The R&A - Working for Golf

Greenkeeper volunteers wanted for Singapore Open

Ahead of the 2018 SMBC Singapore Open – the third event in The Open Qualifying Series -  Sentosa Golf Club is launching its volunteer programme for aspiring agronomists.

A joint initiative supported by The R&A and the GEO, the Singapore Open Agronomy Volunteer Programme, gives superintendents and assistant superintendents from all over the world the chance to experience working at Sentosa Golf Club in preparation and during one of Asia’s premier professional golf championships.

Work at the SMBC Singapore Open

The SMBC Singapore Open will be played from 18 to 21 January 2018 and signals the start of a busy period for Sentosa as it prepares to host four televised events, including The R&A’s inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship in February. That will be followed by the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March and at the end of the year the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in October.

The initiative, which lasts throughout tournament week, sees volunteers work side by side with Director of Agronomy, Andy Johnston, and his experienced team of greens staff led by Course Superintendent, Rodney Mckeown, in ensuring the best possible conditions are provided for some of the world’s best players.


Outside of day-to-day maintenance on course, the programme encompasses lectures and seminars from industry leaders including Steve Isaac, Director of Sustainability – The R&A, and Jonathan Smith, Executive Director at GEO Foundation. The seminars are accredited by GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America) and allow those that attend to gain CUEs (Critical Use Exemptions) for participation.

Volunteer of the Year

One participant will follow in the footsteps of 2017’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Khun Minachoe, who as result of being awarded the accolade worked as part of the greens staff at a major golf championship -  The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.  This year’s winner, voted by their fellow volunteers at the conclusion of the SMBC Singapore Open, will travel to Royal Lytham & St Anne’s in August to work at the RICOH Women’s British Open.

“This great initiative is one we at The R&A are really proud to support and be an integral part of,” said Isaac. “Our partnership with Sentosa Golf Club lends itself perfectly to getting behind the Agronomy Volunteer Programme, and I’m so glad that we’ll be able to host one lucky volunteer next year at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s for the Ricoh Women’s British Open”.


2017 volunteers give their take on working at Sentosa Golf Club during the SMBC Singapore Open.

Sentosa Golf Club

Sentosa’s two courses, the Serapong and New Tanjong, are well renowned for their immaculate conditioning due to the unique agronomical practices put in place by Andy Johnston. “The SMBC Singapore Open is obviously one of the best weeks of the year for us, not only because of the buzz around hosting such a prestigious event, but the chance to spend time with, and show many like minded individuals the Sentosa way,” said Johnstone.

“To be able to put on this programme is fantastic, and my thanks go to The R&A and GEO for their support. It’s a project I’m very passionate about, and I’m very much looking forward to working alongside all the volunteers in January.”

Applications are now open for the programme, and to be considered, you must be a Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent and prepared to work with the Sentosa Golf Club team.

Click on the link to apply now: