The greenkeeping diaries: Wentworth

We talk to Kenny Mackay about how he keeps Wentworth in shape..

Name: Kenny Mackay

Club: Director of courses, Wentworth

What have you been up to?

We have completed Phase 1 of a major renovation project at our flagship West Course. The green renovation and rebuild took place over a six-week period. We are the first club in England to introduce a Sub-Air system across 18 holes, giving the greenkeeping team full control of moisture levels all year round.

We have fully upgraded the existing irrigation system and drainage across the course and re-modelled the bunkers. We are now looking forward to Phase 2, which will see upgrades to the paths and roadways around the course.

What don’t golfers understand about your role?

Golfers never fully appreciate the impact of adverse weather conditions on the course, especially during winter months. The work that goes in just to keep a course in the UK playable is immense.

If you could ask golfers to do one thing, what would it be?

It is generally the most basic golfing etiquette rules. Repairing pitch marks and replacing post and ropes after playing shots are big ones.

How has the job changed over the years?

The most significant change I have seen is the increased use of technical information as part of the day-to-day job. Also, now that I am leading a team of 60, the role has become much more management-focused. It isn’t just the state of the greens that keeps me busy these days; it’s health and safety, budget control and just being a role model to the younger members of my group.

What is the best part of the job?

Working at Wentworth is the best thing about my job. Being part of such a prestigious club, so steeped in heritage is an honour. Plus, every greenkeeper wants to host the best players in the world and I get that opportunity every year with the BMW PGA Championship.

What challenges will you face with new pesticide rules?

We need to keep looking at new methods and alternative options available, although golfers will need to be more understanding of the restrictions on pesticide use.

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