51 years in the industry
On September the 17th I will have been working in the golfing industry for 51 years. I started waiting at tables on my 14th birthday at Wentworth Golf Club. My father was then the Head Chef and later became The Club Manager. I was still at school but every free hour I had I would be observing my dad work his culinary skills in the kitchen. There would often be a call to Mrs Williams the Manager, asking if dad could do something special for a dinner party that members had arranged at the golf club for the coming weekend, he would smile and say he would only be too happy to grant them their request. Often my brother Nigel and I would pile into the car and drive to the station to pick up several braces of pheasants or boxes of freshly caught salmon packed in ice that had been brought down from Scotland overnight on the train. We would haul them into the car, with the appropriate plastic sheet in the boot to protect it, for if mum found out that he had stained the carpet she would have killed him. We do have a photograph of dad in his chef’s whites holding a 20lb Salmon in one hand and one of our fishing rods in the other. Often I would return from school and pop in and see if anything interesting had turned up, on one occasion a member had asked him to prepare Jugged Hare for a dinner party at the weekend. There he would be in his prep coat along with Leo the other Chef dealing with 20 huge hares in the prep room. Mum would be running back and forth to the station during grouse shooting season to pick up hampers of grouse in the car for him to work his magic. I suppose you could say I had an interesting childhood, for many years as a family we would work Christmas Day and Boxing Day providing lunches to the members, then go home and have our celebrations in the evening. I have worked in every department in a golf club from reception to restaurant, the bar to the golf course. My moto has been in life, ‘Get on with it.’ And I have done just that.
Spring has gone
What a relief that the awful spring has gone, cold, dry and windy, not ideal for growing grass but we must try to cocas the sward the best we can until the weather changes and I’m glad to say it has. The greenkeeping team and I have overseeded and topdressed every green, this has allowed us to smooth the putting surfaces allowing the ball to run true, we have also dropped the height of cut to three and a half millimetres and rolled regularly to produce a stimp meter reading of ten feet, the problem there is that the ball starts to move in high winds and the 6th green can become quite tricky when putting down the slope to the left hand side of the green. It was nice to see Christine our golf pro showing a group of our lady members how to play bunker shots. Incidentally, Christine has some fantastic new lines of clothing in the Proshop especially in the ladies department, so when you go to book your lesson have a good look round and pick up that new polo shirt or a pair of shorts in readiness for the long hot summer ahead. I will leave you with a comment that Gary Player said ‘the more I practice the luckier I seem to get. Have a great start to the season. Ian