Pastures new for greenkeeper after 42 years

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Hogmanay heralded the end of an era for Dunaverty Golf Club as greenkeeper Willie Macmillan called it a day after 42 years and two months taking care of the club’s course.

Willie’s career began at Eden Farm where he worked for eight years, followed by a spell with Donnie McKerral.

His father George Macmillan had been Dunaverty’s greenkeeper for 22-and-a-half years and no doubt passed on a few hints.

When the new clubhouse was built in 1975, Willie’s wife Margaret became club steward and Willie began his long association as greenkeeper.

He was self-taught and learned his trade by never making the same mistake twice.

Over the years, Willie brought Dunaverty’s greens and course to a state described by members as ‘perfection’.

During dry spells it was not unknown for him to be out at midnight to turn on the sprinklers and again at 4am to reposition them.

In 1975 he stepped down as head greenkeeper and passed the baton and his expertise on to David Scullion who has become one of the finest greenkeepers in the region.

Willie continued on a part-time basis up to the present time and at a small retirement party in the clubhouse on January 2, Belle Robertson, voted as Scotland’s best amateur golfer, presented him with a bottle of whisky and paid a glowing tribute to him.

Willie can now look forward to a full retirement and the club members wish him well.