Scotland’s top student greenkeeper is ‘inspiration’

STRI's Gary Smith, left, and trophy winner Kyle McClung.
STRI's Gary Smith, left, and trophy winner Kyle McClung.
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Kyle McClung, who started his career on home turf at Wigtownshire County Golf Club but is now working at Glenbervie, has been named as the top student greenkeeper in Scotland.

The accolade is awarded by BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association) through the Harry Diamond Award in memory of an Ayrshire greenkeeping stalwart.

The award, which is sponsored by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), is open to greenkeepers in Scotland who are studying for a qualification to help them progress in their career.

McClung, who lives in Alva, completed an NC in Greenkeeping at SRUC’s Elmwood campus before taking up a work placement at Turnberry, which led to the offer of a full-time position. He then moved to Gleneagles Hotel and completed an HNC in Golf Course Management via distance learning, graduating in July.

“Kyle fought off some really strong peers to win the award,” said programme leader Mike Clark, who nominated McClung, a decent player himself, for the award. “He is an inspiration to all of SRUC’s Greenkeeping and Golf students, demonstrating how the right attitude and application can lead to a successful career.”

McClung added: “It is an honour for me to receive this award and it’s a nice recognition for the hard work I have put into my studies over the years. Thanks to Mike and all of the lecturers at SRUC Elmwood for giving me the platform to further my studies and hopefully progress within the industry.”