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Meet the team – Bruce Thomson

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Five minutes with Bruce, one of our Greenkeeping team

Where did you start your career?

“Laindon Hills was my first course followed by Wycombe Heights. I joined The Club Company & our course manager back in 1994, at Stapleford Abbotts GC. We both worked at Three Rivers GC while the sale of Stapleford & the buying of The Essex went through in 2001.”

What time do you usually start work?

“Generally 6am but can be on the road at 3am if I am travelling to another course.”

Can you describe your morning routine?

“I generally have a rough idea which machines need attention. If not, Martin or the rest of the team will inform me either by word of mouth or on the whiteboard.”

What does your general job entail?

“From general routine servicing, cutting blade sharpening, welding and it can also be larger projects such as splitting tractors for clutch replacements or installing new engines.”

Do you travel to other clubs?

“Yes, I am mainly based at the Essex but I also look after Benton Hall & Meyrick Park. On occasions I can be called to other sites, the only ones I have not visited yet are The Tytherington & Woodbury Park.”

Are you just the mechanic?

“No, I do help out on the course when required but more so when it comes to drainage & reconstruction projects i.e. building tees, ponds, bunkers (latest one at the 4th green), pathways & drainage. I have also carried a number of project at Benton, Nizels, Meyrick, Chartham & Castle Royle.”

What are your largest projects to date?

“Driving a D8 bull dozer while constructing lakes at Laindon Hills & mechanically, rebuilding a fairway mower from scratch.”

What improvements have you seen in Golf Course Machinery?

“The two that come to mind are:- 1) The Spin top dresser, which has speed up topdressing and made it easier to apply light rates more regular. 2) Aeration equipment, the new, walk-behind aeration equipment is much faster and more efficient. Plus Fairway aeration equipment has also come a long way since the rolling-tine units with 6-inch spacings.”

What aspects of your job gives you the greatest satisfaction?

“Seeing all machinery running smoothly, as I know how important it is for the team to carry out their work.”

What part of it gives you the least satisfaction?

“When I cannot solve a problem quickly.”

What is the most interesting wildlife you have seen?

“We are lucky that every day we are surrounded by all types of animals, rabbits, hares, squirrels, different types of birds & muntjac. But of late we have seen Egyptian geese & a buzzard.”

How do you spend your leisure time?

“Fishing, both fresh & salt (recently I’ve fished for Essex), cars & motor racing. Have been known to have a trip or two to the London Stadium, now the home of the claret & blues.”

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