Elmwood student talks unforgettable greenkeeper work for the Ryder Cup

A Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) student has credited his college with giving him the opportunity to work at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Kevin Laidlaw
Kevin Laidlaw

Kevin Laidlaw who is studying HNC Golf Course Management at the Elmwood Campus in Fife was part of a huge team who supported the prestigious event, which took place from 26 and 28 September, at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder in Perthshire.

Last year he was awarded the National Certificate in Greenkeeping by SRUC.

"Once I completed the NC Greenkeeping course it gave me the perfect opportunity to get the perfect seasonal job. I can work in Scotland, I can work in England, Ireland, Europe. I can work all over the world," he said.

Despite the opportunities for international travel, Kevin began his career working at the King and Queen course at Gleneagles over the summer. Three weeks before the start of the Ryder Cup Kevin and more than 100 colleagues and volunteers started preparing the PGA course.

Tasks included cutting tees and greens, raking bunkers and repairing divot holes. The preparation and care of the greens continued right into the three day event with four crews starting work at 4.45am until the start of play, and returning at 5.00pm for a further three hours.

During their time off staff had the use of a large marquee where meals were supplied throughout the day, pool tables were provided and a large television screen was linked up to the Ryder Cup action. Laidlaw also met football legends Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit.

It was the first time Laidlaw had been involved in such a huge golfing event.

He said: "It was crazy, it was amazing. The whole build up and event was surreal. It was so exciting and I am never going to forget it. It was such a great atmosphere."

Kevin is still working at Gleneagles when he is not studying, and is now involved in preparing the course for the inevitable onslaught of visitors from all over the world.

While he is currently enjoying his studies in golf course management he is also planning for the longer term. "I have my eye on the Open which is being held in St Andrews next year and hopefully I’ll be involved in the next Ryder Cup in France in 2018."

This was only the second time a Scottish course hosted the Ryder Cup, which was 40 this year. The competition was held at Muirfield in 1973.

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