The R&A - Working for Golf

First R&A Greenkeeping Scholar in Northern Ireland

  • First R&A greenkeeping Scholarship in Northern Ireland.


  • Callum Burnside joins over 320 scholars around the world.


  • The College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) newest addition to the approved educational establishments.

The R&A has awarded its first Greenkeeping Scholarship in Northern Ireland.

The programme was established in 2004 to assist greenkeepers studying higher level greenkeeping and sportsturf qualifications. 

The College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Northern Ireland is the newest addition to the approved educational establishments participating in the programme, joining SRUC Elmwood Campus in Scotland and Myerscough College in England.

CAFRE offers a golf and greenkeeping academy at its Greenmount Campus with an eight-bay driving range, a short game practice area and three complete holes with water hazards and bunkers.

Greenkeeping Scholarship

Callum Burnside from Carrickfergus is the first student from the institution to be awarded an R&A Scholarship and joins over 320 scholars across 30 different countries.

Currently undertaking a two-year Foundation degree in Horticulture – Sportsturf at the Greenmount campus, Callum was previously awarded the Golf Union of Ireland cadetship in 2017, which involved undertaking all greenkeeping duties at the Greenmount academy whilst studying.

Wendy Cole, Manager – Sustainability, said, “Our rigorous application and interview process ensures that only the best candidates are chosen to be R&A Greenkeeping Scholars. 

“Callum demonstrated his passion and commitment to the sportsturf industry admirably and I am delighted that he is our first Greenkeeping Scholar from CAFRE.  We hope to further develop our links with CAFRE moving forward and hopefully we will see more scholars being appointed.”

The 148th Open in Northern Ireland

The appointment of an R&A Greenkeeping Scholar in Northern Ireland comes just months before The Open returns to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.  As the sporting world focuses attention on Golf’s Original Championship, The R&A continues to use proceeds from The Open to invest in the next generation of greenkeeping professionals.  The 148th Open will be played at Royal Portrush from 14 to 21 July 2019. 

For more information about The R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship programme please visit the Greenkeeping support section on