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An Apprentice Greenkeeper Journey-Joe Shire

by TurfCareBlog

An Apprentice Greenkeeper Journey-Joe Shires is a blog written purely by Joe and he tells us his journey as an apprentice so far, with the many challenges he has faced.Joe also answers four quick fire question.

My Story


An Apprentice Greenkeepers journey, is a blog written by Joe Shires who is an apprentice greenkeeper at Hallamshire Golf Club. I was delighted Joe contacted me, wanting to write about his journey so far, l hope you enjoy.

Hello everyone, my name is joe shires, and I am a 23-year-old greenkeeper from South Yorkshire and I studying on the NVQ level 2 in golf greenkeeping which I started in 2018. Now you might be wondering why it has taken me nearly 3 years to complete it! Well in between moving jobs twice, being furloughed and weather disruption you can see why.

When I think back to May 2018 when I started my greenkeeping apprenticeship I had no idea what the world of sports turf had in store for me, l had just finished my level 4 in public services and fancied a change. I found that change at Renishaw Park Golf Course, there I had the mentorship of Mark Nelson, now course manager at Lindrick Golf Course.

More Challenges

It was there under marks supervision that I developed my passion for the industry unfortunately, due to financial difficulties the team of five had to be cut down to four. Because Mark left for Lindrick I had to find employment elsewhere, this came when I moved to Rother Valley Golf Course and then onto Hallamshire Golf Club. Starting as a new employee with a new employer can be daunting at the best of times, but with the pandemic looming over our heads it was made even more difficult.

A Brighter Future

But course manager Gordan Brammah and his team made me feel very welcome and made the transition as easy as possible. Now the end is in sight the end point assessments, course walks etc all within arm’s reach and I cannot wait for them. Throughout my 2 and a bit years I’ve managed to overcome many adversities, but with the help of my mentors I’ve had along the way and my tutor from DART training I’ve managed to come out the other side.


Four Quick Fire Questions

What made you consider a career as a Greenkeeper?

I loved working outside and I watched a video about the 2014 rider cup and it inspired me to have ago. 

Best and worst parts of the job?

Best-revetting bunkers 

Worst – flymoing 

Where do you want to be in five years?

Either deputy or 1st assistant… Completed my level 3 and HNC/HND working towards my level 6

What’s the top advice your mentors have passed on to you?

Best advice was from Mark Nelson, enjoy what you do and let your enthusiasm show


For another blog on apprentices, check out this video.

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1 comment

Why Wouldn’t you Want to be a Greenkeeper or Groundsman | TurfCareBlog April 19, 2021 - 12:48 pm

[…] If you enjoyed this and wanted to read more about joe’s journey, check this out – https://turfcareblog.com/an-apprentice-greenkeeper-journey-joe-shire/ […]

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