A day in the life: Andrew Lewis

Alistair
By Alistair October 3, 2022 08:29

The head greenkeeper at Arscott Golf Club in Shropshire, an 18-hole course that lies just five miles from the centre of Shrewsbury, takes us through his average day.

What time do you arrive at the club?

I arrive at 5.00am in the summer, and 6.30am during the winter months.

Can you describe your morning routine?

We always start on the greens, with mowing them or passing over with the iron. Then we’ll move onto some of the other preparations – moving the tee markers and raking the bunkers, before we get on with mowing the rest of the course.

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

We’re a team of four at the moment, two full-time including myself and two part-time.

Do you share tasks?

Yes, as a small team it is important that we can all do every task.

How do you motivate your colleagues?

I think this begins with staying motivated myself. I also try to keep the job varied, changing the layout regularly and ensuring that no matter the task, I am clear with my instructions.

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

For me it’s got to be the summer months. This is when we are all super busy and the course always tends to look and play at its best.

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

Seeing the course all striped up and presenting at its best.

And what part of it gives you the least satisfaction?

Three things spring to mind. Firstly, raking bunkers! Secondly when we find litter around the course and, finally, when the weather changes and we get lots of rain which ends up laying around the course. The site is clay-based and while we’ve done extensive work installing drains over the years, it still can get very wet in winter.

Have you attended any courses recently?

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance lately.

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

The most frequent will be our greens mower, but in terms of most popular, at the moment this is probably our Rink DS800 topdresser which we purchased in the spring. This has transformed how often we can conduct topdressing by speeding up the process which means we can carry out dressings more frequently to the benefit of course condition.

How would you improve the greenkeeping industry?

It is critical we can find a way to encourage more young people into the industry.

Has a golfer ever deliberately directed a ball at you?

No… well, not yet!

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

Yes, over the years I have had to rescue a few golfer trolleys and a couple of machines too!

What is your favourite machine and why?

Again, our topdresser from Redexim and at the same time we bought that, we also bought a Speedbrush which is proving to be a brilliant bit of kit. Not only does this help to incorporate the topdressing, we’re finding it useful for the dispersal of clippings, clearing moisture and standing the plant up on the surrounds which is helping to improve the quality of cut.

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

The most interesting I’ve seen is probably a red kite. To support wildlife, we try to leave a lot of areas alone so as not to interfere with natural habitats and environments.

Are you seeing any evidence of climate change?

Two things are particularly noticeable – wetter winters, leading to more frequent flooding and then, by contrast, longer and drier summers.

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

It’s a great job; very rewarding and enjoyable being outside in the fresh air.

How do you spend your leisure time?

In my spare time I enjoy going out on my motorbike and spending time with my grandson.

 

Alistair
By Alistair October 3, 2022 08:29

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