Gavin Fox - First assistant greenkeeper

A day in the life of a Greenkeeper

4am and awoken by the alarm, enough time to get a shower and a cup of tea whilst checking the latest weather forecast for the day ahead.

A drive into work, arriving around 5:15am, to open up the Greenkeeping facility, check the machines are set up and prepared for the days tasks, along with readying a few golf buggies for the early bird golfers.

A morning briefing takes place at precisely 5:30am each morning, ensuring all staff are aware of any golf fixtures which are booked in for the day ahead and any specific set-up requirements are catered for. The weather is discussed and the potential impact it might have on proceedings, before the days tasks are delegated out to the team, ensuring every staff member knows exactly what one another is doing & why.

On an average morning the tasks may include:

  • Mow Greens
  • Mow Tees
  • Mow Fairways
  • Mow Rough
  • Rake Bunkers
  • Change holes
  • Mow Surrounds/Semi rough
  • Hand watering
  • Aeration
  • Top-dressing
  • Scarification
  • Rolling
  • Fertilising
  • Spraying
  • Strimming
  • Hover mowing
  • Divotting

The average ‘Morning set up’, takes around 4-5 hours, to ensure all the greens, tees and bunkers are all prepared ahead of the days play. The machines involved are then thoroughly washed down and any issues that may have arose are logged on the faults board. Any larger areas of mowing such as fairways and roughs generally take several days to complete, or maintained on an on-going basis, so the mowing pattern is discussed to maximise efficiency & minimise any potential disruption to play.

At 10:30am the team stops for a half hour brunch. This time is also used as an opportunity to communicate anything that has come to light during the morning session and make sure the whole team are up to speed.

After consultation of the latest online tee bookings the team set about using the windows between play on the course to continue to manicure, aerate and improve, whilst attempting to be quietly efficient – wherever possible, working where you, the golfer are not!

At around 1:30-2pm the team heads back from their tasks, washes down any equipment that they have been using and stores it back in the facility, ready for the next operator the following day.

Any irrigation required is set via the automated sprinkler system ready for night fall and the team log all work that has been carried out during the course of the day, so that the works programme for the following day can be planned and modified accordingly.

2:30-3pm, the facilities are locked up and the Green staff head home, either for an afternoon nap or a well-earned tinny from the fridge! … An early night usually follows, so that they are fresh enough to do it all again tomorrow…

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