"Trip of a lifetime" for R&A Greenkeeping Scholars
Six of The R&A’s Greenkeeping Scholars recently returned from a visit to Askernish Golf Course on the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. From 12 to 16 April, students from Elmwood and Myerscough colleges enjoyed a busy study-schedule on this unique example of a sustainable golf course, originally designed by Old Tom Morris in 1891.
The week’s programme was divided amongst three topics; golf course design, greenkeeping and environment ecology. These were led by Martin Ebert, a professional golf course architect; Gordon Irvine, a Master Greenkeeper and golf course management consultant; and Dr Keith Duff, an environmental consultant and former Chief Scientist with English Nature. Ebert and Duff also sit on The R&A Golf Course Committee.
The visit was a great success, being blessed with wonderful Hebridean sunshine. The students all took a great deal from the visit.
“I have to say that this was no doubt one of the greatest weeks of my life. Askernish is pure, traditional golf – truly a step back in time”, said Brett Hochstein, a student from the USA.
The visit was co-ordinated by The R&A with assistance from the colleges and Askernish Golf Club, and was intended to demonstrate another side to golf course development to the high-cost scenario more familiar to the students.
Organisation of the next study visit to Askernish in the autumn is already underway, underlining the value Askernish has as an environment in which to educate the next generation of greenkeepers and course managers about all aspects of sustainability.