A Day In the Life of a Close House Greenkeeper
Have you ever wondered just what it takes to keep our golf courses in top class condition? Well it’s mainly down to our amazing greenkeeping team who work tirelessly all year round to ensure that the playing surfaces we offer you are second to none. As we head into the busy summer months, we thought you might like to know just what a typical summer day in the life of one of our greenkeepers looks like.
04:30 – Being an early bird is a pre-requisite for this job as a 4.30am alarm call is pretty normal to kick off the day. Despite the early start, a good breakfast and a quick check of the weather forecast is essential, as both will determine how the rest of the day pans out. We’re always at the mercy of the weather!
06:00 – The team arrive at our greenkeeping shed around 5.45am with a full check of the machines being the first task of the day. Our 6am morning briefing ensures all staff are aware of any golf fixtures in the diary and that any specific set-up requirements are catered for. As mentioned, the weather and its potential impact is discussed, and the day’s tasks delegated out to the individual team members. There really is a great team spirit and ensuring everyone in the team knows exactly what one another is doing and why, is a big part of that.
06.30 – Then it’s out onto the courses. The average ‘morning set up’, of one of our 18-hole courses takes between 4-5 hours, to ensure all the greens, tees and bunkers are all prepared ahead of the days play. Tee time starts of 8am midweek and 7.30am weekends, ensure that the team have time to fully complete the set up prior to golfers reaching each hole out on the courses.
The machines involved are then thoroughly washed down and any issues that may have arisen are logged on the faults board. Any larger areas of mowing such as fairways and roughs generally take several days to complete so these are maintained on an on-going basis and scheduled into the days work. The mowing pattern is discussed daily to maximise efficiency and minimise any potential disruption to play.
10:30 – Time for a break! 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 a quick check of the tee bookings the team set about using the windows between play on the course to continue to manicure and improve the surfaces, whilst attempting to be quietly efficient – wherever possible, working where you, the golfer is not!
A greenkeepers’ ‘to do’ list really is never done. At any given time, they could be: Mowing green, tees, fairways and rough, raking bunkers, changing holes, aeriation, top dressing, scarification, rolling, fertilising, strimming, divoting and spraying. Phew!
14:00 – The majority of the day’s work is now complete so the team head back to the shed to wash down equipment used and store it away securely ready for tomorrow.
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 day, so that the works programme for the following day can be planned and modified accordingly.
15:00 – Home time! The early starts, at least, also mean an earlier finish, so the team can enjoy the long summer evenings or some daylight downtime in the winter, and of course an early night ready for the next day.
I’m sure you’ll agree our greenkeeping team really do sit at the heart of our club and the work they do is what keeps our courses up there with some of the best in the country. So if you see them out on the course, make sure you give them a wave!