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5 Minutes With...

Friday 02, Oct 2020

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association has created a segment to help the turf industry stay connected.  With many events postponed due to current challenges, the opportunity to meet new and catch up with familiar friends and peers across the turf industry is limited, so we’re keeping connected and to ensure that turf managers can get to know members from other areas of the industry, other States and other countries, to help promote the professionals and the hard work put into the industry.

Today we spend 5 minutes with... Tony McFadyean (CSTM), Superintendent at Nedlands Golf Club, WA. 


Provide a quick overview of your facility (staff, turf varieties managed, current role and length of time at your club/facility.

At Nedlands Golf Club we are a 9 hole facility and have 3 staff, we also have between 5-8 volunteers who are a huge help on Thursday’s and other days if needed.  I have been the superintendent for 3 years and we have Pencross/Poa greens, Common Couch/Wintergreen fairways, Wintergreen tees and Couch/Rye/Fescue rough.


2020 has been one out of the box especially in light of the global pandemic – how have your operations had to change and adapt from past years and what has been the most challenging aspect for your as a superintendent/sports turf manager?

Early on during the lockdown it was difficult juggling golfers, NGC never closed the golf course and it seemed members escape from home was to get outside, exercise, get some fresh air and play golf.  Early on the club only allowed one person per group, after one month the club decided to allow two golfers per group, this seemed ok at the time until we found that the groups of two people were full from first light till almost darkness.  All staff members were reduced to 80% pay and hours, this remained in place for the month.  Thanks to job keeper we returned to work full time after that month and we haven’t looked back since.  Toughest thing during the lockdown was hygiene, it was tough to continually wipe down machines and continually sanitise and also allocating staff to certain machinery.


Best piece of advice you have received about the turf management profession and who gave it to you?

I have been given a few pieces of advice throughout my journey, but the one that comes to mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  We have a wonderful industry and most people are there to help.


Talk about a recent or current project you have undertaken at your facility and what it means for the club.

We are currently going through building approval for a new maintenance shed.  The previous shed is around 60 years old and is in real need of a revamp.  With the current shed we struggle to move around once all machinery is inside.  Building the new shed will allow us to be more compliant with OHS and we will be able to get to certain things without smashing our legs on parts of machinery.


Tell us one thing about yourself that your fellow turf practitioners might now know about you (eg: hobbies/achievements in sport etc).

I am a former golf professional on the Australasian Tour.  In my younger days I lived for golf, going on to play for over 30 years.  (Still get out for the odd game but not what I use too) I started playing the game when I was 7 years old and went on to play numerous top amateur events around Australia before turning professional in 2004 where I spent the next 3 years playing around Australia and New Zealand.  I played 3 Australian Open’s, PGA’s and Masters, Jacobs Creek, Johnnie Walker Classic’s, NZ Open’s and NZ PGA’s.  My career highlight was winning the 2005 South Australian PGA at The Grange Golf Club. (West Course).


What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Work hard, ask questions and always keep busy.  Never be afraid to ask anyone for advice whether it’s at work or away from work.  We have an amazing industry and all go about our jobs differently.


What do you like doing in your spare time?

I love spending time and going on holidays with my family.  I am still currently a member at Joondalup Resort and enjoy getting out for a game with the boys every now and again.


Thanks Tony, for taking 5 Minutes with us!