Carrowdore greenkeeping ace poised for career pinnacle

A LOCAL greenkeeper has spoken of his pride after he was selected to work at this summer’s Open Championship.

Adam Wilson, who is the Course Manager at Castlereagh Hills Golf Club, is poised to mark the greatest achievement of his career to date which will see him join the greenkeeping ranks for the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool between July 16 and 23.

It’s after the Carrowdore resident (34) was chosen for the prestigious Royal and Ancient Greenkeeping Scholarship programme, enabling him to ply his trade on what many consider the biggest stage in golf.

Originally from Bangor, Adam is no stranger to taking his craft to some of the sport’s finest settings. A Horticulture diploma holder from Greenmount College, his past greenkeeping experiences have seen him take to 2006 Ryder Cup venue The K Club where he helped carry out green performance testing at the Irish Open, in addition to work at the iconic Old Course at St Andrews – widely regarded to be the home of golf.

“Horticulture has always been in our family,” said Adam, whose parents both have a history in the field.

“My dad spent over 50 years as the Area Parks Manager at Belfast City Council and is the longest-ever serving staff member at the council. And my mum was a city florist for BCC – she now runs Country Bumpkins Design, a florist’s in Bangor.”

Already the recipient of a Higher National Certificate in golf course management from the Scotland Rural University College in Fife, Adam is currently studying for a Higher National Diploma at the institution’s specialist golf campus.

“I’ll be learning from the best at Royal Liverpool,” he added.

“Off the back of Royal Portrush hosting The Open in 2019, we’ve noticed a real boom in memberships at Castlereagh Hills.

“Portrush is hosting it again in 2025, which should again be massive for the game in Northern Ireland.

“This industry is rapidly changing,” said the soon-to-be father of three, former Donaghadee High School pupil.

“We are having to manage turf totally differently to how we used to in terms of planet-friendly treatments and it’s also important to create areas for biodiversity.

“I take a lot of pride in my work and I’m constantly trying to better myself, so to attain this accolade is a huge honour personally.”