Q and A with Kevin Hayward Course Manager at Ashton Golf Club

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Q and A with Kevin Hayward Course Manager at Ashton Golf Club

Please can you give a brief description of your background, your path to being a course manager, how did you learn, where did you study and how long have you now been at Ashford Golf Club?

I came into the industry by accident as I needed a job to see me through from school until I was 18 to follow another career which never materialised. I started at Ashford in April 1979 and worked my way to course manager in 1994. I studied City and Guilds Sports Turf at Norwood Hall, London for two years and one year at Plumpton College in Sussex.

What are the major challenges you and the team have faced throughout the pandemic, how have you coped and continued to maintain the course?

The main challenges we are having are the milder, wetter winters which makes it harder for us to get machinery out on the course, so harder to maintain it, and the withdrawal of chemical controls for worms and leatherjackets which are making it harder to produce good playing surfaces throughout the winter months. It’s not been too bad through the pandemic, although in the first lockdown we did find some materials hard to source and get delivered and we all have been furloughed at different times throughout the three lockdowns.

What are the things that you enjoy most about your job, what are you most proud of and how does this make feel?

I enjoy being out in the fresh air and seeing the lovely sunrises, it’s good to look back at the end of the week and see the course is looking and playing good after all the hard work your team has put in getting it there.

You purchased a Tru Turf R50-11 last year, how does this piece of kit contribute to the course maintenance, how often do you use it as part of your programme, what results have you seen and do you happy members and players?

The Tru Turf is a valuable piece of kit, we use it two or three times a week throughout the spring and summer months, and use it in autumn and winter when the weather permits. It produces faster, truer playing surfaces and is easy to use; the members like seeing this machine out on the greens.

The course looks beautiful and has such a natural appearance. What personal philosophy do you apply to the maintenance of the links and what do you continually strive to achieve from the course and deliver to the members and players?

We try and make the course better each year and to produce the course in the best condition we can, so that golfers of all abilities can enjoy their golfing experience at Ashford.

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