Greenkeepers set for career-enhancing TPC Sawgrass experience

The British and Irish greenkeepers travelling to TPC Sawgrass to volunteer at The Players Championship in March have met at John Deere’s BTME stand.

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.

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 met for the first time and spoke with John Deere’s golf and turf experts about what to expect from trip.

Chris Meacock, John Deere’s division sales manager for golf and turf, said: “The TPC Sawgrass experience is just a few weeks away, so the excitement is building among the group. 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.”

Volunteer David Feeny, who is deputy course manager at Prestwick Golf Club, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity which I can’t wait to take part in.”

Lorcan Finnegan, who is 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.”

Applications for the 2025 John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme will open shortly on the BIGGA website.