Q&A with Ryan McCulloch, course manager at Goswick Golf Club

By Alistair March 13, 2021 07:55 Updated

Q&A with Ryan McCulloch, course manager at Goswick Golf Club

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 Goswick GC?

I did my work experience at Goswick when I was a junior member at the club, I was then given the opportunity to join the club as an apprentice in 1998, I gained a lot of experience working alongside George Thompson for many years whilst I also studied at Elmwood College in Fife. When George retired in 2016 I took over as course manager at the club and have now been there nearly 23 years.

What are the major challenges you and the team have faced throughout the pandemic, how have you coped and continued to maintain the course?

During the pandemic we have faced many challenges from working with reduced staff, to dealing with some of the worst weather we have experienced in many years. Overall, things have been OK, we have had quite a busy winter maintenance schedule to work through and are now preparing the course for golf returning.

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

I really enjoy all aspects of the job as there are never two days the same. It was a great achievement for Goswick being selected as an Open Qualifying venue from 2008 to 2012. I am very proud that we were selected as an Open Qualifying venue for the second time, 2018 to 2022, it’s nice recognition of all the hard work that everyone at the club has put in.

You purchased a Tru Turf R50-11 last year, how does this piece of kit contribute to the course maintenance, how often do you use it as part of your programme, what results have you seen and do you happy members and players?

Our new Tru Turf roller is a brilliant piece of kit, we use it two or three times per week during the main season, mainly on greens but also on our surrounds. Our main focus at Goswick is to provide consistently smooth and true surfaces, the Tru Turf roller assists us in achieving this whilst also adding a bit more pace to the greens. The finish we get from the Tru Turf is brilliant and allows us to occasionally just roll the greens instead of cutting.

The course looks beautiful and has such a natural appearance. What personal philosophy do you apply to the maintenance of the links and what do you continually strive to achieve from the course and deliver to the members and players?

We are very fortunate to have such a great piece of links land here at Goswick. My philosophy is to maintain what we have using a minimal inputs approach throughout the course, in doing so we aim to provide a consistent true links experience for everyone who visits, whether it be members or visitors any day of the week.

By Alistair March 13, 2021 07:55 Updated

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