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Myerscough sportsturf student makes the cut at Masters

Thursday 9 May

A University Centre Myerscough sportsturf degree student has completed an unforgettable stint working at one of golf’s most renowned tournaments.


Stefan Carter was in Augusta last month for the Masters, where he was part of the volunteer Greenkeeping team.

Stefan, 31, is due to complete his BSc (Hons) Sportsturf Science & Management degree online this summer. He has studied via the FYDE (Final Year Direct Entry) route, which enables students to achieve a full honours degree qualification in the subject through part-time study at a distance from the host educational establishment.

This route is the first of its type and makes the honours degree accessible to students regardless of location or nationality, and provides the opportunity to study from wherever the candidate is based and has access to the internet.

He currently works as Deputy Courses Manager, West & Academy, Wentworth Golf Club.

Last month, Stefan was fortunate enough to be invited to return to Augusta National Golf Club to work the 2024 Masters. It was his second Masters returning as a volunteer after a year-long internship there in 2017/2018.

Stefan takes us the story of his experience: ‘’I arrived on the Sunday before the Masters. I was there to help set the course up for the Drive, Chip and Putt event, founded by the Masters, USGA and the PGA of America to champion young golfers aged 7-15 since 2013.

‘’It was amazing to get back on site and to see so many familiar, staff and returning volunteers.

‘’The set up of the golf course by the agronomy staff is like no other that I have been a part of during my career. Most of the additional team for the week come back year after year, and some are well into their 20th year of volunteering there.

‘’This fact alone highlights how hard it is to secure a place on the team. Repetition is key with all their practices as it is a tried and tested way to ensure everyone knows where they need to be going and what needs doing to minimise any potential incidents.

‘’My tasks for the week included hand mowing greens in the morning. The number of cuts depended on the green speeds, but this was heavily guarded and was not shared within the team. We would mow each green and wait for further instruction if it needed additional mowing or not.

‘’Late morning tasks included being stationed behind the 2nd green where we would come onto the green to remove sand splash when instructed by a rules official. Patrons (spectators) would also often ask in amazement what the switch canes we used to remove the sand were for. It is a common tradition to fabricate some bogus story, such as ‘they charge the static on the grass to make the greens faster’.

‘’There was downtime allocated through the day to watch golf, network, or spend hundreds of dollars on every type of merchandise imaginable in one of the huge shops.

‘’Evening shift for me consisted of hand watering hot spots on the fairways and second cut rough. Being overseeded with ryegrass, the 30oC heat gave us plenty to do in the evenings. Light work was made of it with a large team each evening. There was a time on the 2nd hole where there was someone connected to every hose point on the hole. It looked like a human irrigation system.

‘’No trip of mine to the Masters would be complete without consuming a large portion of burgers, sandwiches and BBQ food. Despite the late finishes, each night I managed to find time to get my fix of good old fashion deep south cooking!’’

We wish Stefan all the very best for his future career.