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Future Turf Managers' Initiative

Thursday 12, Mar 2020

Since its inception in 2016, the ASTMA Future Turf Managers’ Initiative (FTMI) has provided an essential stepping stone for turf managers looking at improving their skill set to take on the next challenge in their careers.  Many of the Jacobsen-sponsored programme’s alumni have gone on to reach the top tier, with 2019 FTMI participant Scott Reid being the latest.  Shortly before New Year, Reid was successful in gaining the superintendent role at Launceston Golf Club, making the move across from Country Club Tasmania.

A further 18 up and coming turf managers will look to emulate Reid’s achievements in the coming years when they converge on Melbourne from 15-17 March for the fifth annual staging of the FTMI.  This year’s group includes two New Zealanders, as well as a couple of ex-pat Canadians and ex-pat Englishmen, and all have gained significant experience as their careers have progressed.  Many of this year’s group have either completed internships through The Ohio Program or played significant roles in major tournament preparations both here in Australia and around the world, including the recent Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. 

The 2020 class will be joined in by three superintendent mentors who will help guide and assist the candidates throughout the intensive 2.5-day programme.  Stuart Campbell, who was a part of the very first FTMI programme in 2016, will make his mentor debut having taken over as superintendent at Maroochy River Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast last year.  Also returning is experienced Kiwi dual general manager/superintendent Leo Barber (Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club) who has been a mentor for the past two FTMIs.  The ASTMA, together with Jacobsen, congratulates the following Class of 2020…


Mark Bateman
Assistant superintendent
Kooringal GC, Vic

Simon Blagg
Assistant superintendent
The Lakes GC, NSW

Shaun Bowden
Assistant superintendent 
Pennant Hills GC, NSW

Hamish Buckingham 
Assistant superintendent
Commonwealth GC, Vic

Sam Butler 
Barker College, NSW

Aaron Cachia
Assistant superintendent 
Ryde-Parramatta GC, NSW

Brendan Dooley
Assistant superintendent
Peppers The Sands Torquay, Vic

Nicholas Douglas
Assistant superintendent
Spring Valley GC, Vic

Tom Griffin
Senior greenkeeper
Queanbeyan GC, ACT

Stephen Hudson
Senior greenkeeper
Headland Golf Club, Qld

Jason Lemire
Tara Iti, NZ

Ryan McNamara
Assistant superintendent
Growling Frog GC, Vic

David Nielsen
Senior greenkeeper
The National GC, Vic

Daniel O’Connor
Senior greenkeeper
The Hills, NZ

Daniel Ryan
Senior greenkeeper
Royal Sydney GC, NSW

Ryan Smooker
Assistant superintendent
North Adelaide GC, SA

Adam Spargo
Senior Groundsman
University of Tasmania Stadium, Tas

Hayden Westwood
Foreman, West Course
Royal Melbourne GC, Vic

Read more about the 18 up and coming turf managers in the latest edition of the Australian Turfgrass Managment Journal, Volume 22.1 (Jan - Feb) out now.  

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