Meet the golf course manager: Caroline Munro

Alistair
By Alistair April 12, 2021 10:34

Caroline is the course manager at Bonar Bridge Ardgay Golf Club.

Can you give a brief description of your background, your path to being a course manager and how long have you now been at Bonar Bridge?

It all started with a week’s work experience at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, which I loved so asked Robert Patterson for a summer job and now here I am almost 30 years later, course manager at Bonar Bridge. I completed my apprenteship over three years attending Elmwood College for eight weeks in each of the years, I was then assistant greenkeeper at Royal Dornoch for the next 10 years, leaving after the birth of my second daughter after a career break of almost 10 years, the job came up in BBA and I have now been in charge for 11 years now.

What challenges have you faced and how have you coped throughout the pandemic to maintain the course?

I was furloughed at the very beginning of lockdown 2020 for six weeks and without the help of my family and volunteers I would have struggled to get the course reopen. It was announced that clubs could open on the Friday and I was on furlough until the following Monday but as it was for members only they decided to open! I phoned my dad and got him out to cut the greens and tees, the rest would have to wait for the Monday, I would say that we never really fully caught up but was able to make the course presentable for play. I was back to work full time until December 2020 when I was again furloughed, which turned out to be very timely as we had a foot of snow on the course for almost three months, I have now been back at work for three weeks doing a three day week and preparations for the official opening are going well.

What are the things that you enjoy most about your job, what are you most proud of and how does this make feel?

I love the early mornings in the summer; feels like you have the world to yourself, there is nothing better than that Friday feeling – course stripped up, bunkers raked, holes change, fresh tees, to make you feel the hard work is all worth it.

You recently purchased a Lastec XR700 in the new grey and black livery. What were the features of this machine that particularly appealed to you and what are the benefits you have seen to date and how has this contributed to the course maintenance?

The individual floating heads are fantastic and have eliminated all scalping in the rough, the width of cut has meant that I can cut twice as much in the same amount of time which in turn has improved playability of the course and the speed of play(with much less time being spent looking for balls), it’s also belt driven so for a lone worker like myself its easy to maintain.

The course is set in some of the most spectacular scenery and has been voted the most picturesque nine hole course in Scotland. What do you continually strive to achieve from the course and deliver to the golfers?

For me it’s all about presenting the course at its best, given the conditions it’s not always easy to have everything done. I aim to have the greens cut three or four times a week and rolled when not cut, tees, approaches and fairways twice a week, rough once a week and markers moved, divoted and holes changed once too.

 

Alistair
By Alistair April 12, 2021 10:34

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