Earlier this month Bayer Crop Science and John Deere Golf hosted the 9th Annual Green Start Academy in North Carolina. The program has been a annual event since 2005 where the goal of the program is to hep assistant superintendents gain knowledge and build a strong foundation for their careers, as well as support the future of golf courses and the industry itself. The top 50 applicants were chosen from The United States and Canada by a advisory panel of industry experts. I (Shaune Achurch) was fortunate enough to be one of the select few to partake in the opportunity of a life time.



The program kicked off with a welcoming dinner at The Oaks restaurant. I took the opportunity to meet as many attendees, presenters, sponsor and organisers. It was a great way to meet so many new people from different parts of the country and their experiences and challenges they face at their own courses.

The following days were filled with presentations including a tour of the John Deere Turf Facility and Bayer training center. The main focus of The Green Start Academy was leadership training and preparing for the next step in your career to become a superintendent. New to the Green Start Academy this year was a challenge course which included 1 hole of foot golf, breaking a window panel(as seen on the big break challenges) a bunker shot and a nearest to the pin challenge.

Preparing yourself for the next step in your career was a great experience on its own. With presenters like Bob Farren CGCS, Pinehurst Resort, Jeff Corcoran Oak Hill Country Club. These men spoke about a wide variety of subjects including resumes, building relations and separating yourself from other applicants. Their words of wisdom is something all attendees will greatly benefit from.

Between presentations we had several group discussions led by 1 member of the advisory panel that was assigned to each group. The topics included labour usage, budgets and career advancement. This was a great chance to hear what challenges other courses across the country are dealing with and also how to resolve the issues.

I would strongly recommend any assistant superintendents to apply for this amazing opportunity. The lessons I learnt will remain with me for a lifetime.

Also Id like to thank John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Mr Bob Farren CGCS, Mr Chris Dew, Mr Chris Condon, Mr Bryan Stromme, Mr Jeff Corcoran, Mr Billy Weeks and Ms Carol Rau for their insightful presentations.

Gift package upon arrival

Bob Farren CGCS talking US Open