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Alistair Morrison – BIGGA Young Greenkeeper of the year

Alastair Morrison, the Head Greenkeeper of Durness Golf Club in Caithness, Scotland, recently won the prestigious BIGGA Young Greenkeeper of the Year Award 2018, which recognises up and coming talent in the golf industry. His tutor from SRUC Elmwood Mike Clark and his former Course Manager at Brora Golf Links James Macbeath caught up with him in the Highlands to hear how he felt about winning.

L-R, Mike Clark, SRUC Elmwood lecturer, award-winner Alistair Morrison and James MacBeath, Head Greenkeeper at Brora Golf Club.

L-R, Mike Clark, SRUC Elmwood lecturer, award-winner Alistair Morrison and James MacBeath, Head Greenkeeper at Brora Golf Club.

Can you tell us about the background to the award?

I was very honoured and proud to win The BIGGA Young Greenkeeper of the Year Award sponsored by Textron Golf at the Annual Bigga awards which took place in Harrogate in January 2018. I was nominated by Brora Head Greenkeeper, James MacBeath in September and was then notified in December that I was lucky enough to be one of the last three candidates shortlisted.

Can you explain the role education played in your career so far?

I completed my NC Greenkeeping at SRUC Elmwood and was then offered a 2 year apprenticeship at Brora Golf Club. From this I was very lucky and fortunate to spend a total of three years working at Brora with Head Greenkeeper James MacBeath and his team. I feel you can only really apply and progress in the education you learn and receive during college when getting hands on experience on the Golf Course. Especially under James’s guidance where he continued to further my education and development.

Being part of a small team at Brora ensured I got hands on experience through out all parts of the course. Also During this time I continued my development by completing my spraying certificates and also volunteered at three European Tour Events. Two of these were at Kingsbarns for the Dunhill Links Championships and the other being at the European Masters in Switzerland.

Can you tell us what you love about the job?

My job is very special to me because I now have the privilege to work at my home club Durness Golf Club. I feel this gives me an extra bit of passion and drive to succeed and to keep continuing to develop the course. Durness is probably one of the best examples of sustainable golf you will find.

Durness Golf Course is situated in a Scottish Natural Heritage SSSI and Special Area of Conservation site, The SAC status denotes the area as a European Special Area of Conservation. The course is located in a truly stunning area of landscape, wildlife and truly natural beauty!

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