Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards 2022 winners announced

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James Gaskell, deputy course manager at Ripon City Golf Club, triumphed as the 33rd winner of the main award. The awards judges were impressed by James’ considerable dedication to the sport and his chosen career. James was endorsed by Myerscough College, where he is studying towards his Level three in Advanced Golf Greenkeeping.


Runner-up is Andrew Ritchie of St Andrews Links Trust, who is studying towards his SVQ Level 2 Sports Turf Maintenance at GOSTA Training College.

Peter Pattenden, greenkeeper at Carden Park Golf Club, is the sixth winner of the Young Award, a greenkeeper for almost three years, Peter was endorsed by his employer and is studying towards his Level three in Advanced Golf Greenkeeping at Coleg Cambria.


 Runner-up is Luke Charnley of Royal Liverpool Golf Club, who is studying towards his Level two Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping at Myerscough College.


David Timms, national accounts manager for Reesink Turfcare, said: “After a record number of entries and a thorough two-week online interview process, it was a pleasure to welcome and meet the best talent in greenkeeping at Goodwood for the finals of the 2022 Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards. It was clear why these 12 finalists made it this far – a great achievement. Everyone shone and it was a close competition. The winners – James and Peter – are incredibly worthy and I look forward to seeing what they go on to achieve.”


Candidates for the main Award completed a rigorous day of testing that included an exam, an essay question, grass and seed identification and a presentation on their career so far. Candidates for the Young Award, who must be aged 21 and under when nominated, undertook an exam and then a hole walk with the judges to test the finalists’ knowledge in a real world setting.


Previous winners and finalists have gone on to become some of the most influential characters in the greenkeeping industry, helping shape the sport of golf in the UK and further afield.


Prizes include enrolment in the 10-week University of Massachusetts Winter Turf School; a two-week expenses-paid placement at Adare Manor, venue of The 2027 Ryder Cup; an all-expenses paid trip to the GCSAA Conference and Show in Florida; and a visit to Toro Corporate HQ, R&D Centre and Equipment Operations in Wisconsin for James; and a two-week work placement at Vidauban Golf Club in France; a five-night trip to Continue to Learn at BTME; and a gift voucher for Toro Training for Peter.



BIGGA learning and development executive Deb Burnett said: “For those feeling disillusioned about the challenges our industry faces in coming years, our 12 finalists provide all the reassurance you need to be convinced that greenkeeping and the sport of golf has a very bright future. Congratulations to all our finalists, particularly our well-deserving winners and runners-up.”