Wall or nothing!

Editorin Football

David Wall has finished his degree at Myerscough College and is working vountarily at Preston North End whilst searching for another position.

Preston DavidWallMy name is David Wall. I am 22 years old and have just recently graduated with a degree in Sportsturf from Myerscough College. I first became interested in the sportsturf industry through a friend who worked as the Assistant Groundsman for Preston North End.

I enrolled in Foundation Sportsturf at Myerscough College in 2007. In the first year of the course I studied a wide array of subjects, including cultural practices, mechanisation, plant biology, soil science and ecology and conservation.

For the second year of my course, students were required to carry out a year's placement at a turfgrass management facility anywhere in the world. I chose to do my placement in the USA as part of the Ohio State Intern Programme. This involved working at two golf courses during the year. A course in the north of the country during the summer months and moving to the southern states during the winter and spring.

The first course I was assigned to work at was Hyde Park Golf and Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hyde Park opened on the 4th July 1909; it quickly evolved into one of Cincinnati's premier golf clubs. The golf course was designed by Donald Ross, the most prominent golf course architect of the day. The greens and tees consist of bentgrass and annual bluegrass, whilst the fairways are Meyer Zoysia grass. The roughs are a mix between Bluegrass and Fescue.

During my time at Hyde Park, I learned and mastered daily jobs required to be carried out on a golf course, from spraying to mowing greens.

In early October, my placement at Hyde Park was drawing to a close. The summer season was ending and the course was slowing down for closure during winter. As there would have been very little for me to do and learn over the winter months, I sought another placement for the rest of my time in America. As it is possible to work the whole year round on golf courses in Florida, I chose this state for my next placement. Many professional golfers live in Florida, due to the all year round play. I was offered a placement at Isleworth Country club in Orlando, Florida, home of many PGA golfers, including the number one golfer in the world, Tiger Woods.

Isleworth Golf & Country Club is a private golf club community in Windermere, Florida, located between the Butler Chain of Lakes. It is one of the two country clubs that compete in the Tavistock Cup. The greens and tees at Isleworth use Tiffeagle Bermuda and during the winter are overseeded with Bentgrass. The fairways and rough at Isleworth are made up of 419 Bermuda. These are also overseeded, but with a mixture of Perennial Ryegrass and Fescues.
At Isleworth CC, the skills I learned at Hyde Park were put to the test. As you might imagine, everything at Isleworth had to be perfect, which required long hours and hard work from the groundstaff.

After my years placement in America, I returned home to finish my degree. During this final year, I started work at Preston North End, to gain extra experience and the chance of job in the football side of the industry.

I joined the groundstaff for the start of the 2009 season. During this period, I have been based at the training ground and working at the stadium for match days and other occasions.

The training ground consists of four pitches, there is also a running hill and sandpit which require maintenance as well. Including myself, there are two people based at the training ground and one person at the stadium with Pete, the head groundsman, moving between both.

I have continued to work at Preston after finishing my degree, while I search for another job within the industry. At this moment in time, Preston North End cannot afford to take me on with a full time wage, yet I continue to work here to stay in the industry and gain more experience.

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