Four decades working and 50 years of golf for green keeper

A north Shropshire groundsman is reflecting after completing 40 years service to one of the region’s best-loved golf courses and celebrating his 50th year in the game by leading his team in a county final.

Allen Lewis, aged 57, of Balmoral Crescent in Oswestry, is course manager of Llanymynech Golf Club, near Oswestry and now has an area on the course named in his honour. Keeping it in the family, Allen’s son Matthew also works on the green keeping staff at the club.

On Sunday 30th March the county Hargrove final takes place at Llanymynech Golf Club and Allen will captain the club’s 1st team when they meet the winners of Shrewsbury or Wrekin clubs.

Having left Oswestry Boys Modern School aged 15, Allen started work as a trainee green keeper and recalls some of the major changes over the years, “The course was once totally covered with sheep and the greens had low electric fences around them which made for difficult playing conditions for members but in the 1970s the club took over the lease on the land and the sheep were removed.

“In the very hot summer of 1976, the course suffered badly from scorching but major investment by the club saw a fantastic automatic sprinkler system installed which transformed the condition of the course and this was added to by new high-tech mowing machines which produced a far better finish on the greens and fairways than the old tractor and gang-mowers.”

Besides his expertise in grounds management, Allen has had great success within the game of golf itself, having played for over 50 years and is the current joint holder of the club’s outright course record with a score of 64.

Allen continued: “I was very lucky to have played over the years with the likes of Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle and our own club professional Andy Griffiths and have met some wonderful people in the game. Our current teams are also doing well which is fantastic news for the club as a whole.

“As green keepers we take a great pride in the course and the positive feedback from both members and visitors alike provides true job satisfaction for me and the team.”

Allen has also been club champion on two separate occasions and won many competitions over the years with various county golf teams, but he admits to achieving his greatest honour when the newly created 6-hole Academy Course at Llanymynech was named after him to mark his 40 years of loyal service.

Club secretary Howard Jones commented: “Allen’s dedication and commitment to the club over the years has been exceptional and we are very fortunate to have a person of his calibre looking after our course, and that is why the club were delighted to name the Academy area after him to show our appreciation.”

Section:

Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

Read More from Pete White