It takes years to acquire all the turf professional skills
by TurfPro Editor, Laurence Gale MSC, MBPR
Laurence Gale MSC, MBPR

For far too many years our sports turf and amenity sector has been tarnished with those immortal words, ‘you only cut grass?’ Far too many people do not appreciate the skills and knowledge required to manage a living, growing landscape facility.

Whether it is growing plants, managing sports turf, or looking after large tracts of land there is need to have a specific knowledge and understanding of what you are managing to fulfil the potential of that managed facility.

It takes many years to acquire all the skills needed to be a professional grounds manager / turf professional.



Take the role of becoming a greenkeeper. The GTC state a fully trained, qualified golf course greenkeeper must be competent in the following:-

  • Monitor and maintain health, safety and security in the workplace
  • Responding to emergencies
  • Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and others
  • Communicating effectively
  • Dealing with disagreements/conflict
  • Keeping management informed
  • Understanding their roles and responsibilities
  • Switching and brushing
  • A range of mowing
  • Scarifying/grooming/verti-cutting turf
  • Aerating turf
  • Applying fertiliser/turf conditioner
  • Applying top dressing
  • Repairing divots
  • Irrigating turf
  • Identifying and controlling weeds, pests, turf diseases and disorders
  • Preparing ground to establish turf
  • Establishing turf
  • Identifying grasses on the golf course
  • Marking of hazards, out of bounds and ground under repair
  • Moving tee markers
  • Maintaining bunkers
  • Maintaining golf course furniture
  • Changing holes
  • Rolling turf
  • Driving a tractor with implements
  • Undertaking routine machine maintenance
  • Preparing machinery for use
  • Preparing machinery for storage
  • Measuring green speed and interpreting the results
  • The rules of golf relating to golf course maintenance
  • Preparing ground to establish plants on the golf course
  • Establishing plants on the golf course
  • Maintaining trees and shrubs on the golf course
  • Identifying plants on the golf course

A formidable list of skills and knowledge required. It often takes between three to five years to acquire the basic levels of knowledge and expertise along with undertaking various college tutoring to gain the relevant qualifications required to become a qualified greenkeeper.

Also, along the journey the candidate will be expected to attend government recommended courses that relate to the safe use of machinery and chemicals that are used in the workplace.

We never stop learning. Every task and job we undertake in this sector enables us to face new challenges and gain new skills and experiences.



For many years we have seen a plethora of industry courses introduced that are now required under government legislation - particularly those related to the use of machinery and certain chemicals used in the control of weeds, pests and diseases.

Lantra are one of our country’s leading awarding bodies for land-based industries in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Over many years they have developed a vast range of quality training and recognised qualifications that are delivered through a national network of training provider partners.

They have developed training and qualifications in a wide range of areas, from forestry and horticulture, to agriculture and landscape and much more besides for the last 40 years. They now have over 400 land-based courses on offer.

Their courses are developed by industry experts who know the sector inside out. They include a mix of training only and assessed training options and are packed with practical skills and technical content to help you develop and succeed in your career.

L-R David Fisher, Ian Pryce, Alison Spibey, John Spibey, Mandy Maynard

I recently met up with Lantra’s head of industry partnerships, David Fisher and national account manager, Mandy Maynard at Harper Adams University where they were launching one of the first new battery powered certificated training courses for anyone who is expected to use battery powered equipment.

As technology moves on, an increasing number of handheld machines such as chainsaws, leaf blowers and powered pole pruners are battery powered. This add-on course is designed to give you the training required in safe use of battery powered equipment.

Lantra have partnered up on this with battery tool manufacturer, EGO. Established in 1993, today the company are one of the world’s biggest tool manufacturers, producing over 10 million units each year, selling in 65 countries worldwide.

L-R Ian Pryce, Harper Adams and Mandy Maynard, Lantra

EGO is providing a range of battery powered equipment for the new courses. With Harper Adams University getting some equipment for use on these. On hand to receive this equipment was short courses manager Ian Pryce and John Spibey of TWR Training, one of the nominated trainers who will be delivering these new courses.

The course is a mixture of theory and practical demonstration.

The course is designed to be offered as an addition to other Lantra courses that cover the maintenance and use of hand-held equipment such as: chainsaws, powered pole pruners, hedge trimmers, brushcutters, strimmers and leaf blowers.

Alison Spibey, TWR Training

Lantra say that Anyone who works with chainsaws and landscape tools could attend the course. By the end attendees will have worked through:

  • Health and safety information
  • How to install a battery
  • How to remove a battery
  • Transport and storage
  • Safe disposal or the battery, battery charger and machine
  • Maintenance of battery equipment.

For any further information on these courses you can contact Lantra direct or through Ian Pryce at Harper Adams University.

David Fisher, Lantra, Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, CV8 2LG, david.fisher@lantra.co.uk

Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB Tel: +44 (0) 1952 820280 Fax: +44 (0) 1952 814783

And finally, I would just like to remind you there is still time to benefit from the fantastic opportunity to win a trip to Louisville!

There’s the chance for you and a guest to attend GIE+EXPO in the USA this October.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is giving one lucky reader plus their guest, the chance to visit GIE+EXPO, the international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment show in Louisville, USA, in October 2020.

The winner of this amazing free to enter competition, who must currently work as a turf professional, will win two tickets to the show as well as travel to the US, transfers and accommodation.


So what are you waiting for?! Get entering and it could be you!

LikeLike (0)
In this issue
Garden trader