The Groundsman

December 2014

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ADVERTORIAL 24 the Groundsman December 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions orn and raised in the West Country, he's unsure where his passion for turf stems from. His father was an aeronautical engineer who was involved in the development of Concorde. "From the age of eight I knew I would look after grass," he recalls. "I used to make cricket wickets in the back garden." As a teenager, he maintained the pitch at his local football club in return for a free ticket, and after leaving school, settled on Sparsholt College as a place to study for a City & Guilds in Amenity Horticulture & Turf Culture. His first greenkeeping role paid the sum of £10 a week, but it also B Skill, expertise and a bit of luck The fact that Simon Marsh has managed turf at some superb venues is largely down to his skill and expertise, but he's the first to admit that he has been lucky in his career and has made some good choices provided by far the steepest learning curve of his career. Hartley Wintney was a run-of-the-mill 9-hole course in the early 80s. Simon joined a course manager and his deputy, but within six months both had moved on leaving him in sole charge of the golf course at just 17 years old. Four and a half years later, nothing had changed. "It just wouldn't happen now," he says, "but I got by and I learnt a lot. I used to hand mow the greens, then go off and mow the tees in the afternoon. The Greens chairman was a train driver. His father-in-law used to come down to the course and help by cutting the rough and the fairways. We got our first triplex and I didn't think to check the oil levels. The oil ran out and a new engine was needed. I learnt from my mistakes."

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