KEEPING THE GREEN GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE JOB VARIETY
MOWING: Given the size of a golf course, part of the green will need mowing each day. At Killara, Wood and his team mow the green to just 3.2mm. Other parts of the course — the surrounds and fairways, for example — are cut to a different height. TOP DRESSING: A top dressing machine is used to spread sand evenly over the surface of the green, creating a carpet-like feel. This is followed by brooming, which is done by hand. ROLLING: This is designed to consolidate the surface of the green to make it quicker and smoother for the day’s play. A roller is usually around 300kg and keeps the grass compressed for up to 12 hours. After that the green lifts back up. At Killara, Wood and his team roll the green a couple of times per week. KEEN golfers rely on groundskeepers to keep their beloved greens pristine.
“Basically we are in the customer service game,” said Loren Wood, grounds manager at Killara Golf Course.
“We service the grounds to the members’ needs. Killara is quite an affluent club so expectations are high.”
There is a lot of work to keep Wood’s team of 16 going.
“The trade is very broad. You’ve got everything from cutting and rolling the lawn to maintaining the bunkers. Anything inside the fence is our responsibility – the trees, gardens, grass, pathways, concrete surfaces, and carparks.”
Days start early – think 6am – and weekend shifts are the norm.
There is also some serious science involved.
Take the structure of sand in the bunkers, for example.
“We have to use sand with irregular particles,” Wood explained.
“This creates a firm surface that stops balls from sinking.”
They also have to know the science behind grass growth.
Greenkeepers have a reputation for being environmentally unfriendly but Wood said that was an unfair assumption.
“”With pests and diseases for example, we try to use biological controls rather than old fashioned chemicals that knock out a lot of species at once,” he said.