John Philp MBE, who was at Carnoustie for 27 years, and fellow long-time servant Chris Kennedy, the former golf courses manager at Wentworth, have both been granted life membership of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA).
The pair join an elite list as the accolade has been afforded to fewer than 50 greenkeepers, including Philp’s mentor, Walter Woods, and Jack McMillan MBE.
“It’s a fantastic honour to receive such an accolade from your peers,” said Philp.
Despite no longer being involved in the day-to-day maintenance, he remains highly active, giving a presentation focusing on the history of the Open Championship and modern-course performance guidelines during BIGGA’s turf management exhibition last month.
Kennedy spent 22 years as golf courses manager at the Wentworth Club and was responsible for presenting the courses for a staggering 52 professional events. He also renovated the West Course, home of the PGA Championship, in partnership with Ernie Els.
“I’m delighted that BIGGA feel I deserve this accolade,” said Kennedy.
“It was a very nice moment for both John and I to be awarded life membership and it means an awful lot to both of us.”