Press Releases   March 10, 2020

Going for the buzz at Sawgrass

The 17th hole

The 17th hole

Crestmead, Queensland (10 March, 2020) — This year sees the debut of Australian and New Zealand representatives taking part in John Deere's TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme. Taking place this month the initative allows the selected representatives to join the course management team at Ponte Vedra Beach, in Florida, on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for the duration of The Players Championship – the unofficial fifth men's Major tournament.

It's an incredible experience, where the volunteers get completely immersed in the hosting of the PGA Tour's flagship event with flights, accommodation and other costs all thrown in. Representing the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) and New Zealand Golf Course Superintendents' Association (NZGCSA), the successful four will be working alongside the home greenkeeping team as part of the volunteer course maintenance force of over 90 in preparation for the Championship taking place from 12 – 15 March. On the Monday morning after the championship they will also get the opportunity to play the famous 17th hole in a nearest the pin competition with the winner taking home the genuine flag from this prestigious hole.

Applicants were required to meet a number of criteria to qualify for selection and in November 2019, after a rigorous selection process, John Deere, ASTMA and NZGCSA were pleased to announce the following representatives had been chosen:


  • VIC: Tony Gordon, Superintendent, The National
  • QLD: Luke Helm, Superintendent, Meadowbrook
  • QLD: Tim Hoskinson, Superintendent, Cairns


  • New Zealand: George Flynn, Superintendent, Pukekohe

Previous successful applicants of the scheme have described the experience as life-changing and this year's attendees are looking forward to it.

Tim Hoskinson, saw the volunteer program as an opportunity not to be missed. "Sawgrass is a Mecca of tournament golf, especially given it was designed with spectator viewing in mind," says Hoskinson. "When I heard about the opportunity, I couldn't wait to apply. With somewhat similar weather patterns and turf varieties to Cairns, I believe I can take a lot out of the experience to bring home to my course."

The John Deere sponsored group arrived in the US on Friday 6 March and depart on Monday 16 March.

For further information on the event, see your local John Deere dealer.

About Deere & Company:

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in Australia at