Old Course Lands New Greenkeeper

Do greenkeepers dream of anything other than divots and bad weather? If they do then Gordon Mckie is surely living the greenkeeper’s equivalent of winning the Masters and the Open on the same day.

Because Gordon has just been appointed head greenkeeper at the Old Course in St. Andrews – giving him control of the most revered and most talked about golf course in the world.

Much of a job? Well, apart from the hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, the challenge of St. Andrews’ public access rules and the gauntlet of Fife’s coastal weather, Gordon will also be responsible for more British Opens than any other greenkeeper and the 2007 British Woman’s Open.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a guided tour of Muirfield with the head greenkeeper once. Until you have travelled a links course with the man in charge you can have little appreciation of the care and attention that greenkeeper’s lavish on their ‘babies.’ As it does for players, so links golf provides a unique challenge for greenkeepers.

And you can probably multiply that challenge a thousand fold for the man in charge of the Old Course. As Gordon remarked:

“It is a privilege to work on the most famous course in the world. The history and tradition surrounding the Old Course makes it unique and it is continually under the glare of the international media spotlight. I am very much looking forward to maintaining the exceptionally high standard of the course and ensuring it continues to set the benchmark for links courses around the world.”

So good luck to Gordon – he’s got quite a job ahead of him. He may never have the fame or riches of Sandy Lyle or Colin Montgomerie. But he and his predecessors, perhaps more than anyone else, are charged with protecting the history and safeguarding the future of Scottish golf.

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