Student attends Jacobsen Future Turf Managers’ event in USA

Jarryd Graham from Kew Golf Club in Victoria was nominated by TAFE, Melbourne Polytechnic to attend Jacobsen’s Future Turf Managers’ Initiative (FTMI)
in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jarryd receives his certificate from Jacobsen’s President, David Withers (right) and Steve Rand - Director, Chapter Outreach, Golf Course
 Superintendents of America Association

Jarryd receives his certificate from Jacobsen’s President, David Withers (right) and Steve Rand – Director, Chapter Outreach, Golf Course Superintendents of America Association

The FTMI event gives turfgrass students an opportunity to network with industry professionals, see some of the best managed sports fields in America and
also get an insider’s look at Jacobsen’s turf maintenance equipment.

This year international students were invited and Jarryd Graham was nominated to attend this invaluable three-day event. Commenting on his experience he
said he was shown around the Jacobsen manufacturing facilities and it was good to see the machinery being built.

“They build it all in one place now, they are based in one big manufacturing plant which was impressive.”

The visit also included trips to a couple of golf courses, the Peninsula Golf Club on Lake Norman, a few miles north of Charlotte and Sage Valley Golf
Club in South Carolina, just 15 miles from Augusta National. The magnificent Sage Valley was built by property developer, Weldon Wyatt, whose company
built most of the Walmart stores in the USA, after he had been turned down for membership at Augusta National!

Also included in the itinerary was a visit to the University of South Carolina and a tour of their sports facilities. Known as the ‘Gamecocks’ the university’s
Williams-Bryce football stadium seats 80,250 spectators and their US $35-plus million Carolina Stadium baseball stadium, which opened in 2009, has
a capacity of 8,242 fans. Assistant Athletics Director Clark Cox hosted the students and explained the turf management practices at both venues.

Jarryd gets to grips with Jacobsen’s Eclipse2

Jarryd gets to grips with Jacobsen’s Eclipse2

“In Australia when we do our apprenticeships we’re more practical based, whereas over in the USA, they go to university full time for three years and then
intern on their holidays. It was a bit of an eye opener,” Jarryd added.

“The practical side we do in Australia is really good because you’re always outside working and you’re learning on the job. But being full time students,
you could see that the American students’ theory was probably a bit ahead of where ours sort of sits.”

“Attending the Future Managers Turf Initiative is a good reference to have on your CV. The lecturers recognise that later down the track I’d be a good
candidate for a leadership position at another golf course.”

Jarryd didn’t realise that he would be using the skills he picked up from Jacobsen’s FTMI a lot quicker than he’d expected. Kew Golf Club recently changed
Superintendents and he was able to use the FTMI experience to good effect. 

“I’ve been able to step up with the assistant and we’ve been running the course for the last month now. Having attended FTMI demonstrated to the committee
at Kew that I’m a person that’s capable of handling a wide variety of jobs. Attending Jacobsen’s event only confirmed that this is the career path
I want to take. I love the turf management industry and this experience just reaffirmed that,” Jarryd concluded.

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