Rody Kilbride named Irish Student Greenkeeper of the Year

The winner of the Irish Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award 2018, sponsored by ICL and Syngenta, has been announced as Rody Kilbride from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.

For a number of years, ICL and Syngenta have been proud sponsors of the Irish Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award - which is part of the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board's (KWETB) Greenkeeping Training Course.

Colman Warde, ICL Country Manager for Ireland presented Rody with his trophy and a gift voucher at Naas Golf Club, Co Kildare said: “As a company we are very proud to continue our sponsorship of this award. The training course is a fantastic opportunity which helps prepare the students for a promising future in this industry. It was great to present the award to Rody, who is a good example of enthusiastic, young greenkeepers. It’s good to see so many students interested in this course because they are the future of the industry.”

“Aisling does a tremendous job arranging the course and it’s great to see the likes of David Behan from Naas Golf Club, David Callanan from Beech Park Golf Club, Mark Kirwan from the Heritage Golf Club and Tom Carew from Craddockstown put so much time and effort into helping train these students” commented Colman.

For the duration of the 48 week course Rody was placed at Beech Park Golf Club under the watchful eye of Course Superintendent David Callanan. With the student course now complete Rody has successfully gained a full-time greenkeepers job at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Course in Co Limerick, with the newly redeveloped course, designed by Tom Fazio, due to open in April 2018.

Now in its twelfth year, the course continues to go from strength to strength, which is testament to the hard work and meticulous planning carried out by Aisling Mahon, course co-ordinator who’s commitment to nurturing the future of greenkeeping has ensured the success of the course. Aisling is delighted to have seen the course open a number of doors for aspiring greenkeepers, including full time employment, further education and oversees internships at prestigious golf courses such as Bay Hill and Pebble Beach in Ohio, USA.

Last year’s winner, Tiernan Crawford, impressed Naas Golf Club so much throughout the duration of the course that he was offered a full time greenkeeping position. He has been working in this role for the past year and is now moving to Beech Park Golf Club – a position which commences in just a couple of weeks. He intends on furthering his education and will be studying Sportsturf Science Level 6 in September 2019.

William Fitzpatrick, winner of the 2016 award, has been busy working and continuing his studies as well as becoming a first-time father. He is working full-time at Portarlington Golf Club and has just recently graduated from Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Dublin where he studied Sportsturf Science. William has also volunteered at a number of tournaments and is working hard to progress within the industry.

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