Discussions between The Belfry’s Director of Courses and Grounds, Kenny Mackay, and Lely’s training division led to the creation of the scheme – with the main purpose of keeping green staff on-site for training, while enabling key team members to be available for the busiest golfing periods. The Belfry’s experienced operators will now be trained to impart their learning to junior colleagues direct and on home turf.
Mackay, who oversees three courses as well as a green staff of 58 in the summer and 48 in the winter, said: “We’ve trained our qualified green keepers, gardeners, golf course construction staff and mechanics so that they can do inductions for new starters and refresher workshops.
“We can provide operator and pre-start checks training in-house, plus we hope to do more mechanically-minded workshops in the near future to show the importance of safe practice to operators.”
The ‘Train the Trainer’ scheme is expected to bring multiple benefits to a resort that recently picked up the ‘Best Greens’ accolade for its Brabazon course, presented at a recent awards ceremony by 59Club – the benchmarking service company and official supplier to the Professional Golfers’ Association.
“Better trained staff also reduces operator error and the associated machinery repair costs, plus improves our end-product – the golf course itself.
“We hope our trainers recognise that they have been given an opportunity to expand their skill-set,” he added. “With The Belfry committed to providing in-house training, they will remain qualified trainers for as long as they keep up this new responsibility, standing them in good stead for the future.”
The experiment was such a success that the course has now been rolled out across Lely’s Toro training programme for 2011/12.
The Belfry www.thebelfry.co.uk
‘Train the Trainer’ www.lelytraining.co.uk