Visiting Royal Birkdale as a spectator to watch the July 2017 Open Championship unravel is a huge treat. To be physically present on the turf where golf had its origins is almost a religious experience. But to be at Royal Birkdale and to be part of the team preparing the golf course for what is effectively the greatest tournament in golfing’s annual calendar is an opportunity and an experience that only happens to a few.
The one man fortunate to be granted this opportunity is Minachai Srichanya (pictured), the chief agronomist attached to GLS, the management company behind the award-winning Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand. Minachai, the proud recipient of the Best Golf Course Superintendent in Asia award presented by the Asian Golf Awards received the latest recognition for the outstanding role that he played in helping the team at Sentosa Agronomy to prepare the Serapong course for the recently concluded Singapore Open.
“Minachai is an invaluable member of the team that we assemble annually to help with the preparation of the course and it is also part of our program to expose Asian superintendents to world class agronomical practices, “said Andy Johnston, general manager of the Sentosa Golf Club.
Minachai was unanimously elected by the agronomy crew for his stand-out contributions and in recognition of his work, he has been presented with an award that will provide him with a unique opportunity where he will be able to work with the team at Royal Birkdale to assist in the preparation of that course for this year’s Open Championship.
This has been made possible by Johnston who is a professional committed to upgrading knowledge and standards in golf course agronomy amongst golf course superintendents in the region. “This is really a wonderful opportunity for me”, said Minachai who went on to add, “It is a new milestone in my career and it is really the ultimate award for me.” Commenting on Minachai’s award, Stacey Walton, director and general manager of the Banyan Golf Club said, “We are very proud of Minachai – he has assisted the crew at Sentosa for the Singapore Open several times and to be awarded the opportunity to work with the R&A and the team at Royal Birkdale for the Open Championship is a chance of a lifetime and a testament to his hard work and professional development.”