Jacobsen recognise the importance of preparing the younger generation of greenkeepers to take on the role of Head Greenkeeper or Course Manager. John Scurfield of Morpeth Golf Club was fortunate to be selected as part of the 2019 FTMI team. The FTMI has been designed to provide practical tools and guidance to help the candidates to pursue their career aspirations through this professional development conference.
Working with professional trainers, mentors, Jacobsen and BIGGA staff, and their fellow candidates, they will leave the FTMI with a clear understanding of what the future holds and a realistic overview of the expectations that come with the role of Manager.
The event took take place at:
The Ransomes Jacobsen factory in Ipswich, Suffolk.
My FTMI journey started with a 6 hour drive down to Ipswich from Newcastle on the Monday before, I’m pleased I took advantage of the chance of an early night as the days that followed were immensley intense.
The BIGGA Team:
Sami Strutt – Head of member development (BIGGA)
Jim Croxton – CEO (BIGGA)
Karl Hansel – Communications Executive (BIGGA)
The Mentors for the Future Turf Managers Initiative were:
Course Manager, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
Course Manager, JCB
Course Manager, Gaudet Luce Golf Club
Course Manager, The Worcestershire Golf Club
I was pretty excited as these guys are among the best in the country, I knew being selected for FTMI was a chance to get all my questions about being a course manager answered. My mentor was Euan Grant, he is a great guy who gave me some very honest advice on my future direction.
The Jacobsen Team:
Karen Proctor -Director International Marketing
Andre Simoes Andrade – Director of International Sales
Will Carr – Sales Manager – Europe
Steve Alabaster – Territory Sales Manager
David Timms – Territory Sales Manager
Who attended FTMI?
When I first found out I had been selected for FTMI felt a little nervous as I was among some of the best Deputy Course Managers in the country from some real quality venues.
|St. Andrews Links Trust (Old Course)
|Reigate Hill Golf Club
|East Berkshire Golf Club
|Sandford Springs Golf Club
|Stratford Oaks Golf Club
|Royal Troon Golf Club
|Murrayfield Golf Club
|Gaudet Luce Golf Club
|Scotscraig Golf Club
|Cricket St Thomas Golf Club
|The Richmond Golf Club
|St Annes Old Links Golf Club
|Royal Bled Golf Club
|Royal Worlington & Newmarket Golf Club
|Morpeth Golf Club
|Walmley Golf Club
|Queenwood Golf Club
|Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
|Whitecraigs Golf Club
|Macclesfield Golf Club
On arrival feeling a little nervous I quickly felt at ease as most of the other guys felt the same.
- The team were then introduced to the Jacobsen team and were presented with their corporate introduction, at this point i’d say everyone soon realised a few days of serious education were ahead of us all.
- All 20 students were then taken on a tour of the Jacobson/Ramsomes factory, what an amazing place. Any green keeper who may be so lucky to have the opportunity to tour a dealer factory will certainly appreciate their machine more on their return to work. It was a real eye opener to see how they fully manufacture, nearly all parts of all machinery produced there from scratch using a variety of different machinery. It was cool to see some finished products ready to be sent out for delivery to customers.
Michael Astrop held the first classroom session of the week, “must say being a guy who struggles a little in classroom environments, Michael kept me fully engaged for two days and events over the last few days since returning home have triggered many learning memories from the first class learning he presented to us”.
The first session was a real good ice breaker as we all had to engage with each other and share one interesting fact about ourselves. Mine wasn’t so funny, in fact the guys probably just thought I was smart arse.
“I normally manage to post at least one sub 70 score each season despite not playing much golf”
One strong message I took from this session was planning and contingency is extremely important to being successful.
Just before our evening meal everyone had to stand up and do a small talk about themselves, their expectations of FTMI and their future ambitions within green keeping.
I learnt a lot about myself after listening to Micheal’s presentation on crucial conversations, this session highlighted some weaknesses I have personally. He explained to us how during high pressure situations we act differently also ways to teach ourselves how to control the inner monkey.
Everyone had to complete a DISC behavioural profile, I was a DI, Michael explained to us how a DIC was the best profile for a manager. If your interested in DISC maybe google it as it was fascinating how all the outcomes were correct for each student and how different people weren’t compatible with each other.
“Hopefully one day I can become a proper DIC”
- Communicating a Professional Image in Interviews
During this session the team learnt some valuable knowledge on basic things such as a simple hand shake and the different types. It was interesting to hear how to make eye contact correctly, the importance of positive thinking and always seek feedback on our interview performance.
- The Job Interview Role Play
We were all interviewed individually with our mentor taking lead and the other five students in the group asking questions as a panel to the person being interviewed. It was good to get a feel for both sides an interview, this session was also fun as the whole team exercised their sense of humour.
Each student sat down with their mentors and discussed each others CVs individually and in groups, it was good to compare CVs so we can see how different layouts for example can improve your CV massively. We also discussed the weaknesses of a poorly written CV, and how this can result in a CV getting thrown into a bin after 10 seconds.
- Expectations of a Greenkeepers CV’s
The team sat down in their groups with their mentors and discussed CV content, it was interesting to hear from Euan and Lee that they would prefer not to see anything about school education or job history from years gone by, as recent events are more relevant and of interest. Ive updated my CV now and it is all recent activity with relevance to my job all on one side of A4.
Practice Makes Perfect – Creating Successful Habits
This session was held after our evening meal and was presented by,
Phil Helmn MG, GM Sports Turf & Grounds, Goodwood Estate
Phil is a well respected green keeper who we all look up to and aspire to be like, during Phil’s presentation he talked honestly about his career and his approach to his job and his staff. The experiences he shared were extremely relevant to us all, he spoke about possible positive and negative encounters we may bring on to ourselves by our own actions in the future. Phil explained how his approach to work in recent years had changed slightly and feels he now has a great team who work efficiently for themselves and each other and love the job they have.
Building a Budget presented by Lee Strutt MG, CGCS, MS
The budgeting session was brilliant, Lee Strutt kept us all fully engaged and everyone absorbed all the information presented to us. Everything Lee educated the team on was extremely relevant to all our future ambitions. Being a modern day Course manager means you have to manage and control your own budget as part of your job, this is one part of the job many Deputies will be unfamiliar with. During the session it was great to listen to some of Lee’s own personal experiences and how he goes about his daily routine.
In the future I would like to go and work with Lee at his club The RAC Club, it would be great to do some shadowing with Lee and hopefully bring some positive improvements back to Morpeth.
Coaching and Motivating Teams presented by Eddie Bullock
Eddie Bullock shared some great information on how a Course Manager should coach and motivate their team, this is invaluable tuition, which again highlighted to me some areas of my workplace that could be improved for us as a team. One thing that was clear to me was that the team leader can make or break his team, I have taken this fully on board and will do my very best with this part of my job. The team building exercises were very short and a real laugh, it was amazing how much the team engaged with each other. During the session Eddie even touched on areas like physical health and how this can improve the performance of a team.
“On Monday I will be asking the club if all the guys can have a gym membership included in our salaries”.
Each student had to stand up in front of the class and make a presentation about their FTMI experience.
Present Certificates & photos
“On arrival being so nervous compared to now is crazy, I feel so relaxed. This week i have again like at every other green keeping event I have attended met another 19 top guys, its has been great meeting you all and sharing our different experiences, hopefully we will all keep in touch throughout our career journeys. The education has been first class throughout all week and I highly recommend FTMI as this kind of education is one of a kind to green keeping, being a new head greenkeeper the education has been so relevant and has highlighted to myself many areas in need of improvement for me personally”.
Like Michael Astrop says “control that inner monkey”.
Thanks to Sami Strutt and Karen Proctor for their efforts in organising the event for us all and giving me to opportunity to be part of such a special display of education.
Great little invention form Sami below, in the star there is at least one word from each student from their closing graduation speech.