The University of Tennessee (UT) is well-known for churning out groundskeepers and turf managers who can be found working in all levels of competition, all across the country.
Consider sophomore Ryan Hammitt the latest product of the UT turfgrass factory. Hammitt is currently in London, England, serving an internship at the All England Club in Wimbledon – that’s right, the Wimbledon, as in the most watched tennis tournament in the world. This year’s Wimbledon tournament – played on 44 grass courts – takes place from June 27-July 10.
Hammitt is the first UT undergraduate student from the Turfgrass Science program to earn the prestigious internship.
The grass at Wimbledon is 100 percent perennial rye and is mowed at precisely 8 millimeters.
“As a kid, I was an avid tennis player, and I always dreamed of going to Wimbledon,” Hammitt told SFM. “At first, I wanted to play in the prestigious tournament, but after realizing that was unlikely, I thought it would have to be as a spectator. I never could have imagined that I would be here now, working with the grounds crew.
“Receiving this opportunity through the Turfgrass Science program at the University of Tennessee has meant the world to me.”