The Volunteer Greenkeeping Team for The Solheim Cup

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The Volunteer Greenkeeping Team for The Solheim Cup

Gleneagles’ director of agronomy and estates has thanked the 53 greenkeeping volunteers as well as support staff from John Deere and local dealer Double A, who all made The Solheim Cup so special.

The volunteers included eight women alongside Gleneagles’ own Laura Campbell.

Scott Fenwick has 38 years of tournament expertise and leads Gleneagles’ 55-strong greenkeeping and gardening team.

The volunteer force that joined the full-time greenkeeping team at Gleneagles was more than 25 per cent bigger than that for Ryder Cup in 2014, and 50 extra machines were provided on loan for the week, to supplement the existing fleet. The extra staff and machines were needed not just to get the PGA Centenary Course ready for the tournament, but also The Kings Course for The Junior Solheim Cup competition (won 13-11 by Team USA) as well as The Queen’s Course, which remained open for play by VIP visitors and members.

“The wet weather during the previous week meant a lot of cutting by hand to achieve the required green speeds while also producing a smooth putting surface. We worked within parameters set by the LET’s agronomist but we also have our own squad who checked each morning to see if additional cuts were needed to maintain the correct and consistent speeds, which for The Solheim Cup averaged 10 to 10 and a half on the stimpmeter. The quality of cut we get with the John Deere 260SL hand mowers made a big contribution to the success of the tournament, and we also appreciate the efficiency and cost savings being achieved by our new Pro Gator mounted sprayers using the latest GPS mapping technology.

“We have centralised our maintenance facility and now operate our full fleet of John Deere equipment and our entire team from the central compound. It is well positioned within the 850-acre estate and allows us easy access to all three courses.

“This allows us to maintain all 63 holes and the practice facilities as a single unit, which provides our staff with the opportunity to gain experience throughout the entire operation and not just on one particular golf course. By centralising in this way we have truly embraced the One Team approach and it has made a massive difference already.

“Greenkeeping is not just about cutting grass – it’s a complex science and a serious art. Presenting championship courses demands great skill, knowledge and tremendous attention to detail, to create the firm and fast conditions the modern day golfer expects.

“It’s hard work, but it’s also rewarding to be part of a big team to deliver courses that are respected all over the world, and to see first-hand the results of that hard work on the TV screens during such a big tournament,” he said.

Article by: Tania Greenkeeping EU

Image credit: Kenny Smith

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