Meet the head greenkeeper: Gordon Leslie

By Alistair June 16, 2022 08:33

Profiling the head greenkeeper at Duff House Royal Golf Club in Aberdeenshire.

What was your career path to becoming head greenkeeper at Duff House Royal?

I’ve been head greenkeeper for 25 years now. I started here as an apprentice in 1983. I studied greenkeeping at college and became deputy head greenkeeper, then head greenkeeper. We have a team of five here at the moment.

What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the biggest challenge you and your team face when maintaining the course?

Being outside in the fresh air is the main thing I enjoy. I like speaking to members, some of them I’ve known for many years. The biggest challenge for us here is in May and June when the grass is growing really strongly and quickly. That can be a real problem to keep on top of sometimes.

The club invested in a Lastec XR700 Rough Cut mower recently. Why was this model chosen?

We were looking for a few different things and it just seemed to fit us best. It was also the best price, which is important. So far it’s been great.

Is the Lastec XR700 easy to use, which areas are you using it on and what results are you seeing?

It’s very easy to learn to use, we had a short demonstration and found it easy to start work with it. We’re using it on the rough, in between trees and in between fairways. We used to cut with garden mowers and the Lastec is a big improvement. It gives a much better cut, especially when it’s damp.

Duff House GC hosted the 2021 Scottish Senior Men’s Open Championship. Was that a good experience for you and your team?

It was great for us. It was a bit of an insight into bigger tournaments and we found that the players and the organisers were very happy with the course, so it was very positive. It was a highlight of my career. It was quite nerve-wracking to prepare for, but the weather helped us a lot in the end.

What would be your advice to anyone starting out as a greenkeeper today?

I would say just to listen to and watch other greenkeepers at work. Learning on the job and listening to their experiences is the best way to start.

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By Alistair June 16, 2022 08:33

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