Why should Hirsala Golf be proud of Janne Lehto?

By: June 2, 2023

The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has revealed that Janne Lehto, course manager at Hirsala Golf, has become Finland’s 1st certified Master Greenkeeper.

Janne, 30, is the chairperson of the Finnish Greenkeepers Association and is an agronomist for the Finnish Golf Union.

He began his career at Hirsala Golf before spells at Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland and Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. He returned to Hirsala Golf in 2016 before taking on the course manager role in 2017.

Hirsala Golf in Finland resized

Hirsala Golf hosted the Finnish Open in 2011 and 2015 but is also considered one of the most forward-thinking and environmentally conscious golf clubs anywhere.

The club is GEO Certified and has worked alongside WWF Finland on a number of projects, including

  • Wetland management,
  • Waterway restoration and
  • Marine conservation.

Additionally, the club powers machinery using biofuel rather than fossil fuels, and both the clubhouse and maintenance facility have solar panels which means the club itself fulfils all of Hirsala’s electricity needs.

Fairways and rough are mown by autonomous mowers, each powered by clean energy drawn from Hirsala Golf’s solar power system.

Hirsala Golf John Deere equipment

The Master Greenkeeper Certificate

The Master Greenkeeper Certificate is awarded to those members of BIGGA who have reached the highest standards of greenkeeping and golf course management.

Candidates must pass 3 stages to achieve the certification, including an assessment of golf course operations and a case study and technical examination.

They must also have

  • 10 years experience as a greenkeeper with at least 3 years spent in a course manager, head greenkeeper, or superintendent position.

Janne Lehto had become BIGGA’s 89th Master Greenkeeper.

Hirsala Golf in winter time cleaning the ice