Head Greenkeeper Talks About What He Loves About His Work

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Head Greenkeeper Talks About What He Loves About His Work

Meet the head greenkeeper: Mark Dodd

 

  • Can you give a brief description of your background and how you came to work at Gairloch Golf Club?

    Quite a few family members are keen golfers so golf has always been part of my life. When I left school I started work straight away on a golf course in Northumberland where I grew up. I then moved with my partner to Gairloch to take up the position of head greenkeeper at Gairloch Golf Club ten years ago when we knew we were going to become parents. We wanted to live a quieter life so Gairloch really appealed to us.

 

  • What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the biggest challenge you and your team face when maintaining the course?

    I love being and working outdoors as much as possible and the views here at Gairloch are incredible. It’s a beautiful course anyway but you can stand on the 8th fairway and see [the islands of] Skye and Harris. The course is short [nine holes] but challenging and we’ve found that even very good golfers can’t always master it easily. I don’t play as often as I used to but I try to play it about once a week and still jointly hold the course record. The biggest challenges of the job at the moment are working with a reduced budget due to inflation and the pressure from players to keep standards on the course high with less money to spend. Also weather patterns here have totally changed in the last few years. It’s as if there are no seasons anymore, the weather just goes from one extreme to another so it can be hard to plan.

 

  • The club invested in a Sweep N Fill III brush. Why did you select this piece of equipment, is it easy to use, what areas are you using it on and has it improved the surface?

    I made the decision to buy the Sweep N Fill III because it fits our needs and significantly reduces the quantity of sand we need to use. The cost of sand and the haulage involved in delivering it has increased a lot recently so the brush is proving great value for money for us. At the moment we’re using it on the greens and tees and we will soon be using it to groom the fairways. It’s already made a difference to the surfaces and it’s a vast improvement on the steel drag mat we were using before, which used to get clogged up very easily and slow us down. The Sweep N Fill III is also very user friendly which is great for us at Gairloch because we are helped with course maintenance by volunteers and they need to be able to master the controls quite easily.

     

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