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Take your greenkeeping career global with the IISS

I would recommend it for someone looking to gain experience. I have learned a lot so far and I have made some good friends. There is much to be gained if you are prepared to work hard, former intern from Wexford, Tom Farrar.

The IISS offer unrivalled opportunities to Irish greenkeepers and horticulturists to develop their skills abroad.

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Careers

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25 October 2018 | 0

If you are looking for a career in horticulture or greenkeeping the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces (IISS) offer a wide range of internships for both disciplines in both the USA, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Participants will experience life training with high profile employers in PGA tournament-standard golf courses and highly competent horticultural growers and producers.

Entry requirements may vary with placement hosts in each country. The IISS works to ensure the placement candidate is properly matched with the placement host. Experienced and qualified candidates are preferred.

I would highly recommend it to anybody that has a real interest in turfgrass and would like to further their knowledge in the industry as it has not only been a great experience but an invaluable learning curve, former intern from Dublin, Niall Rogan.

I would highly recommend it to anybody that has a real interest in turfgrass and would like to further their knowledge in the industry as it has not only been a great experience but an invaluable learning curve, former intern from Dublin, Niall Rogan.

For each placement we will discuss:

  • Provisions
  • Housing
  • Health Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Monthly Stipend

One such greenkeeper from Wicklow Golf Club who partook in the internship opportunity was Darragh O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan is now first-assistant superintendent at California Golf Club – one of the Top 100 Golf Courses of the world.

“While I loved my time at Wicklow Golf Club I felt it was time to move on and give myself a new challenge. I volunteered for the Irish Open at the K-Club in 2016 and had spoke to a few guys there who had interned in the US.

“It was something that I had always wanted to do but never knew it was possible to do. I managed to get in contact with Donal Kearney at Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces (IISS) who organises placements for greenkeepers looking to work in the US.

“It was purely by chance that I ended up at California Golf Club, although I was always a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

“I came out as an intern, but I came with a lot of experience, so I was thrown into a lot of projects right away. We have a full fleet of RG3 robotic mowers here now so I was heavily involved in the installation process for those machines and several projects such as Tee and Green renovations.

“My role as an intern changed after about six months. I was lucky enough to secure a visa that would allow me to stay and work in the US. Thomas Bastis who was the Superintendent here at the time took up a role with the PGA Tour as an agronomist, so his assistant Javier Campos stepped into the superintendent roll, and I stepped into the roll of second-assistant/spray technician during that time.

“Definitely my time at Wicklow Golf club prepared me well for the transition to Cal Club; working within a small crew meant that you had to be versatile and literally be able to operate every piece of machinery needed on a golf course.

“As of May 1, I moved into the roll of first-assistant. While my role now is a little less hands on than before, working and managing a crew, and seeing the results of my guidance and their hard work, is very satisfying.”

For more information on greenkeeping and horticulture internships offered by the IISS contact Donal Kearney of the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces via email: info@irishsportsurf.ie or tel: +35312817047 / +353863644372

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