scholarship programme, we’re looking to train the golf course managers of the future, but it forms just one strand of our golf career development plan.
“By the start of the 2017 golf season, we’ll also have 11 full-time PGA professionals – the biggest team of golfing professionals in Scotland – working in every area of customer service.”