Crown Golf, the UK’s largest golf club owner and operator, has appointed Mike Bush MG as Group Course Manager across its portfolio of 38 golf courses at 25 separate facilities.
The 39-year old Master Greenkeeper was previously Course Manager at the company’s flagship property, St Mellion International Resort; a role he took up in 2003. He will remain based at the award-winning Cornwall resort and will continue to manage the two European Tour courses there, although his new job will also see him regularly visit all of the group’s clubs.
Crown Golf, which has one of the UK’s largest greenkeeping teams with close to 200 greens staff, predominately owns golf clubs in the South, with Eccleston Park GC in Merseyside and South Essex GC near Brentwood representing the group’s northernmost and easternmost points respectively.
Bush, whose appointment became official on January 1st, has been caretaking the role since Paul Copsey’s departure in late September 2014. He will manage the group’s Course Managers, including setting strategy and maintenance plans for each club, plus will head up the group’s national accounts and machinery purchasing activities.
“I am excited to start 2015 with this new role” said Bush, a Cornishman who in 2011 became one of only 60 people in the world to achieve BIGGA’s coveted Master Greenkeeper accolade. “My overriding priorities are to develop our large team of greens staff and to continue to improve golf course quality across the Crown Golf estate. Managing people and in-house training are two aspects of my role as Group Course Manager which I particularly enjoy. Implementing a clear training and progression structure supported by my knowledge and experience will enable us to deliver the highest course conditioning standards across the Crown Golf group this year and beyond”.
Bush led the St Mellion team which prepared the Resort’s Nicklaus Signature Course for its most recent European Tour event, the 2007 Midas Group English Seniors Open. “I know the standards required for elite golf at European Tour level, as befits one of Europe’s best-loved golf resorts, and I am looking forward to helping each of our teams achieve the maximum possible playing quality at their own courses.
“I have been regionally managing six Crown Golf courses over the last three years, and have enjoyed testing my knowledge of the various soil types and grass species found within our portfolio of clubs. There’s huge diversity between our golf courses: we have parklands on heavy clay, downlands on chalk, and SSSI sites like Hampton Court Palace.
“Every golf course is different, and it is rewarding to see a club like Eccleston Park improve its course conditioning year after year, until it is performing at the very top of its game.”
Stephen Towers, Crown Golf’s Chief Operating Officer, commented: “This is a well-deserved and entirely natural career progression for Mike, who has been doing stellar work at our most high-profile venue for over a decade now. Despite his relatively young age, Mike is a talented, proven and highly qualified sports turf professional. His exceptional agronomic and course management skills will be key in developing our future green keeping strategy, maintaining and delivering consistently excellent turf quality for members and guests alike.
“Mike has demonstrated a commitment to personal development throughout his greenkeeping career and it is hugely gratifying to see his hard work recognised in this way by his employers” commented BIGGA’s CEO, Jim Croxton. “The Master Greenkeeper award is widely considered to be the foremost achievement in the profession; we at BIGGA are extremely proud of Mike and wish him well in this challenging role.”
Crown Golf www.crown-golf.co.uk
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