James Gotts has been appointed as greenkeeper of the RJ National, Ransomes Jacobsen’s three-hole golf course located at their European headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ipswich.
Local boy James lives in Kesgrave on the outskirts of Ipswich and joins Ransomes Jacobsen from Waldringfield Golf Club, where he began his career five years ago after leaving school. After completing his apprenticeship he went on to achieve NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Sportsturf Management.
The RJ National was the brainchild of David Withers, former Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen and now President of Jacobsen in the USA. He utilised former waste ground at the plant and transformed it into a three-hole, par 9 course with different grass species mix on each hole. Part of the rationale was to offer aspiring young greenkeepers the opportunity to further their careers, on a fixed two-year contract, and James is now the fourth incumbent in the job.
Previous keepers of the green at the RJ National are now working in the industry; one is on the groundstaff at Fulham Football Club; another is a turf specialist with Sherrif Amenity and the previous incumbent, Jamie Hughes, has joined the company as a Product Demonstrator.
“My Course Manager at Waldringfield, Keith Titshall, has been the mentor of RJ National greenkeepers for the past two years. He suggested that I look at the position when it was advertised and I’m really pleased that I did,” he said. “Some people will say that it’s only three holes, but there’s always plenty to do. I’m also responsible for maintaining the records to preserve our GEO accreditation, budget control and looking after the 7-a-side football pitch, which is part of my remit. I’m also fortunate enough to have some of the best equipment at my disposal and I get to test some of our new products. My immediate goal is to have the course in immaculate condition for a visit by Textron’s Senior Leadership Team in May.”
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com.
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