Landing a job at Kooindah Waters Golf Club in Wyong was just what Curtis Larnach had in mind when he took on a TAFE course in sports turf management.
The Erina Heights local said he wanted a career maintaining golf courses because of the outdoor lifestyle and the beautiful scenery of the golfing greens.
In his dream job maintaining the greens at Kooindah Waters, Larnach is one of the next generation of greenkeepers studying the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Sports Turf Management.
“I was attracted to the field because of the outdoor lifestyle. The top greenkeepers get to maintain the grounds that so many history-making clashes are held on and a lot of those top greenkeepers are TAFE NSW graduates,” Larnach said.
“Most places these days won’t hire you without a trade certificate, so TAFE NSW was an essential stepping-stone to learn the skills I needed and get those qualifications.”
Graduates of the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Sports Turf Management are highly sought after by leading sports turf venues throughout the country.
World-class sporting teams rely on the niche skills that are required to prepare a pitch that will either make or break a game.
This year has seen the highest intake of sports turf management enrolments on record.
To hone their skills, Larnach and about 50 other students hit the lawns for practical training at Kurri Kurri TAFE to learn how to prepare world-class sporting fields.
Onsite learning facilities in Kurri Kurri and other locations in the state include golf greens, bowling greens, a cricket oval with turf wickets and a full-sized tennis court with machinery to provide students industry standard experience.
Stadium Australia’s Graeme Logan says TAFE NSW will play an increasingly critical role in building the pipeline of greenkeeping professionals through its range of sports turf management and horticulture courses.
“It takes a high level of skills and knowledge to maintain sporting fields at the top level and TAFE NSW graduates have the practical skills and industry knowledge required, which is why Stadium Australia hire them,” he said.
Media release, May 9