Aaron leads Fynn Valley dream team

HAVE Fynn Valley Golf Club, just outside Ipswich, got the meanest set of golf-playing greenkeepers in the region?

HAVE Fynn Valley Golf Club, just outside Ipswich, got the meanest set of golf-playing greenkeepers in the region?

I say this having spent some time this week with Fynn’s assistant head greenkeeper, Aaron Bowen.

Aaron, 22, is not only a fine greenkeeper, but also a fine golfer – he plays off two.

Put him together with fellow greenkeeper, Toby Ayles, who plays off three, and you have quite a ‘greenkeeping’ team.

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No longer will I wonder how much greenkeepers know about actually playing golf. Many know more than me, or the average club golfer, if the truth is known.

Take Aaron for example.

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Having left sixth-form at Copleston School, in Ipswich, he joined Fynn Valley six years ago as a 16-year-old – and he’s never looked back.

Now NVQ Level 2 qualified in Sport Turf Management, he can not only play, but he knows his stuff too.

“People think all greenkeepers know about is grass, grass and more grass,” he smiles.

“That’s ridiculous. My course to get to Level 2, was 18 months long and included criteria such as power machinery, chemicals, as well as drainage, tee work and lots of modules.

“There were about 12-15 modules in total. I hope to do my Level 3 this year.”

Aaron was given an opportunity by Fynn Valley owner, Tony Tyrrell, who took him from part-time summer job on the golf range, to full-time greenkeeper.

It’s an opportunity Aaron took with both hands and one he enjoys.

“There’s nothing better than looking at a finished green, nicely striped, knowing you made it look that good.

“I love the job. Playing off single figures helps because I know the game, so I know what I want to see around the course.

“When there are Hambro trials at Fynn Valley, I’ll set the pins to my favourite positions,” he laughs . . . before adding, “only kidding”.

Aaron and the Fynn Valley greenkeeping staff start at 7am, getting the dew off the greens if necessary.

Bunkers are treated thoroughly three times a week in summer and they work a few hours at the weekends too.

But I have one question for Aaron. Why is it when I see a greenkeeper sitting in his tractor 10 yards off the green I’m about to play to, my approach with my nine-iron invariably almost hits him?

“You mean we act like magnets?” Aaron smiles.

“If I had a quid every time someone told me that...”

n DOES your golf club have top greenkeeping golfers?

Let me know, mike.bacon@archant.co.uk.

Or write to me: Mike Bacon, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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