I found an interesting personal, career story of Ben Matthews, an SRUC student. Who has just won the 2022 HNC Golf Course Management Student of the Year Award, sponsored by John Deere and Scottish turf dealer Double A.
Born in London, but raised in Canada from the age of three, Ben moved to Scotland in 2014. He worked in health and social care in both Canada and Scotland for 20 years in total before realising it was time for a change.
Initially Ben studied for a master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh.
It was a chance sighting while passing the SRUC campus one day that led to him pursuing a career in golf course management.
Ben enjoyed the variety of subjects taught on the course, even those he initially assumed would be less interesting, such as soil science.
He has since secured a position as a seasonal greenkeeper for the St Andrews Links Trust. Ben is enjoying focusing on the practical side of greenkeeping and looks forward to building up his experience and skills.
“It’s the type of industry where if you’re having a problem, you can call someone at another golf course and they will lend you equipment or recommend a product. It’s such a tightly knit and positive community. I’m so happy to be in it.”
Ben is currently busy preparing the famous St Andrews’ course for the 150th Open this summer. Course Tutor Ian Butcher says:
“Ben has, like many of our HND cohorts, decided to change career, from the Health and Social Care sector and he also previously completed an MSc Degree in Sustainable Resource Management. This provided Ben with a strong foundation for our own curriculum as we address the challenges golf faces in the 21st century.”
In 2021 he was awarded the R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship, which again adds to his perspective on the golf world as a whole.