Meet the course manager: Scott Robertson

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Meet the course manager: Scott Robertson

How long have you been course manager at Strathmore Golf Centre and what has your career path been to this point?

I’ve been course manager since 2006 but I’ve been at Strathmore since 1998. I started off as a seasonal worker on various courses, for instance I worked on the course at Elmwood College when it opened in the 90s. Like a lot of greenkeepers, I had dreamed of becoming a pro golfer, which never happened, but when I went into greenkeeping I soon realised I’d made the right move.

 

What’s your favourite aspect of the job and what are the biggest challenges you have faced?

Working outdoors makes a huge difference. It’s such a healthy environment to be in and now that I’m slightly older I do enjoy getting up early because it’s the best part of the day. Working on a golf course that allows you to have a free run is great and this is a course that really gets looked after. It’s still in its infancy, at around 25 years old, so there’s lots of project work to be done, with the trees, plantations and projects like building a tee, which we’re doing at the moment. That side of it makes getting up in the morning more appealing.

I think educating golfers into realising how much it costs to run a golf course to the standard they expect is the most challenging part. We’re climbing the ladder here at Strathmore and making a name for ourselves and trying to do it all while being sustainable, which is tough. It’s also hard to get staff nowadays. We’re in the middle of the Perthshire countryside and it’s not easy to get someone who doesn’t have to drive 20 miles to work.

 

What’s been the proudest achievement for you and your team at Strathmore so far?

Bringing Strathmore forward has been the proudest achievement. It was a farm converted into a golf course and the vision was to bring it forward year on year. We started with no reputation whatsoever and it was just voted Scotland’s best golf course under £60 in the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards in 2021. We’ve also hosted amateur international events and professional tour events.

It’s now a course that people know, and it’s actually up for sale at the moment because the current owners, who have been great, are retiring, so we’ll see what the future holds.

 

The club has recently invested in another Lastec XR700 articulator. Why did you decide on that model, what areas are you using it on and are you pleased with the results?

It’s our third or fourth in 25 years. It suits our course very well because we’ve got a lot of mounds and undulations around the greens and bunkers and it hugs the ground really well without digging in. It’s also very easy to drive between the trees we’ve got sticking out in the semi rough, which are hard to negotiate with other machines that don’t twist and turn as easily as the articulator does.

That’s a huge aspect of the appeal to us and it saves a lot of time. It’s trailed so it keeps the costs down because we can use the tractor for other things. It works out at about a third of the cost of a ride-on. This model has passed the test of time for us and was our first choice. It can go places other machines just can’t go; it’s as simple as that!

 

What projects have you got planned on the course for winter?

Other than the tee we’re building, which we’re levelling off and doubling up for two holes, we’ve got quite a bit of drainage to go up around the outskirts of the course. We’re also possibly installing a new bunker. The visitors love new additions and changes to the course so we transplant tees, plant trees, add mounds and bits of character pretty much every year.

 

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