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Swinging into Winter

Sports correspondent Emma Stone interviews Harry Turner, the Head Greenkeeper at Tydd St Giles golf course and finds out what it’s like to be one of the youngest head greenkeepers. Emma Stone also finds out the latest on whether the change in weather can have an effect on the way you play golf.

Harry Turner became a Head Greenkeeper at only 19 years old, one of the youngest Greenkeepers to have been promoted. I had the opportunity to interview Harry and find out what it was like to have become a young Head Greenkeeper and he said “many people had their doubts about me becoming a Head Greenkeeper but I also had a lot of supportive members behind me who would always have my back, it also feels like a massive achievement being one of the youngest people to have the chance to take on this role”.

Harry has always had a passion for golf and so at the age of 16 he knew he wanted to start his career into becoming a Greenkeeper, after many years of training Harry was promoted to Deputy and just a few weeks later he became the Head Greenkeeper at Tydd St Giles. After Speaking with Harry, he spoke to me about how he keeps his team motivated throughout the drastic weather changes and he said “To make sure the team stays on track and motivated we always try and have a laugh doing every job if it’s group work. I try to switch up the jobs so people are doing something different daily and weekly. If my staff put in extra hours or just go above and beyond at work I try to always give them something back in return for their efforts”.

Despite the drastic changes in the weather, work must still get done, however, it can prove challenging at times. With the uncertainty of the weather it can be hard to plan ahead, especially when trying to maintain the greens. Harry has also found that the cold weather can have a huge effect on the greens, he said “The grass doesn't grow as much. Everywhere is more susceptible to disease. You don’t get no recovery from golfers' damage and it is a lot harder to do a day to day task”. However, Harry has found that the best way to manage this is by encouraging golfers to walk around roped off areas for the winter, try and avoid using golf buggies if they are not needed and by trying to think of a second plan if the weather is not in your favour.

How can the weather affect your golf swing?

As the weather is getting more chilling, have you noticed that you have had to change the way you swing or the way you play has had to change, well that may be because of the change in the weather. Harry Turner, an individual with a big passion for golf and a handicap of +2 has noticed the same effect, after speaking with him Harry said “The cold weather impacts the way I play golf as you have to play different shots compared to the summer when the ground is a lot harder. Also the ball does not travel as far in the cold weather.”

‘Cold air is denser than warm air’ and this then adds additional drag to the ball, therefore if you have recently noticed that the shots you have hit haven’t travelled as far it is because of the colder air!

Tips on how to improve your golf swing:

Working on strength and flexibility can improve your swing, with the cold weather here you will need to work on changing your golf swing and becoming flexible to change. Going to an indoor driving range where it is warm to practice is also recommended and this will help you to practise and stay warm at the same time! Finally a great tip from Harry Turner, who has played golf during many winters is to “make sure you wrap up warm, you can’t play golf if you are cold, it ruins the experience and although your swing will stay the same, focus on how hard you are hitting the ball, as as i before, the ball isn’t going to travel as far with it being cold, so ensure you’re hitting the ball a little further then you might usually do compared to in the summer.”

This was written to be assessed as part of Emma's Journalism course. This was in Semester 1 of Level 5 and was for the Photojournalism module.

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