Alistair Morrison, born and raised in Durness, where he is the sole greenkeeper at the town’s golf club, won the BIGGA Young Greenkeeper of the Year category at this week’s National Greenkeepers Awards, in Harrogate.
Ian Morrison, Durness Golf Club president, said: “Alistair, who has been our greenkeeper for three years, is a great asset to our club and community at large and we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated professional greenkeeper.
“He worked at the club during his school holidays and it was evident then he was willing to learn and had a great work ethic.”
“The Durness golf course is situated in a Scottish Natural Heritage, SSSI and SAC site, therefore subject to a management agreement. The SAC status denotes the area as a European Special Area of Conservation.
“Alistair works well with SNH to ensure we meet the highest environmental standards that everyone now expects in such an important wildlife area.
“He has proved to be adaptable, flexible and imaginative in solving problems that arise from operating in this remote north west tip of mainland Scotland. This is a richly deserved accolade.”
James MacBeath, head greenkeeper at Brora Golf Club, said: “Alistair, who is a past Student of the Year at Elmwood College, single-handedly produces a quality golf course. He has built on the work of previous greenkeepers and worked tirelessly since he completed his training at Brora.”
Willie MacKay, Scottish Golf Club Development Manager, commented, “Durness Golf Club – compared to other rural nine hole courses – has a smaller membership but does attract a good number of visiting golfers as it is on their ‘bucket list’, having heard from other golfers that it is a must-play course.
“Located where it is and signed up as a member of North Coast 500 Golf and so many other attractions in the area with boat trips into Smoo Cave, the new zip-wire experience and the long-established Balnakeil Craft Village, along with beaches and water sports, there is plenty for the whole family, as well as golf hire available, when they stop at Durness.”
The other nominees were Angus Roberts, greenkeeper, Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course in Scotland, and Carl Sharp, greenkeeper, Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Surrey.