A golf course, whether before a single meeting or a competition, must be perfectly prepared for play. Favorable conditions on the lawns are taken care of by special employees – greenkeepers. What is their profession and how can you try your hand at this role?
Greenkeeper is simply translated as greenkeeper. This is the name given to people on whose shoulders rests the proper preparation of the golf course. Noteworthy, the profession of greenkeeper theoretically applies only to the golf course. With the emphasis on theoretically, since colloquially the same name is given to employees responsible for preparing a football field – despite the significant differences in the way golf and soccer facilities are cared for. However, it has become so accepted that currently in the Polish Association of Greenkeepers we can also easily find people who take care of the proper condition of stadiums.
What does a greenkeeper do on a daily basis? As we have already mentioned, the fundamental task of such an employee is to regularly take care of the grass at a given facility. It is thanks to the daily work of greenkeepers that golf courses and football fields are suitable for important meetings and major sporting events. Among the activities that constitute the daily bread of a greenkeeper we will find not only cutting, fertilizing and watering the grass, but also its aeration, i.e. proper aeration. In addition, a lawn specialist for sports facilities is tasked with protecting the grass from potential threats in the form of diseases, and in case of the appearance of undesirable symptoms – to eliminate them as soon as possible. Reliably performed by greenkeepers, the duties allow golf balls and those for soccer to roll in the right way, while the players make it easier to avoid unnecessary injuries. The visual aspect should not be overlooked either – it is the greenkeepers who make the grass at the facilities look so attractive.
Modern technologies play a huge role in many professions these days, and the greenkeeper industry is no exception. The best specialists have access to equipment that makes it possible to constantly monitor vegetation, as well as take care of its good condition. The best example are lamps that cast light on the most shaded areas of a golf course or pitch. In addition, the greenkeeper’s equipment also includes classic instruments such as rakes and clippers.
Until recently, it was in vain to find a field of study related to the care of golf courses and football fields, but this is now a song of the past. After all, as of the 2015/2016 academic year, it is possible to enroll in greenkeeping at the Institute of Agricultural Management and Engineering (IZiIR) of the Sulechów State Agricultural University. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but the profession of greenkeeping in the country on the Vistula River is still not one of the popular and valued professions. Anglo-Saxon countries fare best in this regard – in Great Britain and the United States there are even cash transfers of greenkeepers from one club to another! For this reason, in order to polish the profession, it is worth turning specifically to sources written in English.
main photo: unsplash.com/Soheb Zaidi