Saturday, October 22, 2016

2017 PLAYERS Championship Agronomy Volunteer Registration Now Open

As the 2017 PGA Tour season has started, we too have started our preparations for the 2017 PLAYERS Championship. It is at this time we wish to extend an invitation to you or a member of your team to join us for the week of the championship. 

Our goal this year is to assemble a team of 80 volunteers for the full week of competition. We anticipate filling these 80 positions quickly so if you are interested in joining us please completed the online application form as soon as possible. Once we reach our target of 80 volunteers, a waiting list will be developed to ensure that we maintain this number in case there are any drop outs.

The volunteer program is such an integral element to the success of our operation during the championship and we hope the experience is just as rewarding to everyone who joins us.  The only requirement for volunteering is that you are currently working in the turfgrass industry or enrolled in a turfgrass program at college or university. As in years past you will only be responsible for transportation to the Jacksonville area, from that point we will supply accommodation, meals and uniforms. 

Volunteer Dates:

  •       Arrival prior to 4pm Saturday, May 6th (Arrival can be as early as Thursday, May 4th)
  •     Departure post final set up on Sunday, May 14th (Departure can be as late as Tuesday, May 16th) 

We ask that all volunteers arrive on Saturday, May 6th at 4pm for dinner and an informative meeting to review the tournament week.  This will also allow us to have an extra day to practice set up for the tournament on Sunday, May 7th

*We encourage anyone flying in to Jacksonville to fly in a day earlier to allow for more flexibility with travel plans.  We also encourage everyone to depart on Monday, May 15th as you will be able to enjoy the rest of the championship on Sunday and partake in the closest to the pin competition on Monday morning. *

Please follow the link below and complete the online form to submit your application to the program. 

Once you have submitted your application we will contact you within one week to confirm acceptance of your application. Please ensure you have a working email address and that you supply accurate telephone numbers. Please note that flight information can be supplied at a later date.  If you have any questions during the application process, please email us at  If you have any questions in regards to the volunteer program, please email Clay Breazeale or Lucas Andrews.

Thank you all again for your dedication to us and to The PLAYERS Championship.  We hope to see you all in May!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Interview with Director of Golf Course Operations Jeff Plotts

Live Periscope interview with Jeff Plotts, Director of Golf Operations at TPC Sawgrass during this year’s PLAYERS Championship. Jeff arrived at TPC Sawgrass in September just prior to the Championship. Jeff shares his thoughts on his first 8 months, building on the past success and his future goals and how the course is setting up for this week’s PLAYERS.

TPC Sawgrass Agronomy Staff Serve as Military Honor Guard

Saturday, February 27, 2016

THE PLAYERS Stadium: 2016 Interns

From Left to Right - Anthony Piropato, Tyler Vizzutti & J.T. Hauser

Anthony Piropato is an intern on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course that will be returning to school at Sandhills Community College (Pinehurst, NC) following the completion of his internship. He was born in Long Island, New York and spent the last ten years living on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina. He discovered his passion for Agronomy at Trump Charlotte and afterward completed a two year internship at Pinehurst Resorts & C.C. He volunteered to assist the Agronomy team for preparation of THE PLAYERS in 2015 and fell in love with the property as well as the TPC organization.  He looks forward to growing his knowledge in the industry from his experience at TPC Sawgrass in hopes of one day being a successful golf course superintendent.

Tyler Vizzutti is an intern on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course that graduated in 2014 with a Diploma in Turfgrass Management from Olds College in Alberta, Canada.  In 2003 he also received a Diploma in Golf Club Management & Operations from Selkirk College in British Columbia, Canada. He is originally from Powell River, British Columbia where he spent 8 seasons as a Golf Shop Assistant at Myrtle Point Golf Club. In 2009 he took a Greenskeeper’s position at Predator Ridge Golf Resort in Vernon, British Columbia spending 6 seasons and progressing to a Foreman’s position in 2014. In April of 2015, Tyler began his 18-month internship at TPC Sawgrass with the goal of gaining valuable warm-season grass experience, after which he will return to his Foreman’s position at Predator Ridge in October 2016 while pursuing his next position abroad. Tyler has a passion for golf and the golf industry and continues to strive to achieve his career goal of General Manager at a golf course property.

JT Hauser is an intern on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course that received an Associates in Applied Science – Golf Course and Athletic Field Maintenance degree at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA.  He is originally from Freeport, IL, where he attended Highland Community College in Freeport for two years and played NJCAA baseball. He transferred to the University of Iowa and graduated with Bachelor of Science – Political Science degree.  Following graduation he worked at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, IA, where his passion for turfgrass management began. His previous job experience includes Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville, IA and a summer internship at the Chicago Golf Club. Following the completion of his internship post-THE PLAYERS, he will be returning to Chicago Golf Club as an Assistant Golf Course Superintendent in Training.
Outside of school he enjoys golfing, fishing, and anything to deal with horticulture. He enjoys spending time with family and friends. He is also an avid Iowa Hawkeyes fan, along with the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2016 PLAYERS Championship Volunteer Program Update

As of today, 02/21/16, the 2016 PLAYERS Championship Volunteer Program has reached capacity.   To date, 90 applications have been received and confirmed and we are very excited with the team that has been assembled.  The 2016 Volunteer Team is comprised of industry professionals from 18 states and 14 different countries.  

The online application form will remain active and applications will continue to be received. If any applications are received after today they will be added to a waiting list.  Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in the Volunteer program and to all of the confirmed volunteers!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

John Deere, BIGGA/GCSAI AND THE PLAYERS Tournament Support Press Release

John Deere TPC Sawgrass volunteer winners announced

Once again five BIGGA members from Great Britain and a GCSAI member from Ireland will be enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime when they join the golf course maintenance team at the legendary TPC Sawgrass venue in Florida for the 2016 Players Championship, courtesy of John Deere.

The greenkeepers won their place on the trip by registering their interest on the respective association websites, before recording a short video about themselves and their career aspirations. The winners then made it through their regional interviews, conducted by a panel of representatives from BIGGA/GCSAI and John Deere.

The 2016 Players Championship on the PGA Tour – the unofficial ‘fifth major’ – takes place in May. American Rickie Fowler won in 2015 following the greatest last round finish in the 34-year history of the tournament, carding birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie for a place in the final play-off.

Members of last year’s first ever UK & Ireland greenkeeping delegation described their experience as follows:

“A phenomenal 12 days unlike anything I have ever experienced before – flawless organisation and unrivalled passion and motivation,” said Joe Dormer of West Sussex Golf Club in Pulborough.

“It was a privilege to share this experience with other greenkeepers. From taking their advice and witnessing their aptitude, to conversing with the team on such a stage, was a great learning curve,” added Chris McArthur, from Portstewart Golf Club in Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

“A life changing experience is the only way I could describe the 12 days away. I knew it was going to be special, but this has surpassed anything I expected,” said David Perdisatt of Naas Golf Club in Co Kildare, Ireland.

The winning delegates joining the 2016 John Deere TPC Sawgrass volunteer programme are:

Pete Corrick, assistant greenkeeper, Remedy Oak Golf Club, Wimborne, Dorset:
Pete started out at Vivary Park Golf Club and then took an unpaid role at Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club to further his greenkeeping experience. His next job was at Weymouth Golf Club and he completed his Level 3 qualification before joining Remedy Oak Golf Club, where he helped the team complete a recent greens rebuilding programme. He has also been a volunteer at Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship.

Graeme Davidson, first assistant greenkeeper, Murrayfield Golf Club, Edinburgh:
Graeme began his greenkeeping career as an apprentice at Glencorse Golf Club before moving on to Mortonhall Golf Club. During a period travelling the world with his wife, he secured a six month internship at Pacific Golf Club in Australia and then accepted his current role at Murrayfield. Graeme was part of the BIGGA support team at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Stuart Imeson – head greenkeeper, Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, Embleton, Northumberland:
Stuart started out as an assistant greenkeeper at this links course aged 16, and he became head greenkeeper at just 18 years old. He is in charge of a youthful team and has overseen various construction projects on the course. Stuart has joined the BIGGA support teams at The Open and the BMW PGA Championship, and is also a member of BIGGA’s Young Greenkeeper Committee.

Nicholas Roberts – deputy course manager, South Essex Golf & Country Club, Brentwood:
Nicholas began his career at Essendon Country Club, then moved on to The Hertfordshire Golf Club where he was promoted to first assistant greenkeeper. Now at South Essex, he was part of the BIGGA support team at the BMW PGA Championship and the British Masters at Woburn. He is a three handicap golfer hoping to eventually play off scratch.

Chris Sharp – course manager, Hampstead Golf Club, London:
Chris discovered his love for greenkeeping during work experience at Mountain Lakes Golf Club in mid Glamorgan, and then gained a position at Cottrell Park Golf Resort. He moved to Celtic Manor and was part of the greenkeeping team for the 2010 Ryder Cup, before joining the team at Harewood Downs Golf Club. He became course manager at Hampstead in 2015.

Lenny O’Callaghan, assistant greenkeeper, Westmanstown Golf Club, Dublin:
Lenny started his greenkeeping career working on the Colin Montgomerie designed inland links course at Carton House Golf Club, which hosted the Irish Amateur Open in 2005, before moving to Westmanstown Golf Club. Since then he has completed his advanced certificate in Greenkeeping FETAC Level 6 and is now studying online for an HNC in golf course management from SRUC Elmwood College in Scotland.

The group photograph, taken on the John Deere stand at BTME 2016 in January, shows (back row, left to right): Nicholas Roberts, John Deere territory manager Nick Ashman, Graeme Davidson, Chris Sharp, Lenny O’Callaghan, Pete Corrick and Stuart Imeson, with (front, seated left and right) John Deere Limited turf division manager Chris Meacock and managing director Antony Scott.