Michael Wannell, assistant greenkeeper, Bovey Castle Golf Club, Devon

Michael Wannell, assistant greenkeeper, Bovey Castle Golf Club, Devon
Michael Wannell, assistant greenkeeper, Bovey Castle Golf Club, Devon

A typical day on the golf course involves an early start for Wannell. He says: In the winter I start work at 7.30am, but in the summer it’s 6.30am. There’s a lot to do because we look after an 18-hole course with 20 greens.

I also look after the surroundings, the fairway and the tees. I usually start my day cutting the grass, which takes a couple of hours. I have breakfast with all the other staff members at about 10am and then continue with my jobs throughout the afternoon. I’m usually finished by 4.15pm.

Despite all the other types of jobs, grass cutting is the one that takes up most of his time.
Luckily, Wannell enjoys spending time on the courses. He says: I am never in an office. I decided to become a greenkeeper because I love the outdoors.

Being outside during the summer in the sun. I get quite a good tan — even though it’s a T-shirt tan. Quite a few celebrities play golf on the course, too. Dennis Bergkamp recently visited the club and Andrew Flintoff is a regular visitor. He’s always there. Lance Armstrong has also been to the course.

Wannell says the worst part of the job is having to do the strimming in the heat of the summer with safety gear on. Wannell says that having to get up early in the morning is not too bad compared with that particular job.
Some pieces of kit can help make even the most difficult parts of the job easier. Wannell says he could not work without buggies.

Finally, after a day’s work, Wannell likes to relax by taking part in other sports. He says: I enjoy shooting —
pigeons mostly — and fishing. I play rugby as well.

Working outdoors is the main attraction for this job. Wannell concludes: I just love being outdoors and am really pleased to have been chosen as this year’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) Young Groundsman of the Year.

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