A day in the life: Lee Brinkley

Alistair
By Alistair January 29, 2021 09:37 Updated

The course manager at Manor of Groves GC in Hertfordshire, where the front nine weaves around manor gardens and the back nine is picturesque parkland, takes us through his average day.

What time do you arrive at the club?

I like to arrive 30 minutes before I’m actually due to start. This gives me time to organise what we need to do for the day / week ahead and make any alterations to the plans if I can see that the weather is due to change.

Can you describe your morning routine?

First job when I arrive is to stick the kettle on, ready for some early morning football banter with the rest of the team! I will then go through what we need to do that day and relay that back to the lads. If they have any queries or questions, first thing in the morning is a great time to ask as we are all together and can discuss solutions as a group. Once we’re all happy, we separate and make a start on our tasks for the day, meeting back again during our break.

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

We have six people in our team which is great for our current workload and gives us the ability to present the course in a great condition.

Do you share tasks?

I feel as though all of the tasks are split fairly, and we will always chip in and help each other.

How do you motivate your colleagues?

I work with a really good bunch of lads who all have high standards with their work and always help me. Sometimes it’s the little things – just fetching the team cold drinks on a hot day goes a long way.

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

My favourite is spring. We are getting ourselves ready for the hot weather and it’s the time when we are at our busiest (and most stressed!) During spring I’ll do what I can to organise and get prepared for the coming months – get any orders placed, such as any chemicals we may need and so on. It also pleases me to see the members out and playing, enjoying themselves and leaving great feedback regarding the quality of the course.

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

I pride myself on the quality of the course we present and the rest of my greens’ team do too. It puts a smile on all of our faces when we can see and hear the club’s members enjoying the golf course throughout the year. We know that we are doing an amazing job maintaining the course but hearing it from them just confirms it.

And what part of it gives you the least satisfaction?

Wet, cold winters!

Have you attended any courses recently?

Not recently, however I am planning to attend a chainsaw course to earn my license. This would help us greatly being a parkland course.

Do you have a feeding programme for your fairways? How do you ensure your greens have good colour?

We do feed our fairways and greens – both have performed and presented consistently throughout the year. We’ve used a combination of Elevate Fe® (20l/ha) and Xtend® 46.0.0 soluble (20kg/ha), along with Tricure Ad™ at 2.5l/ha where it’s needed. On our approaches we have been using H-Cote™ 15-5-12, again with great results. I have a good working relationship with Headland Amenity, specifically my regional manager Pete Blackaby who is always on hand with technical product support and advice.

How would you improve the greenkeeping industry?

Achieving a better understanding between golfers and greenkeepers.

Has a golfer ever deliberately directed a ball at you?

As far as I’m aware, no, but I have had golf balls fly in my direction while out working … Thankfully though, they’ve always landed before they get to me!

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

The most interesting we see are birds such as red kites and buzzards.

Are you seeing any evidence of climate change?

Very much so. The main thing is probably the milder and wetter winters, making it impossible sometimes to carry out major works through the winter months.

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

Thankfully no! But we would always help out with any mishaps if they occurred.

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

Get out … Only joking! Keep your head down, work hard and always take advantage of any extra education and training provided. .

How do you spend your leisure time?

I’m really into cycling and football, but at the moment I have a nine-month-old who is taking up a lot of my leisure time and is certainly keeping me on my toes!

 

Alistair
By Alistair January 29, 2021 09:37 Updated

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