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... Bruce MacPhee, Senior Agronomist at AGCSATech, a division of the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association.
Provide a quick overview of your facility (staff, turf varieties managed, current role and length of time at your club/facility.)
Senior Agronomist AGCSATech, Whilst I no longer look after a turf facility, some of my previous roles have included Course Superintendent, TAFE Teacher, Project Manager for a range of large and small construction projects and Race Track Manager. My role with AGCSATech is varied and wide ranging, assisting turf managers across all turf surfaces. Days can vary from sports field consulting to disease diagnosis, writing customised construction specifications, interpreting nutrient test results and maintaining several turf trials we are currently undertaking for industry.
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?
It has been a big change for AGCSATech as we generally do a lot of interstate travel as agronomists for the AFL and consulting to various turf facilities throughout Australia and Asia. We have been fortunate to gain assistance from several key people throughout the country in completing assessments for the AFL. The past six months have been very difficult for our industry, with many facilities closed for periods of time, reduced staffing and hours, running shifts, whilst still maintaining turf surfaces. I have been really proud to see how our industry has risen to the challenge in presenting sports surfaces across the country to keep the major football codes going, with little notice or ability to prepare ahead for periods of intense heavy use.
Best piece of advice you have received about the turf management profession and who gave it to you?
I have received advice from many people over the years. Having worked with David Nickson for nearly 10 years. The best advice I received was educate yourself, do the research, make your own decisions.
What is one aspect of your job you enjoy?
I think I get the most satisfaction out of helping people, whether its assisting with creating a management programs for various surfaces or solving problems and coming up with workable solutions that fit within the facilities budget and available resources.
Tell us one thing about yourself that your fellow turf practitioners might now know about you (eg: hobbies/achievements in sport etc).
Love everything about the ocean, although I have replaced a surfboard with a boat, I still don’t get much time on the water, as I would like.
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Keep an open mind, learn as much as you can, step outside you comfort zone. The industry provides some great opportunities to travel. Experience all sectors of the industry, you never know where opportunities may lead to. Education and communication are the keys to success.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
With two teenage boys into mountain biking, a fair bit of travelling around the state. When not working on a never ending renovation, trying to get out on the water.
Thanks Bruce! CLICK HERE to learn more about the services provided by AGCSATech.