Monday 11 September 2023
NEW ‘KEEPER OF THE GREEN’ AT THE OLD COURSE
ST ANDREWS LINKS TRUST INITIATES GREENKEEPING RESTRUCTURE
The Old Course at St Andrews will welcome its 10th ‘keeper of the green’ since 1864 next month when Jon Wood takes over as Course Manager at the Home of Golf from long-time incumbent Gordon McKie.
Carrying on the historic lineage from Old Tom Morris, who is credited with much of the design of the Old Course during his tenure from 1864-1904, Wood will take on responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance of the Old Course for the benefit of the local residents of St Andrews and the tens of thousands of golfers who travel to play every year.
As well as managing the Old Course, Wood will also oversee both the New and Jubilee courses for St Andrews Links Trust, both of which opened during Old Tom’s time at the Home of Golf.
Wood previously served as Deputy Course Manager at the Old Course from 2006-2011 before becoming Course Manager at the Castle Course for St Andrews Links Trust in 2015. He also has previous experience at Trevose, Portmarnock, Doonbeg and Pinehurst.
He said: “I’m incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to carry on the great work of Gordon and everyone who has gone before him here at the Home of Golf. The Old Course in particular holds a special place in the hearts of golfers around the world and to have the responsibility of maintaining something which means so much to so many people is a privilege.”
McKie has been Course Manager at the Old Course for the past 16 years, during which time he has welcomed multiple championships, including three Open Championships in 2010, 2015 and The 150th Open in 2022, two Women’s Open’s in 2007 and 2013 and the Senior Open Championship in 2018.
He will remain with St Andrews Links Trust, taking on a new role of Greenkeeping Operations Manager, utilising his expertise and international network to attract and develop the next generation of greenkeeping talent to the Home of Golf as well as ensuring the Trust remains at the forefront of R&D projects, technology and developments in the industry.
He said: “It has been the honour of a lifetime to oversee the Old Course for 16 years and I know how fortunate I’ve been to have been given such a responsibility. It is a role which has surpassed all my expectations and to have worked on so many major championships with such a great team has been an incredible experience. I am excited to be able to begin a new chapter focussing on another passion of mine, which is nurturing and developing talent. St Andrews Links Trust has always been a great learning environment and I believe we can continue to attract and develop the very best in the industry.”
The restructure within the Greenkeeping team at St Andrews Links Trust will see Graeme Taylor move from Course Manager of the New and Jubilee courses to the Castle Course while Kevin Muir will continue to lead the team at the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses.
Sandy Reid, Director of Greenkeeping at St Andrews Links Trust, said: “I am excited to announce the details of this restructure within the Greenkeeping department here at St Andrew Links Trust, which will allow us to continue to build on the world-class work of our teams on the ground and create an unrivalled environment for talent development, retention and recruitment at the Home of Golf.
Jon Wood, will become the Course Manager for the Old, New and Jubilee courses at St Andrews Links next month
“My congratulations go to Jon, who I know is very much looking forward to the challenge and pressure which comes with such a high-profile position as well as Graeme who takes on a new challenge at the Castle Course, which continues to grow in international recognition and esteem.
“It’s also appropriate to pay tribute to Gordon, who has done a terrific job overseeing the Old Course for the past 16 years. I’m delighted to retain his expertise within the Trust and I can’t think of anyone better placed to inspire young greenkeepers with his knowledge and passion and continue to drive standards and developments across our seven golf courses.”
From 1 October 2023 the Greenkeeping team will begin to transition to the new structure with full implementation by 30 October following both the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship from 5-8 October and the new St Andrews Links Collegiate from 23-25 October.
The Greenkeeping department at St Andrews Links Trust comprises 80 members of staff across seven golf courses and workshops, including the West Sands Rangers team.
C/O St Andrews Trust