Don’t stifle new ideas, says golf agronomist

By Alistair December 30, 2019 12:53 Updated

Golf course agronomist Greg Evans has warned the industry not to suppress new ideas coming from the new generation of greenkeepers.

The 46-year old Master Greenkeeper has said that old-fashioned attitudes are still widespread, and can often affect the confidence and stifle the creativity of newcomers.

“It is crucial that experienced greens staff find a way of passing on their knowledge without micro-managing the life out of new talent” said Evans.

“A welcome trait of the new breed of greenkeeper is that they are prepared to challenge traditional thinking. Of course they are sometimes quite raw in terms of experience, but they are energetic, ambitious and willing to devote themselves to learning how to prepare a playable golf course.

“They need help in fulfilling their potential. Thankfully there are some wonderful examples in the UK golf industry where highly experienced course managers have taken a new protégé under their wing, creating a healthy combination of intensity and new thinking combined with the sure-footedness which can only come from decades of work.”

Evans also reports a shift away from thinking dominated by pure soil science, and towards a ‘performance and playability’ mindset.

“Ten years ago it was all about agronomy” he said. “Now, it’s more about the end-user, and how the golfer sees the ball performing on the golf course. I spend a lot of time talking to greenkeepers about ball roll, and how the ball reacts when it interacts with playing surfaces, especially greens.

“Initially, some head greenkeepers saw people like me as a threat, but attitudes towards getting external help have changed. When I arrive at a golf club to assist with a project, I try to inject new levels of energy and drive into the existing team. Rather than rushing to change everything, I prefer to advise and oversee the existing greenkeeping team.”


By Alistair December 30, 2019 12:53 Updated

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