With the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) and Continue to Learn taking place in a month, the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has confirmed its headline speakers for the education conference.
BTME is the annual trade show and networking event for those working in the golf greenkeeping and wider sportsturf industry and takes place in Harrogate. Traditionally the event is held in January each year but was postponed in 2021 due to coronavirus and this year was delayed until March due to uncertainties relating to the pandemic.
Continue to Learn is BIGGA’s world-leading education programme and runs alongside the conference. Considered among the most influential events in the golf industry calendar, Continue to Learn features hundreds of hours of learning for sports turf professionals on a wide variety of topics.
The three-day Continue to Learn: Conference will be hosted by former BBC Sports editor Gareth Jones. Headlining that element of the programme will be The R&A’s Championship Agronomy team, which is responsible for presenting host venues each year for The R&A’s championships, including The Open.
Members of The R&A Agronomy team will reveal how they work, the preparation and data collection processes involved with championship preparation, the interactions with the host greenkeeping team and give an insight into the modern requirements for the delivery of golf’s greatest championship. Joining The R&A team of Alistair Beggs, Richard Windows and Adam Newton at Continue to Learn will be Paul Larsen, course manager at Royal St George’s Golf Club, host venue for The 149th Open in 2021.
Alistair Beggs, Head of Agronomy at The R&A, said: “It is a privilege for The R&A Agronomy Team to work with the host venue for The Open and its staff to help deliver the stage on which it is played each year. In 2021 Royal St George’s hosted The Open and despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it developed into a great championship.
“This session provides the opportunity to learn a little more about Royal St George’s journey to being a championship venue, both from the perspective of The R&A and Royal St George’s own links manager, Paul Larsen. This will include the years building up to 2021, playing surface and rough preparation, environmental management and delivery of the championship itself.
“We are incredibly excited to be attending BTME and are thankful to BIGGA for giving us the opportunity to share our experiences of The Open in this way.”
Also revealed to be taking part in the Continue to Learn: Conference schedule is Linda Moir, who led the Spectator Services team at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where 15,000 volunteer Games makers hosted 9 million spectators. Prior to that, Linda accepted the challenge from Sir Richard Branson to join Virgin Atlantic and ‘make flying fun’. As director of In Flight Services she was responsible for the airline’s award winning on-board service.
Continue to Learn is the sports turf industry’s largest single education event, providing hundreds of hours of education for greenkeepers and groundsmen everywhere. The programme runs alongside the BTME and will be held 20 to 23 March 2022 at the Harrogate Convention Centre.
Bookings are open and more information can be found at www.btme.org.uk