GCSAA, BIGGA collaborate to bring First Green STEM education program to the UK

The two turf professional organizations will work together to implement education programs for students in the UK.


First Green field trip

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) are collaborating to have BIGGA exclusively present GCSAA’s First Green STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education program in the UK. Founded in 1997, First Green is the only STEM education and environmental outreach program using golf courses as learning labs.

First Green curriculum helps students apply their classroom knowledge in an outdoor setting. Using STEM concepts connected to golf course management and conservation, students find new inspiration in their schoolwork and learn about the possibility of a career in golf or a STEM-related field. Since its inception, First Green has reached students in the United States and Canada through learning labs that bring the classroom to life on the golf course. First Green also gives students a first-hand look at the important role superintendents (or greenkeepers as they are known in the U.K.) play in their communities.

“STEM education opens the door to a wide variety of career paths including golf related careers. While our number one goal for First Green is to support the educational growth of students, we also contribute to golf’s sustainability by showcasing golf facilities’ focus on preserving the environment and creating interest in a golf related career,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “Over the years we have collaborated on many initiatives with BIGGA and created a strong working relationship. This long-term and successful relationship enabled our two associations to seamlessly bring the GCSAA First Green program to the UK.”

As part of the multi-year agreement, GCSAA will provide branding, training, insight and curriculum advice to assist BIGGA with establishing the First Green in the UK. The two associations will share best practices and updates to ensure students will be part of programs offering the best possible experience and learning.

“First Green is a brilliant tool with all the assets, lesson plans and resources that any golf course needs to host an event,” said Jim Croxton, BIGGA CEO. “We’re thankful to the GCSAA for the incredible work they have done to develop the program and also for enabling us to bring it to the UK, where I am confident it will be a huge success.”

This initiative was announced as part of the 2023 BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in a joint event attended by representatives of GCSAA and BIGGA. Initial planning is underway, and a schedule of First Green events presented exclusively in the UK by BIGGA will be available when they are announced at www.bigga.org.uk.

To learn more about the GCSAA First Green, visit thefirstgreen.org.