A Myerscough apprentice has proven he has an eye for the green after winning the title of student greenkeeper of the year.
Keen golfer and Myerscough College advanced apprentice, Thomas Lavelle, will be jetting off to the US on an all-expenses-paid trip early next year for a six-week masterclass in turf management at the University of Massachusetts after beating five fellow student greenkeepers in the national competition.
The 25-year-old will also have the opportunity to visit The Toro Company’s global headquarters in Minneapolis and renowned GCSAA Golf Industry Show & Conference in San Diego. Thomas who is currently studying towards the Advanced Apprenticeship said: “All I could think when the award was announced was ‘oh, wow!’ – it was unbelievable.
“I was just happy to have reached the finals, so winning was a shock. In the lead up to the announcement, I felt the award could have gone to anybody – all the lads were more than capable of winning.
“But I’m so happy to have won and am really looking forward to representing Toro, Lely, BIGGA and Myerscough College. This is a great opportunity to further your education and career, and to meet like-minded people.”
It was Thomas’ dedication to greenkeeping and the pride he takes in his work which impressed judges in the competitiom, sponsored by turf machinery and irrigation systems manufacturer Toro and its distributor Lely UK, and organised by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA). Myerscough College’s Work Based Training Coordinator, Jonathan Knowles who entered Thomas for the award, said: “Thomas can listen to and understand greenkeeping information and uses it regularly in his day to day work.
“He really values good and true greenkeeping, especially as he is a category one golfer himself. He is an excellent student with a very positive persona and I hope he continues to progress with Myerscough and within the sportsturf industry!”
Thomas first considered a career as a golf professional and still regularly puts his golf handicap of two to the test while also indulging his love for other outdoor sports, such as shooting and rugby. But he is now following in the footsteps of his dad Dave Flavelle, a course manager at Western Park Golf Club. Thomas added “I love the outdoors and golf, so knew through his experiences that I wanted to work in greenkeeping.”