For up and coming greenkeepers, one of the best ways to gain experience is through the Ohio State University Global Turf Programme (The Ohio Program - TOP), based in the United States. Established in 1979 by Mike Chrisman, the programme offers internships for single greenkeepers between the ages of 19 and 28, which entail upwards of 18 months hands-on practical experience and an option to take online courses through the university. Currently, between 20 and 30 Australians are training on US courses with over 120 international interns going through each year, who have clean criminal and driving records.
Interns are placed on the world’s best courses, including Pine Valley (rated the number one course in the world by US Golf Digest), Oakmont Country Club, Merion, Shinnecock Hills, site of numerous US Opens. Most courses involved are located east of the Mississippi. Students experience some of the best cool season grass courses in the north before moving down south for the winter.
For more information about the Ohio State University program, click here to download and complete the inquiry form http://ohioprogram.org/applynow/IA.php alternatively contact Michael O’Keeffe at: email@example.com
WHAT IS THE PROGRAM LIKE?
The Ohio Program has provided many up and coming Australian greenkeepers the chance to work/train at some of the United States leading golf courses. For South Australian Luke Partridge it afforded him the chance to work at one of the world’s most exclusive country clubs – Oakmont CC and kick-started a career in turf management that has taken him around the globe. Click here to read about Luke’s experiences at Oakmont which appeared in Volume 8.4 (2006) of Australian Turfgrass Management and his follow up article nine years on in Volume 17.4 (2015) about how TOP played a significant role int he development of his career.
You can also view YouTube video’s uploaded by Mike O’Keeffe interviewing current and former interns who relay their experience of the program and how their involvement has helped to further their careers (see 2013 South Australian Graduate of the Year Matthew Gates below).
AUSTRALIAN GOLFING FELLOWSHIP OF ROTARIANS
THE JOHN HOOD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The aim of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to young people who have completed an apprenticeship in greenkeeping. Each year a student is selected from one of the States or Territories of Australia, this is done, preferably, in rotation from year to year. With the assistance of Mike O’Keefe from The Ohio State University, the awardee is enrolled as an international student in the Agricultural and the Horticultural Intern program.
At the present time the scholarship is worth $4500 and goes towards paying the travel expenses etc of the awardee. For further information about the John Hood Memorial Scholarship, contact AGCSA Events and Education Manager, Simone Staples firstname.lastname@example.org
- AGCSA Awards