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GOLF


I think there’s a lack of respect from people for what we do. I follow a lot of people on Twitter, and you see some of the pitch marks people leave. And the big one you hear now is ‘I've just raked all these bunkers, look at the footmarks that have been left’





award from the local college for the work we do with NVQs, which is something I feel very passionate about because I was given that chance, and I don't like this mentality of a two-year apprenticeship then you’ve got your NVQ, and off you go. If you’re going to bring them in, then make a career for them and show them. My young apprentice, Harry, is quality and he’s really keen, and that’s how I like it to be.”


“If people are doing it out of interest and self-motivation, they do things and notice things, and you just want them to think for themselves rather than just be a cog in the machine that needs to be told what to do all the time. I want them to come to me with ideas because, even though I make the final decision, I don't know everything, and everyone has an idea worth having and I think it’s quite well known around here that we are a happy bunch and I like to be relaxed with them all.” “Over time, as they come to understand working that way, they come and say ‘I’ve noticed this, do you want me to go and do that?’ So, people know what we’re doing and what we’re trying to achieve, and they’re happy to contribute ideas within that.”


“I would hate to be an office-based course manager and, by having my deputy take on


the 9-hole course, it gives him a chance to run budgets and have his own ideas. It gives him a chance to see how it is to think and be responsible for a course when the weather’s bad, when disease comes, and all he has to do is speak to me, and we’ll talk it through. We meet every fortnight and have a discussion about how things are going and what he’s got planned. That enables me to focus on the main course a bit more without taking too much of an eye off of the 9-hole. And it allows me to be a bit more hands-on with my job.”


“I’ve got a very good first assistant who is very forward thinking as well, and he is coming up with ideas all the time. I have Mel, who has been here for twenty-five years, who does a lot of the servicing and most of the mechanical work, as well as irrigation, and I’m now getting to the point where everyone can do everything, so holidays aren't a pain and I think it helps with the dynamic of it. I think we’ve got a long way to go, but the budget will dictate the speed we can get there, you can’t do everything through passion and effort, it just doesn’t happen.”


The task faced by Glenn and his team is a reasonably unrelenting one. On the day I visit, the course is busy with members before a society visit in the afternoon.


- Treat Your Turf


    


PC August/September 2019


echneat 41


During our drive around the course, the importance of the societies to the club's revenue is outlined, as is the pressure on the greenkeeping team to deliver. This pressure will be familiar to a lot of


greenkeeping teams at members clubs, who will be seeing their maintenance windows reduce to one rigid week. Because it is the only links in Suffolk, Felixstowe has a unique selling point that other courses don’t, and that feeds the popularity. Whilst these visits increase the pressure, Glenn is acutely aware that the revenue helps fund his budget and the club, and he knows, through Twitter, that others are in similar situations. As well as seeing those who share his time pressure issues on social media, he also sees an all-round decline in golfing etiquette. He explains: “I think there’s a lack of respect from people for what we do. I follow a lot of people on Twitter, and you see some of the pitch marks people leave. And the big one you hear now is ‘I've just raked all these bunkers, look at the footmarks that have been left’.” “We've had to send letters to members about pitch marks and divots. Even little things like the hitting areas, when we walked past there were four baskets that had been left out, but they walk past the area where


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