Of Sprayer Operator of the Year Awards

The three winners of the Amenity Forum Sprayer Operator of the Year Awards, sponsored by ICL and Syngenta, have been announced.

The awards recognise and reward top sprayer operators across the amenity industry. It aims to improve standards, by identifying the best practice of individuals to enhance results - and share their experiences across the industry.

Organisers say from a record number of high-calibre entrants this year, the competition has now been whittled down to three great finalists;

  • Darren McLaughlan, course manager at Trump Turnberry Golf Club;
  • Keith Scruton, course manager at Darwen Golf Club;
  • Kiel Barrett, head groundsman at Leeds United FC.

Darren is now into his 26th year in the industry and followed in his uncle’s footsteps who was a greenkeeper. Commenting on his award, Darren said: “I’ve been spraying for as long as I can remember, and I look at this award first and foremost as personal development. This is a huge part in the way I like to manage myself and my team. If you are standing still, then you are going backwards so to have this award; and even to be nominated for me is progression.”

A summer job at a local golf club ignited Keith’s passion for greenkeeping and he has since been in the industry for 32 years. “The benefit of having this award is that it will act as an accreditation of good practice and that’s something I’ve tried to achieve with spraying over the years,” he said. “Hopefully this award shows that even a small club can implement good practice and do the right things without having as many resources as the bigger clubs.” 

Kiel learned his trade at Headingley Carnegie stadium, home of Leeds Rhinos, before being appointed as the Head Groundsman of Leeds United FC in 2012. He has been at the club ever since and has worked wonders with the Elland Road pitch.

The overall winner will be announced at the BTME Welcome Celebration which will be taking place on 24th January 2023.

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