On course at Whitley Bay

Mark Hollingsworth has been appointed course manager at Whitley Bay Golf Club.

Mark, 33, replaces Simon Olver following his departure for Ganton. A greenkeeper and mechanic with 15 years’ experience at Ravensworth and Whitley Bay, Mark took on the role in November 2020 and has faced one of greenkeeping’s most challenging winters since stepping up to his new position.

“Moving into my first course management job was an incredibly proud moment and I can’t thank everyone at Whitley Bay enough for their support in a very challenging first seven months with two lockdowns, one of the wettest winters on record, and the driest and coldest April since records began.

“To be able to lead the team of greenkeepers at Whitley Bay is a real privilege. The way we work as a team is definitely our biggest strength. I want to build on what Simon started with the team, while growing our reputation and sustainability credentials as a GEO-certified course. We’ve got a lot of ambition and I want to steer that in the right direction to achieve even more in the years ahead.”

Having stumbled into greenkeeping as a 19-year-old at Ravensworth, Mark has risen to lead the team at Whitley Bay while achieving a degree in Sports Turf Management and becoming an R&A Scholar.

In 2021, Whitley Bay will host the Northumberland County Championship, and Mark added: “I’m looking forward to putting my own stamp on things and given a little more structure without lockdowns and some good growing conditions, we’re looking forward to making those small gains to step things up to the next level.”