Why wouldn’t you want to be a Greenkeeper or groundsman , is a blog by a up and coming greenkeeper Joe Shires.
I started my greenkeeping career back in 2018 and prior to going on the government website to do an apprenticeship search if you’d asked me “Joe what do you want to do for a job?”. The reply would probably have been one of these three, firefighter, police officer or teacher.
Now I know what you’re thinking, they are far from the job description of a Greenkeeper. However as someone who has always enjoyed the outside from being a young boy the opportunity to work outside in all weather conditions was too good to miss. I know I’m bonkers right!
Anyway, enough about me, let’s get into the nitty gritty. When I first went to BTME the first thing that I thought was that I must be the youngest person here. I was partially right, like all trades out there, there’s not many willing people wanting to go out in the rain and cut grass. Which got me thinking, do people actually know about the sports turf industry and how great it is.
Most people would have seen the groundsman in between halves at a rugby or football match walking around the pitch putting divots back in or taking the procore out to punch some holes or even groundsman running out onto the pitch to put the covers on.
Then there’s us, the greenkeepers, people who watch tournament golf will notice how immaculate the course is, however the men and women who prepare the course are long gone before even the first tee shot.
So why don’t young people want to be involved?
Is it because of the early mornings? Is it because of the weather? Or is it even because of the money side of it? It’s probably all three and maybe more. However, if you can get past those elements in my opinion there’s no better job. Yes, in winter it’s wet and cold but that’s part of any outdoor job.
Personally, for me, it’s the best job in the world. Every day is a school day, you can never stop learning which for me as a young person is crucial. There are courses you can go on to improve yourself and your career prospects.
There are also other things such as BTME and saltex which are both amazon exhibitions and getting better every year. The opportunities to go abroad to work as a seasonal worker or even on a scholarship, I mean come on what other industry gives you the opportunity to go to America to study?!
During my short career I’ve built friendships which three or four years ago I’d never even met. Everyone I’ve met in the industry has been very accommodating and willing to answer any questions. There are opportunities out there for people, it’s all about putting the effort in and making the most of your time in the industry.
To summarise, I don’t think you’ll find an industry where there are so many nice people and we all look out for each other, which outside the services (police, fire service etc) you’d struggle to find.
Thank you everyone, the journey is still going strong.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a Greenkeeper or groundsman by, Joe Shires
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/