Perthshire Advertiser

40 years at Gleneagles


He remembers hoisting the bag over his shoulder and playing from sunrise to sunset at Craigie Hill Golf Club.

At this point young Perth High School student Scott Fenwick harboured dreams of rising through the ranks to stardom on the profession­al tour.

That particular dream was not realised but his journey in the golfing world has taken its own unique and incredibly successful pathway to the top.

It was 40 years ago when Scott, a shy 16-year-old at the time, was talked into applying for the position of apprentice greenkeepe­r at Gleneagles.

“As a youngster I was a keen golfer and played a lot,” reminisced Scott (56).

“I harboured ambitions of being a pro golfer. When I was leaving school I was going to become a joiner, but my dad had said there was a greenkeepi­ng job at Gleneagles.

“I came out for the interview, got the job and everything moved on from there.

“At that time the main shed was a small bothy area.

“I remember there were a lot of people and it was quite intimidati­ng, all of these older guys and young 16-year-old me turning up for work in the morning.

“Back in those days you started off quite basic. The majority of it was raking bunkers in the morning and then out filling divots for the rest of the day.

“You got your wheelbarro­w full of soil and off you went around the golf course.”

Those humble beginnings laid important foundation­s for progress and he would later be appointed Gleneagles’ golf courses and estates manager.

Now director of agronomy and estates, Scott has been reflecting on four memorable decades of success at one of the world’s finest golfing resorts.

“I was inspired by seeing the guys doing all the different jobs,” he says.

“It made me realise there is a lot more to looking after a golf course than I first thought.

“As time went on, the thoughts of becoming a golfer dwindled away and I got more interested in the golf course maintenanc­e side of it all.

“But I was there almost a year before I even got a shot of a mower. Once you started getting on the machinery, everything changed.”

Producing pristine playing conditions for members and visitors across the Queen’s, King’s and PGA Centenary courses became second nature.

There has, too, been a huge buzz associated with hosting tournament golf throughout his time at Gleneagles.

“When I first started, there was still the pro-celebrity golf,” he said. “But 1987 was the first of the Scottish Opens coming, the bigger televised events.

“Tented villages were coming on site. At the time I think the Bell’s Scottish Open was the third biggest tournament on the European Tour.

“You had all the top pros coming in - Seve Ballestero­s, Nick Faldo, Ben Crenshaw - so it was a huge tournament.

“It was great to be involved in that and see the actual golf course being presented on the television.

“I have always found tournament golf really enjoyable.”

When 2014 rolled around, the spotlight intensifie­d on the fairways of Gleneagles when the Ryder Cup welcomed thousands from across the globe to the Perthshire hills.

Scott and the team had learned the PGA Centenary Course would host the biennial showpiece between Europe

The hosting of top events created a huge buzz at the Perthshire resort

Scott Fenwick has enjoyed a memorable 40 years working at Gleneagles

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Top team The greenkeepe­rs starred at the 2014 Ryder at Gleneagles Cup
Special Top team The greenkeepe­rs starred at the 2014 Ryder at Gleneagles Cup Memories

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