Tories criticise golf course degrees

Students would be better equipped learning out on the course says Howard

The Conservative Party says golf course management should not be taught in colleges and should instead be taught out on the course. Speaking on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, party leader Michael Howard said: “People are likely to be better golf course managers if they learn out on the course rather than attend a university course.” The claims have angered tutors of the subject, with Howard being labelled “out of touch with the industry”. Reaseheath College senior sports turf lecturer Gareth Philips hit back at the opposition leader’s views on BBC Radio Five Live from last week’s BTME in Harrogate. He said: “Howard’s comments are grossly out of place. It’s obvious he doesn’t appreciate what it takes to manage sports turf pitches to the highest level. He should come and see for himself what skills are required.” He emphasised that Reaseheath students had an excellent record of gaining jobs at major venues both in the UK and abroad. A Conservative Party representative said the Labour Party is meeting its target of 50 per cent of students moving into higher education through the creation of “spurious courses”. These include “media studies, golf course management and David Beckham studies”. Horticultural consultant John Adlam sees some sense in Howard’s remarks. He said: “There does need to be a serious review at universities to ensure that enough practical ability is reached at the end of the course.”

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