Where are you from Caroline?
I’m from Bonar Bridge in the Highlands.
How did you become the greenkeeper at Bonar Bridge?
Well I had to do a week’s work experience at Golspie High School and I had a huge list of things to choose from and at the bottom was Greenkeeping. I got a placement at Royal Dornoch, enjoyed it and asked for a summer job. At the end of the 6 weeks I was offered a full time position but was only 15, so my Mam said I had to finish school. I eventually left school on a Friday and started on the following Monday on my 16th birthday.
Mam drove me to work every morning (I had to be there for 6am in the summer!). I worked at RDGC for 10yrs as Greenkeeper and did a short stint in charge of the Struie course there, before going back up to the Championship course.
After that I took a career break while I raised my 2 girls and returned to greenkeeping 10yrs ago when the job at Bonar Bridge/Ardgay became available. I took on the role as lone Greenkeeper at the club as they previously had 1 full time and 1 part time it’s challenging doing it alone but I’m very lucky to have a great bunch of volunteers who come in and help.
What do you love about the job?
Certainly I love being outside in the fresh air and enjoy getting the course set up, although this year has been a real challenge as I was furloughed for 6 weeks.
What do you dislike about the job?
As a lone worker it does sometimes get lonely so I got myself a dog, called Boots, that now keeps me company.
How would you sum up the Bonar Bridge course for someone who hasn’t played there?
Bonar Bridge is a great wee 9 hole heathland course with superb views where a warm highland welcome awaits
Do you play golf as well? If so, what handicap?
Playing golf is something I try. I play off 19 but really don’t get out much. I’ve only managed to play 27 holes so far this season.
Any tips for how to play the course?
It’s tight so if you’re not accurate with the driver, leave it in the bag!
Any unusual facts or stories about the course?
The course was opened by Mrs Andrew Carnegie, wife of the famous industrialist, and she played the first ever tee shot. We also have the remnants of a broch on the 9th fairway…the stone circle is clearly outlined.