A Myerscough College greenkeeping apprentice is preparing the fairways at one of golf’s most prestigious events, the Ryder Cup.
James Cleaver is currently studying a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Work-based Horticulture, while working as a Senior Head Greenkeeper at The Belfry. James is part of the volunteer greenkeeping team for the Ryder Cup, which is being held over the next few days at Le Golf National, Paris.
Whether it’s making sure there isn’t a grain of sand out of place in a bunker or rolling greens in the early hours of the morning, greenkeepers are a key part of any Ryder Cup week, meaning James has a key role to play in the success of the tournament. Battling the elements, arriving at the course in darkness and periods of chaos between rounds all come as part of the job.
33-year-old James said: ‘’I’m working at one of the best golf courses in the world right now.
‘’It’s a great experience to come and work on such a great golf course, with some really good greenkeepers, and to get to know the other guys from around the world doing the same career as you.
‘’It’s good to learn the different things that they do differently to what I do back home. It’s absolutely brilliant and I would recommend it to any student greenkeeper to try and get on!’’
James has worked at the iconic Belfry for the last couple of years while studying with Myerscough and now looks after the Brabazon Course. He is due to complete his Level 3 Apprenticeship next year.
The main photograph shows James working at the Ryder Cup with Rory McIlroy.
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by Dave Salmon