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Hi William, can you tell us more about your new role at The Grove?

The Golf Course & Estates Manager is the custodian of the golf course and gardens. I will be working closely alongside my team to enhance the maintenance across the grounds for both guests and golfers to enjoy, while ensuring all required environmental controls are in place to protect the natural habitats and wildlife across the estate.

You were previously Head Greenkeeper at The Grove from 2008 – 2011. What is your favourite memory from this time?

A fond memory is the teamwork and collaborative culture that existed between different departments and among staff. Many of my past peers and colleagues have remained close friends and have served as knowledge banks and sounding boards for me as I’ve progressed through my career.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m excited for the opportunity to maintain and develop the 20-year legacy of The Grove as one of the leading golf resorts in the UK. The golf course is highly regarded for its turf maintenance and innovative sustainability programmes, so I am looking forward to continuing this work and finding new ways to improve where possible.

Why do you love working in agronomy?

I grew up playing golf with my grandfather in Ireland and I’ve always loved being outdoors and close to nature. For me, working on a golf course was the next best thing to playing golf professionally. It’s really rewarding to see how your efforts to prepare and present a course in the best condition possible can create an unforgettable playing experience for golfers of all levels.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

It’s always great to see the success of mentees and individuals I’ve worked with go on to manage their own facilities and build successful careers within the industry. A few personal highlights would be being voted Troon International Superintendent of the Year in 2019 and International Greenkeeper of the Year in the 59club Service Excellence Awards on two occasions.

What are some lessons that you’ve learned that you’re bringing back to The Grove?

From working in the Middle East, a place with limited rainfall and temperatures up to 50 degrees in the summer, it was critical to meet the highest standards for maintenance and conditioning in order to preserve the landscape. This experience not only challenged my agronomic skills but also my leadership skills as I managed a team of individuals from all different cultures and backgrounds.

In today’s world Greenkeeping faces many challenges due to environmental controls and regulations; a mantra I like to share with my team is that you are only as good as you were yesterday, so it’s important you are willing to adapt with changing times and keep looking for ways to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

What’s your vision for the next few years?

I hope to bring a fresh look at The Grove’s maintenance operations and identify some enhancements that can be made to add to an already excellent golf experience. It would be great to break in to the Golf World UK and Ireland Top 10 resorts ranking – there are some great courses on that list, so it will be a challenge, but one I think we can achieve. We will also continue to build on our long-term commitment to sustainability in order to maintain GEO Certified ®  Status and our Environmental Course of the Year recognition.

The Grove is so much more than just a golf course and my goal is to play my part in developing the resort into a world-class oasis of five-star hospitality, from when guests arrive until they leave.

Enjoy the ultimate golfing getaway at The Grove.

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