A Myerscough College sportsturf tutor has completed another stint working at one of golf’s most prestigious events, The Masters.
Work-based tutor, Wendy O’Brien was in Augusta for the event last week. It was Wendy’s 15th Master’s tournament, where she was part of the volunteer Greenkeeping team.
Wendy works for Myerscough College delivering sportsturf training to a wide range of employers across the country. She got involved in the event after spending a year on a placement in the States and says:“I have been lucky to work with some great people and in some great locations. My year working at Augusta National Golf Club was an amazing opportunity and l learnt a huge amount. l return each year as a volunteer for the Masters which l absolutely love to do.
‘’I’ve done this every year since 2002. I cut greens during the tournament and even though the days are really long and can be hard work, walking many miles a day, working as the sun comes up over the golf course it’s a very special feeling.
‘’It is a highlight of my year as many of us that work the event return each year so we all know each other well and it’s great to catch up with my friends from all over the world.’’
Wendy will forever be in the history books in Augusta for inventing a special way of cutting the greens, called the ‘freaky mow’. This is a technique which involves cutting the green several times at different angles, to create a smooth and consistent surface. The ‘freaky mow’ is now commonly used by staff at the course.
Wendy studied for a National Diploma in Rural Management, and worked as a landscape gardener, before enrolling on a sportsturf course, gaining experience in America as part of the Ohio State University programme, which Myerscough College are a major partner in. She’s also worked on golf courses in both the UK and Spain.
Wendy says she hopes to inspire both the younger generation, and more females, into what is traditionally a male dominated industry: ‘’I think this can be a difficult industry not only for women but young persons too, you have to be prepared to work hard, in all weathers and really show commitment to your job. I think naturally this will always be more of a male dominated industry but there will always be the exceptions to the rule!''
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by Dave Salmon