IF you turn back the clock to the early-1940s, you’ll discover the role of a greenkeeper was significantly different to the role a superintendent enjoys today.

Well, at least it was at Wagga Wagga Country Club (WWGC) in New South Wales. A dive into the club’s 75th anniversary book (2005) reveals the job back then entailed not only greenkeeping, but caretaking and housekeeping.

The caretaker and housekeeper were usually a husband and wife who resided in a cottage on the golf course, according to the club’s history. 

Their duties included mowing fairways and greens, change cups on greens periodically; top dress greens at direction of committee; rake bunkers; dig over bunkers at direction of committee; cut grass around edges of greens and bunkers by means of scythe; mow tees and change position of discs (the latter weekly); water greens and tees; tend pumping plant and pump water when required.

Tired yet?

Then, carry out construction work, such as building of tees at the direction of the committee; carry out repairs to bridges at the direction of the committee; tend horses; maintain plant in working order – e.g. oil machines, etc; report any breakdown of plant immediately to the president, captain or secretary; collect green and visitors’ fees and issue each player with a ticket; keep clubhouse clean and tidy, particularly water closets, etc; prepare fires on competition days in associates’ lounge and members’ rooms; cater for afternoon teas on competition days and lunches on Sundays and special days; care for linen belonging to the club and keep in order surrounds of clubhouse and maintain flower gardens at direction of committee.

Apparently, the multiple roles accounted for the high turnover of staff for these positions. 

About David Newbery

Chief writer David Newbery has been living, breathing and writing and editing golf for more than 30 years. His extensive knowledge of the game comes from covering golf around the world. Hired by Inside Golf in 2009, David previously worked as the editor of The Golfer for 25 years and before that worked for numerous daily newspapers in Australia and overseas. The Brisbane-based journalist describes his golf game as “a work in progress”, but has had the privilege of playing golf with some of the game’s best players including nine-time major winner Gary Player. David enjoys travelling, reading, music, photography and spending time with family and friends – on and off the golf course.


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