A STUDENT from Askham Bryan College in York has beaten around 200 competitors from across Britain and Europe to be named as the 2010 Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year.
Andrew Stanger, aged 24, recently completed his NVQ Level 3 in sports turf management in just six months – as opposed to the usual two years.
He is currently head greenkeeper at Horsforth Golf Club, West Yorkshire stepping into the role full-time in July after initially providing interim cover when the former incumbent suffered an accident.
Andrew first began his studies at Askham Bryan three years ago before spending a year in the United States, training and working at the Liberty National Golf Club in New York and Augusta National in Georgia.
He says winning the competition, organised by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association and sponsored by leading turf machinery manufacturer Toro, was “an incredible honour”.
“It was a massive shock as, although I believed I could win, the competition included some of the highest-calibre greenkeepers from top courses. To be named as the overall winner is fantastic – and a real honour, given the standard of those I was up against.
“My ultimate ambition is to host a major tournament – I’d love to be superintendent at a top course for the British Open.”
As one of eight finalists, Andrew had to complete a written test, giving an overview of three holes at the Aldwark Manor Golf Course, near Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, with suggestions for possible improvements. He also underwent a gruelling 50-minute interview with a panel of judges.
For his prize, Andrew has won an eight-week trip to the United States, which includes a six-week course in turf management at the University of Massachusetts.