Course Supervising at the Home of Golf

St Andrews Links Greenkeeper, Craig Berry, reflects on the first nine months of his new role as Course Supervisor of the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses.

After being in the greenkeeping industry going on fifteen years now, to say that I was delighted with this new position was an understatement. All the hard work with years of education has definitely been worth it.

My career started at Lundin Golf Club where I spent nine years under a very well respected manager and squad within the industry, from whom I learned the fundamental skills of the trade.

2011 would see me start at Lundin’s neighbouring course, Leven Links, where I was fortunate to learn from another very experienced manager. Under his guidance, I learned to grow my skill set and push on my personal development helped by courses and training with BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association).

It was from Leven that I progressed up the coast line to St Andrews Links in the summer of 2014. This is probably a dream job for the majority of greenkeepers and quite rightly so given it’s where the game began all those years ago – it truly is a special place to work. What first struck me about working here was the great teamwork and how well the Greenkeeping Department was organised.

Personal development is also very important to the Links, and in my first year here I took part in group sessions focused on channelling your potential effectively and positively in managerial roles. This has been really successful for the Greenkeeping Department; testament to the fact is five greenkeepers have become managers and two others have also progressed to more senior roles in my time here.

I started my new role as Course Supervisor last summer. I work alongside Kevin Muir (Course Manger) and Richard Devlin (Deputy Course Manger) in organising the squad and duties to be carried out over the courses.

My new position has seen me take on a lot more responsibility. Where possible, I try and engage and assist with every team member in any way I can as well as step up to the Deputy or Course Manager role in their absence. This means making important decisions and being supportive of the squad from a professional and personal point of view.

I really am enjoying the role of supervisor! Every day is different and you have to be ready and organised for each and every one. With 45 holes, the Eden Clubhouse, practice and tournament areas as well as the Golf Academy all to be maintained, it definitely keeps us all on our toes.

I feel now I have settled well into the squad and they have accepted me as one of them. The team and I have a mutual respect, which encourages a consistently high standard of work. Going forward I look to keep learning from my peers, engage with other departments of the Links and keep developing myself to push on to the next stage in my career.

On that point, if I was to give any advice it would be to never give up on something you really want or let anyone say you can’t do it or you’re not good enough. You will fail in some ventures, but for me it’s all about the reaction to that failure that makes a difference. Here’s to the future!

Words by Craig Berry, Course Supervisor – Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses

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