Getting Personal with Richie Stephens

Editorin People

Richie Stephens - on an evening with the Beatles and so many heroes

Who are you? Richie Stephens, Course Manager at Ringway Golf Club.

Family status. Married to Jo and have Eliza, 7, and Francis, 2.

Who's your hero and why? Loads of heroes; mainly in turf. Mike Cove, ex Head Groundsman at Liverpool College (for getting me into the industry). Dennis Mottram, ex tutor at Reaseheath and Keith Homes, ex Head Greenkeeper, Cheshire Course at Carden Park who taught me a lot about traditional methods. Professor Frank Rossi at Cornell University (USA) and host of frankly speaking on Turfnet radio. His show forces me to think beyond my level.

What would you change about yourself? I have dyslexia which means any sort of paperwork, reading or writing takes ages.

What's been the highlight of your career so far? It was in 2001 and my first PGA tournament experience. I finished cutting the tees at Harbour Town before celebrating my birthday that night. The next morning I cut the approaches for the playoff and watched the finish on the famous 18th green full with pride.

If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be? Any beach bar on Hilton Head Island, SC, USA.

What's the best part of your job? Having a different challenge every day.

… and the worst? Paperwork.

Do you have a lifetime ambition? I've been lucky to do a lot of construction and to be part of five full build/renovations, but I would like to be part of a golf course construction from start to finish.

Favourite record, and why? I love all types of music but Paul Weller "You Do Something To Me" was my wedding song. It's probably in most of my playlists.

Who would you choose to spend a romantic evening with? My wife Jo.

If you were to describe yourself as a musical instrument, what would you be and why? Bass guitar. For the most part, I'm in the background. I am simple and straight forward but can end up wandering off in my own world from time to time.

Which three people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party? I love Beatles music so it's got to be John, Paul and George (sorry no room for Ringo).

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why? My childhood dream was to be any Everton Striker, on any match day at Goodison Park.

Do you have any bad habits? I eat too much chocolate.

... or any good ones? Switching the kettle on any time I pass it. Which is never as often as I'd like.

Do you go to bed worrying about the next day's workload? Yes, I think most people who care about what they do can't help it. But I try to keep the effects to a minimum by constantly making lists.

What are you reading at the moment? Creating Classics: The Golf Courses of Harry Colt.

What's the best advice you have ever been given? The three most important things in greenkeeping ... aeration, aeration, aeration - Denis Mottram.

What's your favourite smell? Deep Heat. It reminds me of that feeling of getting ready to play any sport. It's the best feeling.

What's the daftest work related question you have ever been asked? As someone who constantly asks stupid questions, I think if you don't know the answer it can't be daft. I was once asked why the course was closed, when stood in ankle deep water which surrounded a green and covered most of the fairway. I hoped they were taking the mick, but you never can tell.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Dad, husband, turfie.

What's your favourite piece of kit? Amazone Profihopper. It's awesome!

What talent would you like to have? Play guitar like Slash from Guns N' Roses.

What law/legislation would you like to see introduced? The word 'brexit' should be banned after 1st April 2019.

Read the full Ringway Golf Club article here

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