Jack Harling

Currently a 2nd year BA Golf Management student studying at North Highland College UHI in Dornoch.

Placement Experience

I did my placement with Royal Dornoch Green Keepers and found out about this opportunity through past students who have worked with them so I always knew it was an option.

The recruitment process involved setting up a meeting with the head green keeper. At the meeting we discussed how many hours I had to complete and how I would fit them in, whilst still being able to go to all of my other classes.

As I had no previous experience working as a green keeper I was assigned to the basic jobs such as raking bunkers and divoting fairways. I did get to try out more jobs such as changing holes and switching greens and tees but raking bunkers and divoting were my main jobs. I learnt that doing the small things well, like raking a bunker, is just as important as any other role and it is this attention to detail that separates Royal Dornoch apart from its competitors.

Impact on future career aims

The Golf management degree covers a wide range of areas within the golf industry. Being able to work with the green keepers gave me a good opportunity to understand how that part of the industry functions. I was able to watch how the head green keeper organises his team of workers and gets a better understanding of everything that goes into working on a world class golf course.

Working as a green keeper helped develop my people, communication and a range of other skills. I improved my communication skills as I always had to keep in touch with the head green keeper to let him know when I was working and when I wasn’t; through keeping him informed of how the course was looking and if everything went well relating to the job I was doing and at lunch time when everyone gathered in the sheds and just had general conversation. It also gave me a clear idea of whether I wanted to pursue green keeping as a career.

Advice

Yes, I would defiantly recommend doing a placement. It gives you a great insight into the working world and will help you make better decisions about your future studies and work, as it could provide a clearer pathway to knowing what you really want to do.