Golf agronomist Greg Evans saw a surge in new Management Services contracts in 2020, as golf clubs seek to take pressure off their General Managers on greenkeeping matters.
In the last 12 months the 47 year-old Master Greenkeeper has doubled this side of his business, which sees him acting as an independent management consultant for Golf Course Managers and their teams.
“Increasingly I am being invited into clubs where the General Manager’s personal expertise is in the golf operational or hospitality sector,” said Evans. “In some cases, I even become the direct report for the Head Greenkeeper or Course Manager, supporting the GM and Committee, and enabling them to focus on helping the club to achieve its other goals.”
Inviting an outsider to manage the team which manages a golf club’s most prized asset – the golf course – can take some getting used to, admits Evans, but the results can be spectacular.
“I tend to spend the initial months in listening mode, establishing trust, and I often become a bit of an agony aunt too” he said. “But when you give a Course Manager daily access to the best, most current advice in the industry on agronomy and course maintenance, they naturally become more confident in briefing their own team. Performance levels rise as a result.”
Having a noted agronomist involved at the club can also benefit morale among golf club members, Evans reports. “Golfers are passionate about their greens, and love to hear that there’s an expert working on them with their day-to-day greenkeepers” he said.
Murray Cook is Secretary at Fulwell Golf Club in Middlesex, where Evans has consulted on Golf Course operations at varying levels for several years. “Greg’s had a positive influence on our greenkeeping team,” said Cook “He’s supported our golf course operation for several years, giving great help with his technical expertise and process implementation. Over time he has progressed to more of an overview role assisting the Course Manager, the Board and myself on monthly and annual plans and then specific projects.
“Greg promotes team-building and helps to build accountability and responsibility. This is clear at Fulwell with the structure we have in place.
“Our greenkeeping team under the guidance of our Course Manager have responded excellently to Greg’s input and the club members are also grateful and extremely proud of the course and the improvements that have been made over the recent years.”
Ryan Bezzant, who became Course Manager at Fulwell in mid-2020, said: “Greg knows how multiple different golf clubs are tackling their challenges, and makes himself incredibly accessible to people like me who want to share that knowledge, and pass it onto our teams.
“Greenkeepers work odd hours but Greg’s good to get hold of if I need advice or to learn something new. He is also very skilled in communicating upwards to Murray and the board at Fulwell, which frees up my time to focus on the golf course.”
“Facing my first full season as Course Manager, I drew upon Greg’s experience to help plan the year ahead, and we are in constant contact with regular visits in person – but of course it’s down to us to ensure the work is done to the right standard.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic Evans’ growing business in 2020 saw him add a new consultant to his team, Ollie Gates. “Across all aspects, including the agronomy advisory work and the big special projects, as well as team management and buying group activities, the last 12 months have seen very healthy growth for us,” said Evans.
“The pandemic may have kept golfers away from the course for long periods, but as we all know – nothing stops greenkeepers from doing their jobs!”
Contact Greg Evans at www.gregevansmg.co.uk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +44 (0)7951 157208