Scott enjoying his new role
NORTHENDEN Golf Club’s new course manager keeper Scott Gardner has brought a wide range of experience in playing golf at a good level and as a green keeper and business manager to his appointment at the club.
Scott said: “Firstly I started out playing golf when I was three years old and like many, had the dream of one day pursuing it as a career. However, my farm upbringing (work) was always getting in the way and stopped me from progressing further.
“I won many junior tournaments including the ELGA junior open and had a handicap of two aged 16.
“I only came back to the game around four years ago after almost 10 years out. I now play off three and I am a member of Fleetwood Golf Club. I was the AMEON Order of Merit winner on the Fylde coast in 2017 and I also represent Fleetwood's scratch team.
Welcome to Scott at Northenden ltr Chris Harrison is Chair of Grounds, Scott, Gary Aspinall Northenden Captain, Andrew Taylor
“I naturally thought the best way to enter the golf industry was to utilise my farm and golf skills to progress into green keeping and started as an apprentice green keeper at Rishton Golf Club.and I also worked at Penwortham as an assistant green keeper under Matt Dobbs.
“After a while I spent time working in the grounds maintenance industry as a contracts manager. I then progressed to running my own groundwork business for five years working across many sectors, golf courses, doing drainage and digger related jobs, agriculture, commercial projects and domestic.
“I then went for a job as an assistant green keeper at Swinton Park and was given the course manager role within 12 months where I would then stay for two years until the bad news and uncertainty regarding the clubs future was circulating.
“I then decided to look at other options and was lucky enough to find the opportunity as Course Manager at Northenden.
“It has been a great start so far at Northenden with all of the staff, directors and members welcoming me and helping me settle in - much needed too with recent awful weather!
“I would like to thank all staff I have worked with in
past roles for their belief and backing of me. Also, without their hard
work and dedication I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“I am going to be introducing a more sustainable approach to our maintenance programme, I will introduce compost teas and try to eventually go fungicide free.
“Hopefully we will reduce the amount of harmful chemical used and try to develop woodland areas. Ecological, grassland, wildflower and general flora/fauna are all areas we are looking to improve and I myself am forever studying to help understand and develop these areas.
“At Swinton Park I was fungicide free for my last 18 months with very good results, producing very fine putting surfaces for the members and visitors.
“I initially inherited the greens with a PH of 4.2 and a very high thatch content.
“We firstly reduced the amount of sulphates and other acidifying chemicals going on to the greens and increased aeration at various depths- top dressing each time.
“We then used lime to boost the PH of the greens and help eat away at thatch, we used compost teas, bio-stimulants and small rates of Nitrogen amongst other elements to get the results we needed. I suppose this was a stress management programme, I was always monitoring the greens overall health, performance, height of cut and rotated with ironing and cutting greens in periods of stress. Ie: preparation for big tournaments, after the tournaments, weather etc and minimal grooming if the putting surfaces, usually once a week with the hand mowers. It worked for us but that strategy was developed with what was best for our old push up greens.
“In summary, the challenge at Northenden GC is one that excites me, as I know the club are keen to progress forward and are very supportive of my ideas and plans. Together, I think we can push the course right back up there and I am hoping for some good weather to help us make more progress.”
Andrew Taylor, Northenden’s Director of Course and Grounds management added: “We are delighted to recruit Scott as our Course Manager who has excellent knowledge, experience and expertise and will make a significant contribution to our club.
“He has plans to develop the course including improved drainage and other projects that will be communicated next year.