Tag Archives: Molly Doyle

A Driving Force On The Course: Looking At The Future

With all the work it takes to keep the course in pristine condition, McGarvey and his staff take a lot of pride in what they do. Photo ©Bob Huxtable

By Molly Doyle

As a veteran of the golf course management profession, one might think McGarvey would be tired of his job by now. But this is not so; he remains passionate about his career and enjoys the many challenges that come with it.

Since golf course maintenance is a team effort, it comes as no surprise that working with his crew and course staff is another job favourite for McGarvey. He says they take a lot of pride in what they do, but they also have a lot of fun together, especially with big age differences between employees and the competitiveness that surfaces between male and female staff.

As far as longevity goes at one golf course, McGarvey says he has been fortunate to work at such a great golf club because the club and board members have been appreciative and supportive the whole time he has been there.

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A Driving Force On The Course: Getting An Education

By Molly Doyle

When it comes to those who are looking for a career in turf management, McGarvey advises them to first attend university and take courses related to their chosen profession. However, he warns after graduation, it is not likely many will go right into an assistant’s job, let alone a superintendent role. So, he recommends finding a good superintendent at a bigger facility to work for as part of the grounds crew to learn the practical side of the job.

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A Driving Force On The Course: Inside The Industry

By Molly Doyle

McGarvey belongs to the Western Canada Turfgrass Association (WCTA) and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), but he says he is most connected to CGSA. Currently a member of its Professional Development and Research Committee, he was also president in 2003. He says one thing he likes to do during the winter is attend the annual CGSA conference.

As for being named Superintendent of the Year, McGarvey has earned this recognition before in 2006 by the British Columbia Golf Superintendents Association (BCGSA). However, he says the CGSA honour is an even bigger thrill for him.

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A Driving Force On The Course: Time Spent Off The Course

With his wife, Kathryn, McGarvey likes to take golf vacations in Scotland or Ireland during the less busy times in the fall. Photo courtesy Jim McGarvey

By Molly Doyle

During the colder season, McGarvey can take some time off for his annual vacation, which is usually to go skiing with his wife, Kathryn.

During time off in the summer, McGarvey and his wife golf and go hiking near their house. They also enjoy cooking together, and go out in the city quite a bit to try all the different restaurants Vancouver has to offer.

When it is less busy in the fall, McGarvey and his wife can take the opportunity to go on a shorter vacation, but neither of them are the types to sit on a beach and read. They prefer heading to Scotland or Ireland to play golf together since Kathryn is a serious golfer herself. She is a single-digit player who still enjoys playing competitively, and she has even represented Canada internationally a few times, including as a junior. McGarvey is grateful to have a wife who understands the long hours he puts in at the course and appreciates the outcome from it.

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A Driving Force On The Course: Daily Life At The Club

By Molly Doyle

Since the course is open daily, McGarvey works year-round unless there is snow. Although this usually does not last too long and the course often reopens a few days later, most of the game is played between March 1 and the end of October. There are usually about 30 staff members on the grounds crew in the summer, and this drops back to about five in the winter. Since the course is on the north shore of Vancouver, the grass almost stops growing, meaning no mowing is required during the winter. However, there is always cleanup from frequent windstorms that needs to be done, which McGarvey says can take a few weeks to do.

McGarvey gets up about an hour before he starts work, which could be anywhere between 5:30 and 6 a.m. in the summer and around 7 a.m. in the winter. He admits he is not a morning person, so it helps to live only 20 minutes from the course!

McGarvey organizes the next day’s schedule during the afternoon, and then his crew fine-tunes it in the mornings based on the weather and anything that happened overnight.

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