Meet the head greenkeeper: Alan Brown

By Alistair November 23, 2022 09:59

From Hayston Golf Club in Glasgow, Alan talks about what he enjoys most about the job and how the team brushes the course’s greens.

Can you give a brief description of your background and how you came to be head greenkeeper at Hayston Golf Club?

I have always had a passion for golf and love being outdoors, so a natural career choice for myself was to become a greenkeeper. I started as an apprentice at Kilsyth Lennox Golf Club at age 16, working my way up to deputy head before moving to Hayston Golf Club in 2018. I started my career at Hayston as deputy head greenkeeper. After a few months I became acting head and then head greenkeeper.

Which aspects of the job do you enjoy most and what are the biggest challenges you face?

I get great satisfaction from planning and maintaining all playing surfaces within the course. I feel it is important to take time at the end of the week to look back on what has been achieved and to see the course presented at its best. I believe most greenkeepers would say our biggest challenge is the weather, in many ways it is our boss. It dictates what is required and what can or can’t be done. With this unpredictability comes a need to always be adaptable and pragmatic.

What’s been the proudest achievement for you and your team at Hayston so far?

I am incredibly proud of my team and all that we have collectively achieved. The combination of all our skills and efforts has meant the course has been consistently presented at a high level. This has resulted in positive feedback from both members and visitors, stating that this is the best the course has looked in 50 years. To receive such feedback is just wonderful.

The club invested in a Sweep-N-Fill III brush. Why did you select this piece of equipment, is it easy to use, what areas are you using it on and has it improved the surface?

We are currently using this brush on our greens. I find that the machine is very easy to both use and setup, regardless of the experience you have. The quality of finish is amazing, brushing topdressing sand into core holes with great ease. The amount of sand wasted in the canopy is also greatly reduced. We have also used the brush before cutting greens to help with sward refinement.

Are you working on any projects on the course at the moment and have you got any planned for the winter?

Our winter programme will see the installation of new drainage into greens and also the reshaping of existing bunkers. We will also be continuing with our tree management programme.

For more information on the Sweep-N-Fill brush, visit


By Alistair November 23, 2022 09:59

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