Q&A with John Brown, course manager, Bearsden Golf Club

By Alistair September 24, 2021 07:32 Updated

John talks about the equipment he’s used to maintain the venue during the pandemic.

Please can you give a brief description of your background, your path to being a course manager, how did you learn, where did you study and how long have you now been at Bearsden Golf Club?

I started my career as an apprentice at Balmore Golf Club in April 1979, where I studied at Woodburn House College for three years. I then got promoted to assistant greenkeeper where I stayed until 1990, and then went to Bearsden Golf Club as first assistant greenkeeper, were I studied at GOSTA training centre, and achieved levels 3 and 4, and pa 1, 2 and 3. I was promoted to head greenkeeper in 1991 until present.

What challenges are you and the team currently experiencing and how have you coped throughout the pandemic to maintain the course and what are your hopes for this season?

The biggest challenges any greenkeeper faces is budget (never enough) and the amount of play which the course receives. You just have to do your best and hope that’s enough.

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

The most pleasure I get is seeing the course on Friday, after all the hard work which has been put in over the week from everyone.

You’ve recently invested in a Lastec XR700. What is it that particularly appeals to you about this brand and piece of kit, what does it deliver to your course maintenance, how often do you use it as part of your programme and to which areas, and how reliable and easy to maintain is it?

The Lastec XR700 is one of the best machines I have ever bought, it’s mostly for semi rough however I cut tee banks, green banks as and when, and with the height cut at one to three inches it is incredible, in my time in the industry it’s up there, no worries.

What growth in new membership has the club experienced throughout the pandemic and how have you and the team coped to maintain the course and what are your hope for this season and next year?

Since the pandemic our club, like a lot of clubs in Scotland, has seen a healthy rise in members. However, like everything, it has a price. Most clubs are well over played now without any increase in budget and staff; hopefully the members will stay members for a few seasons, but now with restrictions lifted I have a feeling they’ll go back to their old ways.


By Alistair September 24, 2021 07:32 Updated

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