Performance and Project prizes

Hosted by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) on the opening evening of BTME, recently the BIGGA Welcome Celebration sponsored by Origin Amenity Solutions saw two teams of greenkeepers honoured.

The winner of the Championship Greenkeeping Performance Award was revealed to be Abridge Golf Club (pictured above).
Abridge is a private members’ club in Essex, where course manager Geoff Smith and his team were tasked with preparing the course for its first ever EuroPro Tour event in June and July 2022. In hosting the EuroPro Tour’s PDC Championship, BIGGA say the greenkeeping team overcame challenges including one of the driest summers on record, the ‘grow-in’ of a massive, newly-constructed irrigation lake and working around general play during the continuing golf boom. PGA officials remarked they had never seen such dedication to producing a course for a championship and in his closing address, the CEO of EuroPro stated that Abridge was one of the best venues they had ever been to. 
The other finalists in this category were Minchinhampton Golf Club and St Annes Old Links Golf Club.
Also revealed on the evening, the Greenkeeping Project Award was presented to the team at Strathaven Golf Club.

Bigga Strathaven win
In 2019, Strathaven was forced to stop playing its 7th hole, to avoid golf balls entering a neighbouring property.BIGGA say head greenkeeper Stephen Hunter suggested redesigning the hole to become a par-3 that aimed away from the boundary of the site. In order to maintain the par of the course, Stephen also suggested extending the 9th hole to become a par-4. His vision was accepted by the management committee and the club began a two-year project. The six-strong home greenkeeping team carried out the design and construction themselves, with the project being completed in April 2022.
The other finalists in this category were Astbury Golf Club and Prestwick Golf Club.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said, “My congratulations go to the greenkeeping teams at Abridge and Strathaven for their wonderful achievements throughout 2022. Their accomplishments are testament to the ability of BIGGA members to exceed everyday expectations, with no small dose of imagination, creativity and hard work."

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