Banchory Golf Club course manager Richard Mullen has been selected to work alongside the Carnoustie Links greenkeeping staff at The Open Championship in July.
Richard is one of 47 members of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA) to have been selected to assist at the major championship at the Angus venue from July 19-22.
Richard applied to BIGGA last year to be considered for selection and was one of just six Scottish greenkeepers to be successful.
“I’m over the moon about it,” he said. “It’s the first time I have applied and, if I’m honest, I hadn’t expected to be accepted. I’m delighted and very proud that BIGGA have put their faith in me.”
Richard will play a support role to the staff at Carnoustie and will be assigned to a group each day of the championship to assist with any greens related issues they encounter.
“I’m hoping that I might be assigned to one of the big-name groups,” he added. “With all the crowds and cameras, that would be quite an experience.”
Having worked before at European Tour events like the Dunhill Links, Richard is no stranger to tournament golf, but he thinks The Open will be a little different.
“There’s nothing quite like it in golf,” he said. “The Open is an iconic event and the eyes of the sporting world will be upon it. It’s very exciting to be a part of it and to have a chance to be inside the ropes with these great players.”
And the thrill of walking alongside the world’s best golfers isn’t the only element of the week that Richard is looking forward to. He also sees it as a great opportunity to share opinions and thoughts with many of the country’s leading greenkeepers.
“It’s a fantastic chance to pick the brains of some of the best greenkeepers in the business,” he says. “To make new contacts and friends within the industry will be invaluable.”
The members at Banchory Golf Club are also delighted with Richard’s selection.
“We are very proud that our course manager will be working at the biggest event in British golf,” said club captain Fergus Bisset.
“Richard has done a tremendous job for us over the past two years, really turning things round at Banchory, getting the course into excellent and enviable condition. His selection by BIGGA is a reflection of his knowledge and skill.”
This year will mark the 147th Open Championship and Jordan Spieth will be defending champion. It will be the eighth time the event has been contested at Carnoustie. Back in 1999, former Banchory Golf Club assistant pro Paul Lawrie was champion over the links there.