Q&A with Buckpool Golf Club Course Manager

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Q&A with Buckpool Golf Club Course Manager

Peter Fiske, Head Greenkeeper at Buckpool Golf Club talks about maintaining the venue with a limited number of staff.

Q: Hi Peter, what’s been your career path?

A: I started my apprenticeship at 16 working at Moray Golf Club, staying there for 10 years, where I studied at Elmwood College. I then moved to Buckpool Golf Club as head greenkeeper aged 26 and have been there for the last 19 years.

Q: You are a team of three with the greenkeeping shed positioned almost to the centre of an 18-hole course with 72 bunkers. How much attention to detail is given to the planning of the daily course maintenance and does the position of the shed aid the efficiency of the team logistically in maintaining the course?

A: Forward planning is crucial with such a small staff to achieve our goals. Work is planned well in advance, however we always need a plan b in case of staff being off or weather and so on. The course is not your typical layout and the logistics of the greenkeeping compound further helps us keep ahead of the golfers. For example, there are four greens all within 50 yards of the sheds so we start and finish cutting greens from the same points.

Q: You and the team have a good number of opens and competitions to prepare for and have recently purchased the Tru-Turf RC50. What in particular appealed to you about it, how have you been using it as part of your programme and has the membership feedback been positive?  

A: We asked other greenkeepers opinions of the Tru-Turf and all were very favourable. We found it easy to operate and maintain and the added pace and smoothness to the surface was excellent. Having dealt with Double A for many years I knew I would get excellent customer care. The members have certainly reacted positively to the Tru-Turf. We try to roll twice a week if staffing allows and more so mid season. It helps alleviate the stress from constant cutting.

Q: Like many clubs, Buckpool GC has seen a surge in membership. How have you and the team managed the daily maintenance of the course with much increased traffic?  

A: The course is far busier now and with the booking system golfers are out very early so we have to be even earlier. The club has been great – allowing us to book off the tee until 10am one Monday every month to get a free run at maintenance like topdressing and aeration. Wear and tear is a serious issue so we try to guide the golfers around the course in the winter months with signage and so on to help recovery.

Q: What are the things that you enjoy most about your job and what are you most proud of?  

A: I enjoy seeing all the week’s preparation come together for the weekend knowing you’ve done your best. I think we punch above our weight in terms of staff numbers and resources and that’s what I’m most proud of.

Enjoyed this Q&A?

Read our previous Q&A with Gerry Bruen, Glasgow Williamwood Golf Club Manager.

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