Divot divas: Meet the European beauties performing the most vital task at this year's Open

Press Releasein Golf

When it comes to keeping things neat and tidy, a woman's touch is often best.

And it would appear the same rule applies to top-class golf courses.

Those teeing off on the iconic Old Course at St Andrews this year have a troupe of glamorous Eastern European women to thank for its meticulously groomed fairways and greens.
Divot Divas

After struggling to find local workers happy to brave the chilly 5.30am starts, managers turned to an employment agency for help - and they have been delighted with the results.

The 'divot divas', as the women are affectionately known, are busily preparing the course for this summer's Open Championship and the arrival of top golfers such as Tiger Woods.

And they have settled into life in the sedate Scottish coastal town so well that one has married a local - while four of the others are living with members of the greenkeeping staff.

Six days a week, the ladies turn out to maintain the course's clipped and polished landscape in the face of over-zealous golfers and the unforgiving North Sea winds.

From March to October, they earn £5.80 an hour by filling the divots with sand. For the rest of the year they dig out up to 40,000 divots and replace them with fresh turf.

The St Andrews Links Trust, which is in charge of maintaining the course, brought them in after finding it almost impossible to recruit reliable staff in Fife.

Gordon Moir, the Trust's director of greenkeeping, said: 'It wasn't what I was expecting but it couldn't have worked out better. The girls are such brilliant workers. Their timekeeping is exemplary and there is no such thing as sickness.'

The girls, aged between 23 and 30, all come from Latvia and Estonia.

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