A day in the life: Stevie Dixon

Tania
By Tania May 1, 2019 07:03 Updated

Stevie is the course manager at Kingsknowe Golf Club in Edinburgh. The club, founded in 1908, is home to around 700 members.

What time do you arrive at the club?

I arrive roughly 40 minutes prior to the golf start time, all year round.

Can you describe your morning routine?

My morning routine starts by grabbing a cup of tea and a chat with my team. We’ll then set up and discuss the tasks for the day ahead. Once the guys are on their way, I’ll check and answer any emails and messages, and send out the daily tweet on the course conditions.

How many people are there in your team and is it a fair number for your collective workload?

At the moment there are five of us in total on the greenkeeping team which is a good number, but one more would be ideal for additional summer help.

Do you share tasks?

For me, sharing tasks is vital to the smooth running of the course. It helps to ensure continuity when people are off or on holiday, and it also breaks any boredom of work.

How do you motivate your colleagues?

Motivation comes from within a happy team member. I pride myself on treating my staff almost like family and I get a motivated team in return.

What’s your favourite season of the year and why?

My favourite season has to be summer as, being in Scotland, it’s a long winter!

What aspects / functions of your job gives you the greatest satisfaction?

After all the hard work that goes into it, I get the most satisfaction from seeing the course set up and ready for tournament play.

And what part of it gives you the least satisfaction?

Vandalism of any kind.

Have you attended any courses recently?

I haven’t had the chance, unfortunately, to attend any external training courses, however I have attended a number of internal courses including first-aid, fire safety and defibrillator training.

What piece of equipment would you say is the most popular and frequently used by you and your team?

One of the most popular pieces of machinery we have is a Rink DS800 topdresser from Charterhouse. It has a great spread pattern, is nice and easy to set up and is virtually clog-free. It is also quick and easy to clean after use.

How would you improve the greenkeeping industry?

I feel we still need to push the importance of education. The industry has come a long way, but the training of staff, especially for older members of a team, is something we shouldn’t relax on. Perhaps the introduction of more, short, refresher classes would be beneficial.

Has a golfer ever deliberately directed a ball at you?

Not to my knowledge, but there is still time!

Have you ever had any mishaps with lakes on the course or had to undertake a rescue of a daft golfer?

We don’t have any lakes or ponds here so, unsurprisingly, no!

What is the most interesting animal you have seen on your course and how do you do support wildlife?

We have a wide variety of wildlife around the course, including badgers, deer and buzzards. We also have a pet fox who likes to rob golf bags of Mars bars!

Are you seeing any evidence of climate change?

Yes, I would say climate change is a problem. The seasons are merging, to the point where I can hardly remember the last time I’d say we really had a period you could call spring.

What advice would you give to a young greenkeeper starting out today?

My advice to a young greenkeeper would be to study hard, and don’t be afraid to travel if you’re given the opportunity to do so. Look, listen and talk to other greenkeepers. Joining BIGGA would also be something I’d recommend.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I spend a lot of my free time with my family and enjoy following the football, in particular Hibernian FC. I am also a chairperson at my local football club, Dalkeith Thistle Community FC.

 

Tania
By Tania May 1, 2019 07:03 Updated

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