2012 - Matthew Worthington
The winner of the UHI Alumnus of the Year 2012 was Matthew Worthington. Matthew graduated from North Highland College UHI in 2011, obtaining a BA in Golf Management.
The alumnus of the year award is one of the ways we celebrate the achievements of our alumni. The award is made annually to a former student for services to the community, achievements in arts or sciences, in business, public or academic life.
"I began studying Golf Management at the UHI Dornoch campus in 2007 after leaving school. Before the degree I had worked as a green keeper and in golf course construction at Castle Stuart in Inverness.
I really can’t speak highly enough of the Golf Management Degree. The student learns all the necessary theory through well selected modules and is able to put that in to practice whilst still studying by going on work placements and field trips.
People laugh when I explain to them that instead of living at halls of residence in a populated city, I spent my student days renting a house in Dornoch – population of 2000! We may not have had the student unions and the nightlife but that was made up for by the comradeship that everyone on the course had.
After completing the Golf Management Degree I immediately began working for Sir Nick Faldo, a six time Major Champion and the most successful British golfer of all time.
One of the divisions underneath the Faldo Enterprise umbrella is the Faldo Series – a global golf initiative that gives opportunity to young people. Established in 1996, 38 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 28 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 junior golfers participating each year. I was promoted after six months and am now responsible for planning and co-ordinating the 20 tournaments in 14 countries on our “European” Schedule; including six in England plus others in Bahrain, Ireland, Chile, the Czech Republic, Greece, Wales, Austria, Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland, Slovakia and Russia.
My job is hugely rewarding on many levels. I get to combine my two main passions in life – golf and travel whilst playing my part in developing the next generation of talented young golfers.
The highlight of my time working for the Faldo Series so far is running our European Grand Final. I was in charge of all the planning and co-ordination which accompanied this five day event which featured 100 golfers from 17 different countries. The event was broadcast as an hour long programme on Sky Sports in the UK and on the Golf Channel in the USA. Seeing my work on television was the proudest moment of my life to date.
I am humbled that someone from UHI would put me forward for this award. I am thankful to all the members of staff who taught and helped me throughout the Degree. I would not be where I am today without them and will be forever grateful for what they have done for me."
Matthew will receive his award later in the year at the North Highland College graduation in Wick on the 15th September.