The maintenance of golf courses has become an ever more challenging profession. Golfers expect more in terms of year round playability and conditioning; whist course managers are often under pressures related to increased traffic on the course, Health and Safety Regulation, Environmental Legislation and public expectation.
At the same time, turfgrass management has become a very complex science. Greenkeepers now require a theoretical and practical understanding of a number of disciplines – agronomy and plant nutrition, botany, drainage, soil science, ecology, vegetation management, irrigation and hydrology, machinery and mechanical maintenance operations, budgeting, computer literacy and a wider range of legal requirements.
The EGA acknowledges how the course management industry has greatly extended the availability, scope and technical depth of its formal and informal education courses. Many national greenkeeper associations are working to raise standards further.
A current project aims to establish pan European educational standards – so that qualifications and skills in one country can be equated and are transferable to others.
The European Golf Association also recognises that environmental issues are, and will increasingly be, relevant to golf course maintenance, and encourages golf facilities and course managers to work together to demonstrate their environmental stewardship.