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... Cameron Hall (CSTM), Superintendent, Kew Golf Club.
Cameron Hall has been with Kew Golf Club for the last five years. Kew Golf Club is located just 15 minutes from Melbourne along the Yarra River.
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?
Operation wise 2020 has been so different as for the majority of the year we have worked in split teams across different working hours in efforts to limit contact with each other and ensure that if someone did contract Covid-19 part of our operations could continue on a skeleton staff. With the situation changing so quickly at times and so lots of apprehension amongst staff about job security etc has been a big challenge over the last 8-9 months. Luckily the club has been fantastic and has been able to keep our whole crew going all year.
Best piece of advice you have received about the turf management profession and who gave it to you?
If on the day you finish your employment at your club and you can honestly say I have left it in a better place than when I arrived you have done a good job . My course manager from one of my clubs I worked at in the UK in the early 2000’s.
Talk about a recent or current project you have undertaken at your facility and what it means for the club.
I have been employed at Kew for the past five years and at times it feels like we have been completing projects the whole time with the amount of work we have carried out. We are fortunate to work for a club that is financially viable that has enabled funds to be put back into the golf course. Over the last five years we have rebuilt 13 greens, renovated and laid 16 green surrounds with fine fescue, rebuilt 8 tees, installed Capillary Concrete into 29 bunkers, installed a brand new irrigation system and commenced a pretty ambitious vegetation management plan with focus on out of play areas.
All these works were focused on the clubs vision of providing a premium golfing experience and to be the club of choice for golfers away from Melbourne’s Sandbelt.
Tell us one thing about yourself that your fellow turf practitioners might now know about you (eg: hobbies/achievements in sport etc).
Before getting married and having kids I spent my early to mid-20’s following the Australian Test team around the world. Met some amazing people who are lifelong friends, went to some amazing places and saw some amazing games: was lucky to be in Johannesburg in 2006 for the 438 one-day chase and to be in India in 2004 when Australia conquered the final frontier.
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Make sure you experience a wide range of clubs and facilities as everywhere is different and you will learn at them all. I am forever grateful I started my working life on a small nine hole course in Melbourne’s West (Westgate) where funds were virtually non-existent and it really taught you to think outside the square to get the job done and threw you in the deep end pretty quick as it was only two of you on the staff.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Spending time with my wife (Cat) and two kids Ceilidh, 8 and Kynan 6, travelling and my wife and I like to follow the property market: developments and builds are our current interest with us just commencing a project in Melbourne’s South.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to speak with us Cameron!