‘It’s not just a job, it’s a passion’
Rob Cooper has been the Head Green Keeper at Trafford Leisure’s Altrincham Golf Club for the last three years. Altrincham Golf Club has an 18-hole golf course, with large chipping and putting greens, a 26-bay driving range (now with TopTracer technology) as well as a fully serviced pro shop.
Rob loves his job at Altrincham Golf Club, it’s more than just a job to him, it’s his passion. He says: “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Green keeping is my obsession, it’s in my DNA.”
Rob, aged 33, is a local man, born and raised in Warrington. Golf has always been a big part of his life, having spent his childhood accompanying his professional golf playing father around the world on a European Tour. Rob says:“I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t golf, and so it only seems natural to have made green keeping my career.”
Rob left school on a Friday aged 16, and started work on the following Monday morning at Warrington’s Birchwood Golf Club, as an assisting green keeper. Over the years Rob has worked at the Dukes Golf Club at Saint Andrews in Fife, as well as Lymm Golf Club. Along the way he has gathered a string of qualifications including his Level Two Sports Turf and Amenity Horticulture from Reaseath College in Cheshire and his Level Three in Golf Course Management.
As Head Green Keeper Rob manages a team of three green keepers and is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course. It is his team’s job to maintain a good playing surface and to ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience to its golfers.
Rob and his green keeping team have won two staff awards in the last few years, testament to their dedication and commitment. Rob continues:“It really is a team effort; we all support each other, and ensure we are best we can be.” This year the team won the Trafford Leisure ‘Keeping it Simple Award’,in recognition of the team’s continued efforts to improve standards at the Golf Course, and maintaining the condition of the course so customers can play all year round.
Rob and his team are used to early starts and each morning they tour the course at the start of the day in order to prepare for the day’s play. “Come rain or shine, we are out on the course early, at 5am on tournament days. We are there checking the playing surfaces, cutting and mowing the greens, treating the turf to control weeds, fungal diseases and pests, repairing the wear and tear caused by golfers and animals.. It’s very much an outside job; I have the sock and shorts tan lines to prove it! Weather does play a huge part in our role as extreme weather conditions can create havoc to playing surfaces.”
Rob encourages and mentors his team and is delighted with the work ethic they bring in each day. He says:“We’ve worked really hard to improve the greens at Altrincham. Our efforts have really brought the club up in my estimation, and I’m proud of my team. We’ve worked together, consistently in challenging weather conditions of torrential rain and heat waves over the last few years. I’m so pleased to hear the positive feedback from our golfers, who tell us that the golf course is immaculate.”
Rob enjoys his early mornings, as it means his work day is usually complete by 2.30 in the afternoon. In his free time, he loves to walk his pet cockapoo, Hector, and enjoys popping in to see him mum and helping her with the garden.
Rob concludes: “Green keeping is one of my loves and one day, I hope to be a Course Manager for Links Golf Course, setting up the course for major tournaments with the added extra challenges of being by the sea and the brutal windy conditions.”
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