Old Course in St Andrews appoints only its 10th ‘keeper of the green’

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The Old Course at St Andrews is set to welcome only its 10th ‘keeper when Jon Wood takes over as course manager at the Home of Golf next month. He will succeed long-time incumbent, Gordon McKie.

The appointment maintains the historic lineage from Old Tom Morris, who is credited with much of the design of the Old Course during his tenure from 1864-1904. Mr Wood will take on responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance for the benefit of local residents and the tens of thousands of golfers who travel to play every year. As well as managing the Old Course,he will also oversee both the New and Jubilee courses for St Andrews Links Trust, both of which opened during Old Tom’s time at the Home of Golf.

Mr Wood previously served as deputy course manager at the Old Course from 2006-2011 before becoming course manager at the Castle Course for St Andrews Links Trust in 2015. He also has previous experience at Trevose, Portmarnock, Doonbeg and Pinehurst.

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He said: “I’m incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to carry on the great work of Gordon and everyone who has gone before him here at the Home of Golf. The Old Course in particular holds a special place in the hearts of golfers around the world and to have the responsibility of maintaining something which means so much to so many people is a privilege.”

Jon Wood is only the 10th Keeper of the Greens at the Old Course (Pics: Submitted)Jon Wood is only the 10th Keeper of the Greens at the Old Course (Pics: Submitted)
Jon Wood is only the 10th Keeper of the Greens at the Old Course (Pics: Submitted)

Mr McKie has been course manager for the past 16 years, during which time he has welcomed multiple championships, including three Open Championships in 2010, 2015 and The 150 th Open in 2022, two Women’s Open’s in 2007 and 2013 and the Senior Open Championship in 2018.

He will remain with St Andrews Links Trust, taking on a new role of greenkeeping operations manager, utilising his expertise and international network to attract and develop the next generation of greenkeeping talent to the Home of Golf as well as ensuring the Trust remains at the forefront of research and development projects, technology and developments in the industry.

He said: “It has been the honour of a lifetime to oversee the Old Course for 16 years and I know how fortunate I’ve been to have been given such a responsibility. It is a role which has surpassed all my expectations and to have worked on so many major championships with such a great team has been an incredible experience.

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“I am excited to be able to begin a new chapter focussing on another passion of mine, which is nurturing and developing talent. St Andrews Links Trust has always been a great learning environment and I believe we can continue to attract and develop the very best in the industry.”

Sandy Reid, director of greenkeeping, said: “This will allow us to continue to build on the world-class work of our teams on the ground and create an unrivalled environment for talent development, retention and recruitment at the Home of Golf.”

The greenkeeping team at St Andrews Links Trust comprises 80 members of staff across seven golf courses and workshops. The transition begins in October which will see the course host the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

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