Dan Oswin's dream is to sculpt golf courses - finding a great piece of land, not alter it too much but just enough for golfers to have the perfect game and experience the course in its near-natural state.
"The trick is to make the course look like it's always been like that and that takes practice and understanding," Oswin said. "You have to understand meterage, how the land moves the ball around and design strategy in holes - a good hole can make an even game between a good golfer and an OK golfer."
Oswin was involved in creating the Forest Resort course in his hometown Creswick and said it would be a long, hard road to make a career in golf course design. But he is about to take a massive step in the journey. The 26-year-old leaves tomorrow for the United States, where he will start a two-month scholarship to study turf management at the University of Massachusetts, near Boston.
Oswin will then spend 10 months in Florida working at The Breakers, one of America's top 100 courses. It follows what has been a massive year for Oswin in Australia, in which he won a string of accolades as an apprentice turf manager including the Australian and Victorian golf superintendents associations Apprentice of the Year awards.
Oswin, who completed his apprenticeship under his father Kel, Forest Resort's turf manager, then took up a job as greenkeeper at the Royal Melbourne Golf Course. The build-up and meticulous preparation to The Presidents Cup last month was beyond his imagination. "They took what was already an amazing course to the ridiculously incredible," Oswin said.
"It was very eye-opening, actually. "When we started the golf course at Forest Resort we had a small budget and small team (for maintenance), but this had 30 guys and all the machinery you could think of out there. It was a totally different world."
Oswin fell into turf management by helping his father - until then he had been focused on music, his band and work as a technician for Evermore. Ever since, he has been wanting to learn as much as he could about the trade and was extremely driven to learn as much as possible in his study abroad, especially to do his sponsors proud.
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