Rick Sinker is enjoying his new role as course manager at Sandiway Golf Club since he was appointed to the role last September after enjoying a varied and rich experience in green keeping prior to his appointment.
The Cheshire ladies competition for the Doris Chambers Salver in April saw the players full of praise for the quality of the course that Rick and his team have been working hard on during two lockdowns.
Rick grew up on a dairy farm and had early connections with Lymm Golf Club where both of his parents have been Captain and Lady Captain and he was Junior Captain.
He volunteered his services at Lymm for a month after completing his A levels, which quickly became two and soon became a year giving him an appreciation and passion for this surprising new career path.
He enjoyed a full time HNC in Golf Course Management at Elmwood College, just outside St Andrews in Scotland working on stunning courses such as St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Elie.
His first job was at Delamere Forest where he had great help from Andy Ralphs who gave him the best possible start and has since been a mentor to his development.
His next move was to William Wroe GC in Manchester as Head Greenkeeper which gave him great experience of management skills.
Two years later he moved as head green keeper to Ashton-in-Makerfield GC giving him more valuable and varied experience before moving back to familiar territory as course manager at Lymm.
Rick said: “This was more a labour of love rather than a job and I raised my presentational standards and developed an open and informative communication trail between my team and the membership.
“When Sandiway advertised for a new course manager I just had to apply as it was the opportunity I had been waiting for and working towards.
“It has always been an ambition of mine to manage a top quality heathland course and I felt incredibly lucky to have joined the team at Sandiway striving to continue maintaining and improving this distinguished golf course.
“The staff and members have been exceptionally welcoming and supportive and the club is very progressive and constantly evolving to meet the needs of the modern golfer and the modern game.
“We aim to maintain the course to the highest possible standard, provide longevity and a stable future whilst causing the absolute minimum disruption to our golfers.
“The next few years will see us return to traditional greenkeeping methods and materials whilst also revisiting the early course designs when it was laid out in 1920 and designed by Open Championship winner Ted Ray and subsequent alterations by Harry Colt.
“We have exciting plans for the course over the next five years including bunkers, heathland characteristics and tree management and providing all year-round firm quality playing surfaces making it a special and unique experience for members and visitors
“Sandiway is very highly regarded already within the local area and beyond and we as a team aim to raise that profile further.”
Photo & copy courtesy Geoff Garnett