Darren McLaughlan, Golf Courses Manager at Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, has won the prestigious overall title of Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year (ASOOTY).
The Award was presented by social media golfing celebrity, Jazzy Golfer, and Amenity Forum Chairman, Ian Graham at a BTME 2023 ceremony in Harrogate.
The Amenity Sprayer of the Year awards are organised by the Amenity Forum, sponsored by ICL and Syngenta and supported by BASIS.
“I have been spraying for as long as I can remember, but it is still essential to expand your knowledge base and move out of your comfort zone, which the Award has done.”
Darren was inspired to enter the ASOOTY Awards from listening to an On the Horizon podcast with ICL’s Henry Bechelet and Glenn Kirby of Syngenta, which includes regular application advice and tips.
Presenting Darren’s Award, Ian Graham said: We’d like to thank everyone that entered the Amenity Spray Operator of the Year awards this year. We received a great number of high quality and interesting entries.
“The three shortlisted entrants all provided very high-quality submissions. Darren demonstrated a real passion for the industry and a drive to continue learn and develop. He also seeks to raise awareness of the skill and professionalism of the people in this industry amongst fellow peers, along with the wider public.”
The two runners-up at the Awards included Keith Scruton of Darwen Golf Club in Lancashire and Leeds United Head Groundsman, Kiel Barrett.
With 32 years’ experience of greenkeeping, Keith Scruton highlighted: “This award is an accreditation of good practice, which is something I’ve tried to achieve with spraying over the years,” he said.
Leeds United Head Groundsman, Kiel Barrett, was also commended for his outstanding work in improving the Elland Road pitch in his 10 years at the club, since moving from Leeds Rhinos’ Headingly Carnegie stadium.
The Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year recognises and rewards top sprayer operators across the amenity industry. It aims to raise standards, by identifying the best practice of individuals to enhance results – and share their experiences across the industry.
ICL Landscape & Industrial Manager, Barry Browne added: “We are delighted to support such an important cross-sector industry initiative with a continued commitment to raise standards and improve results.
“Importantly it has identified and recognised the range of spray application techniques and the differing skills involved across the amenity sector. It will provide a unique and vitally important resource for all involved in spray application.”
The Awards reflect the importance of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to any issue involving turf and landscape maintenance.
“The skills of sprayer operators to make efficient, effective and above all safe applications are essential for the future sustainability of the amenity and turf care industry,” advised Syngenta Technical Manager, Sean Loakes.
Entries for ASOOTY will open soon. Look out on the Amenity Forum website for more details and entry form for your chance to win.
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