Old Course appoints new ‘keeper of the green’

Growing Golf
Jon Wood named 'keeper of the green' at the Old Course, St Andrews

The Old Course at St Andrews has welcomed only its 10th ‘keeper of the green’ since 1864 as Jon Wood takes over course management duties from Gordon McKie.

Wood takes charge of the iconic Scottish links having served as Deputy Course Manager at the Old Course from 2006-2011, and as Course Manager for the Castle Course at St Andrews Links Trust since 2015.

“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,” said Wood.

Wood, from Mansfield, England, has previously worked at Trevose, Portmarnock, Doonbeg and Pinehurst and will also oversee the New and Jubilee courses at St Andrews.

The appointment is part of a wider restructure in greenkeeping operations at the Home of Golf.

Graeme Taylor has moved from Course Manager of the New and Jubilee courses to oversee the Castle Course while Kevin Muir will continue to lead the team at the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses.

A greenkeeper at work at The Old Course, St Andrews

McKie has served as Course Manager at the Old Course for the past 16 years and moves into the newly created role of Greenkeeping Operations Manager at the St Andrews Links Trust.

He will be responsible for attracting and developing the next generation of greenkeeping talent to the Home of Golf as well as advising the Trust on research and development projects, technology and turf industry innovation.

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.”

The turf team at St Andrews Links Trust comprises 80 members of staff across seven golf courses and workshops, including a team of rangers working along the West Sands beach corridor.