R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship a first for young Carrickfergus man

Jason Podris, College Advisory Group and Head Greenkeeper at Fortwilliam GC, Wendy Coles R&A; Callum Burnside, R&A Scholar and Paul Mooney head of Horticulture, CAFRE.
Jason Podris, College Advisory Group and Head Greenkeeper at Fortwilliam GC, Wendy Coles R&A; Callum Burnside, R&A Scholar and Paul Mooney head of Horticulture, CAFRE.

A young man from Carrickfergus is the first Northern Ireland student to be awarded an R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship.

The winner of the prestigious scholarship is College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) student, Callum Burnside.

The R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews) Greenkeeping Scholarship Programme was established in 2004 to help boost the careers of those undertaking higher level greenkeeping and sportsturf qualifications.

CAFRE is the newest addition to the approved educational establishments participating in the programme, joining Scotland’s Rural College (Elmwood Campus) and Myerscough College in England.

Currently undertaking a two-year Foundation Degree in Horticulture (Sportsturf) at Greenmount Campus, Callum joins more than over 320 scholars worldwide across 30 different countries.

Callum was previously awarded the Golf Union of Ireland cadetship in 2017.

This involved mastering greenkeeping skills and achieving a Work based Level Two Diploma in Greenkeeping while undertaking duties at the Greenmount’s Greenkeeping and Golfing Academy.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is the oldest and most prestigious golf club in the world. It is based in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, and is widely regarded as the worldwide ‘Home of Golf.

Wendy Cole, Manager of Sustainability at the The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, said: “Our rigorous application and interview process ensures that only the best candidates are chosen to be R&A Greenkeeping Scholars.

“Callum demonstrated his passion and commitment to the sportsturf industry admirably and I am delighted that he is our first Greenkeeping Scholar from CAFRE and indeed Northern Ireland. We hope to further develop our links with CAFRE moving forward and hopefully we will see more scholars being appointed.”

Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture at Greenmount, said: “With just months before The Open returns to Royal Portrush in July there has never been a better time to consider a career in greenkeeping. It truly is a very special career and one that offers great scope for personal development and worldwide travel.”

Anyone who would like to follow in Callum’s footsteps and get more information about The R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship programme can visit the Greenkeeping support section on: https://www.randa.org/

Or, for more on the FdSc in Horticulture, specialising in Sports Turf to to www.cafre.ac.uk/