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How to get into greenkeeping?

  • 14-02-2022 5:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 26

    I am curious about getting into greenkeeping. I have no prior experience in this area or a related field.

    Is it a reasonable line of work as a long term career option?

    Is there a single formal route into it or is it just a matter of meeting the right person around one of the local courses who could get me in somewhere? I understand that I would begin either as an apprentice at most or else maybe as a volunteer when starting off– would this be correct?

    Basically, what is the best way to approach this to get one foot in the door? Any tips?

    Thanks in advance.

Best Answers

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭big_drive

  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭Salvation Tambourine

    He did a course in the Botanical Gardens and really didn't like it. He moved into personal training but after a couple of years got a job as a lackey on a small course (no further explanation but presumably it's odd jobs and whatnot). This was €10 an hour. He did an online management course which then got him the job in Portmarnock. He said there's loads of apprentice jobs going including in Portmarnock (I don't know where you are based so that could be useless).

    Starting salary is roughly €25,000 a year, so it's not big money to start which but that can change with experience. He did warn that pay in general isn't great.

    Hope that helps.

  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭Salvation Tambourine

    "It's a long story but basically I had to do level 5 fetac in amenity Horticulture in order to go on to the level 6 greenkeeping course and after the recession hit they scrapped the greenkeeping course so I was left with the option to do amenity Horticulture level 6 or do something else and that's when I did personal training.

    Management course is essential to progress nowadays and there are specific golf course management courses that can be done"

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,540 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    In case you're still looking into this. Castlewarden Golf Club are looking to take on new groundskeeping staff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,540 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    Resurrecting an old thread here.

    Castlewarden Golf Club are looking for 1 full time and 2 seasonal members of green keeping staff, in case there are still people on here interested.


  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭Salvation Tambourine

    I have a friend who only took it up in the last 5/6 years and he's now work at Portmarnock Links. I'll see if he has any advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    Much appreciated.

    I would be interested to hear how they managed to get up and running, as well as hearing about any little tips they may have.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    All useful thanks & I'm actually close to Portmarnock. I'm well aware that the money isn't great so the numbers are no surprise.

    I would just have two questions based on what your friend said– if it wouldn't be any hassle getting on to him again of course. One would be if he at least thought the course in the Botanical Gardens was useful (not liking it is obviously a different issue). The link that the other poster added is for a course in sportsturf science that I presume is the one that he did because the sportsturf course mentioned is based in the Botanical Gardens as well. And two would be if he thinks a management course is necessary to make a career out of it?

    No problem if you can't get on to him again. I have enough of a lead to begin with as is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭DuckSlice

    Would be interested to know what kind of salary he is on now? Its something i have thought about but i dont know would the Salary compare to the industry im in now. But im pretty sure i would enjoy it a hell of a lot more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 308 ✭✭gripcasey

    Balbriggan Golf Club have a vacancy for Trainee Greenkeeper on their Facebook page at the moment. Might be of interest to you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    Simular situation to me. I know that in one way it would be a downgrade but I’m thinking that it might well make up the difference in terms of fulfillment and enjoyment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    Checking facebook is a good shout. I haven’t gone near that site in years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 931 ✭✭✭Salvation Tambourine

    I've asked him those two questions but I'm not too comfortable asking him his salary, I hope you understand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    It’s a bit too far out of the way for me but thanks nonetheless

  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ImAHappyCamper

    I've been working as a greenkeeper for the last 17 years at all levels, apprenticeship with FÁS up to managing a course on the European Tour. Is it a good career? Honestly no. Definitely not in Ireland or the UK anyway. There is absolutely no respect for the industry in these regions in terms of working environment or wages. I went abroad in 2009 (Sweden, Austria, Germany, France and currently Switzerland) and it was the best thing I did. The wages are better, the machinery is more modern and your work environment is nicer not to mention better weather.

    I'm trying to leave greenkeeping and I'm back in college as a mature student studying environmental science. I met a Limerick woman years ago and my future is there and greenkeeping in Ireland is just not a viable option if you want to have some kind of a decent lifestyle.

    In short, if you don't mind staying in Ireland and being poor, go for it. If you want to make a success of it,go to Belgium, Holland, Germany or Scandinavia. I have contacts if you're interested.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    Any idea why it is so bad here despite Ireland being such a big golfing country? The weather is one thing but work conditions and how employees are treated is another.

    I more or less decided not to go for greenkeeping a short while ago and am working now elsewhere.

    Regardless, thanks for the Input. It may be helpful to a few others who consider it at least.

  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭ImAHappyCamper

    In a vast majority of golf club members and managements minds, greenkeepers just "cut the grass" and its a job that involves very little skill. I know lads at big name courses in Ireland, with almost 20 years experience and getting only €13 per hour.

    I'll have to contradict myself in my earlier post. There is good money if you're in charge of Adare Manor, k club, ballybunion etc (€70k+ per annum plus car maybe) but f**k me you would not want the pressure that goes with it. I could write for hours about the crap I had to deal with!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,544 ✭✭✭blue note

    That's so disappointing to hear about the conditions for greenkeepers. I think it sounds like an attractive job until you hear about pay and conditions. But the thought of working outdoors, bringing a course to a particular level and keeping it there sounds fulfilling. That alongside changing seasons and climates and changes to the course - I just don't think it's a job that would get boring. And surely it must be satisfying in summertime when it's at it's best basking in the smugness that your hardwork over the last few months is so visible.

    I think there was a thread here from a greenkeeper before and it was one of the most interesting I've seen on the forum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Mr shmar

    Exactly what I thought before asking here - not to mention that you would be able to skim a tiny amount of the good fert and other conditioning products for the garden at home!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭big_drive

    Seem to be a lot of green keeping jobs advertised at moment, seen a few mentioned online. Wonder if lads are starting to leave it for various reasons, weather can't have made it an appealing job for past few months.