BGL apprentice greenkeeper selected to work at The Open

BGL (Burhill Group Limited) is delighted to announce that a member of the greenkeeping team from its Abbey Hill Golf Centre in Milton Keynes has been selected to be part of the support team at this year’s Open Championship.

Sam Norman, who joined the BGL group and Abbey Hill in 2018, has been selected as one of just two apprentices who will join the support team at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in the week prior to the 151st Open. At the event, he’ll share responsibilities such as hand-mowing Hoylake’s greens, before joining the famed bunker raking squad that follows each group during The Open Championship tournament days.

Norman’s selection further demonstrates BGL’s continued commitment to supporting staff development across the group, by providing its teams with the best opportunities to grow their skillsets and enhance their CVs.

“I’m very excited to head up to Royal Liverpool Golf Club for this summer’s Open Championship,” commented Norman. “To be selected as one of just two apprentices to join the greenkeeping team in July is a great honour, and I’m looking forward to having the chance to represent Abbey Hill and BGL, and hopefully learn a huge amount at such a high-profile event.”

Colin Mayes, CEO of BGL (Burhill Group Limited), added: “Everybody at BGL is extremely proud of Sam for being selected as one of just two apprentices to work at golf’s most historic event. We’re passionate and committed to supporting our staff in their endeavours to develop their careers. Whether it be via our internal learning platform or national programmes, we’re delighted to offer opportunities for personal and professional development and champion the success of our people.”

Since joining in 2018, Norman has grown to become one of Abbey Hill Golf Centre’s most valued employees. He secured a full-time role on the greenkeeping team in 2021, and his stellar efforts saw him recognised as Abbey Hill’s Employee of the Year for 2022.

In early 2023, Norman’s BIGGA membership gave him the chance to apply to be part of the greenkeeping team at The 151st Open. He was one of more than 60 applicants and, following a conversation with Royal Liverpool Golf Club’s Links Manager, James Bledge, he was selected for the role.

The BGL group continues to be an industry-leader in personnel career development. The group offers an Online Training Academy platform, which contains more than one thousand training courses which are accessible to team members throughout the group. It also actively encourages employees to explore external development opportunities that they find interesting and feel will further their careers.

For more information on BGL (Burhill Group Limited), visit

For more information on Abbey Hill Golf Centre, visit

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As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.