Turf then surf

Local apprentice earns study tour and placement at top US golf courses. 


Winning an extensive line-up of training and industry awards has left deserving Gordon turf management student and apprentice, William (Billy) Koopmans, facing the opportunity of a lifetime studying and learning at some of the top golf courses in the United States.

Originally from Ballarat and employed at the Ballarat Golf Club, life has changed quickly for this young budding sports turf specialist.

Gordon teachers Chris Deppeler and Paul Deller were first to spot Billy’s passion for turf management and natural talent, nominating him for the Victorian Golf Course Superintendents Association Apprentice of The Year.  He won this and was then eligible to compete against all other state winners for the Australian title.

The Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association (AGCSA) Apprentice of The Year is a prestigious award involving several rounds of interviews and public presentations.  Billy put a lot of time and effort into his presentations and interview techniques, practicing in front of family and friends and seeking the advice of teachers.

Billy’s practice paid off.  He was successful and awarded the AGCSA Apprentice of the Year and invited to attend the Australian Turfgrass Conference at the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne where he was announced winner of the AGCSA Graduate of the Year.

As part of this award Billy was awarded a place at an educational study tour to the United States for three months which involves winter school at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) and the American Golf Course Superintendents Conference in Orlando, Florida.

On top of this he has also been invited to participate in the Ohio Program (12-month Internship) facilitated by the University of Ohio which involves study and placement at several of the top US golf courses.
Amidst all of this international excitement, Billy has also had some local success, this year appointed in a new role at the prestigious 13th Beach Golf Course in Barwon Heads. 

The Gordon, in particular the Sports Turf Management and Horticulture Departments, would like to wish Billy the best for his study tour and future success in the industry.

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About The Gordon

The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 130 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

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