The role of the golf course greenkeeper: why is it important?

 Tags: Golf

If you’re new to the game of golf, you might well find yourself wondering how the courses look so pristine at all times. Far from being magic, it’s all down to the work of the greenkeeper: a key professional in the world of golf. The greenkeeper’s work – and that of their team - consists of maintaining excellent conditions on the courses so that players can enjoy watching the ball glide effortlessly along the “green carpets”. Íñigo Soto, greenkeeper at Finca Cortesín (the host of the Solheim Cup 2023 which is taking place this September) tells us all the ins and outs of the job. 


What is a greenkeeper? 

In a few words, the greenkeeper is an engineer or professional in charge of looking after the golf course. While their work to maintain the site in perfect condition is a key part of their role, it is not their only job. The greenkeeper is also tasked with the technical direction of all work connected to the course, as well as coordinating the materials and employees, and managing the budget.

The greenkeeper is a highly qualified professional. They often have studies in engineering or agronomy, as these disciplines underlie this work, but knowledge in the fields of botany, landscape design, applied economics, gardening, mechanics and work risk assessment is also useful. 


What are the greenkeeper’s specific roles?

  • Maintaining the course in a perfect condition.

  • Connected to the previous point, avoiding damage and preventing disease in the grass.

  • Using their knowledge about the environment to apply the correct techniques to seek to minimise the impact of any actions on the natural world.

  • Taking into account the area’s weather to know how and with what frequency to take actions.

  • Communicating with and coordinating distributors and members.

  • Managing the team.

In an interview with Íñigo Soto, greenkeeper at Finca Cortesín, explains what his job involves: 

“Our clients are very demanding, we’ve also got a hotel that requires exceptional course conditions and, to put it simply, while nature changes with the passing of the seasons and the course can’t look the same or have the same conditions every day of the year, we do our utmost to make sure the conditions are exceptional, that the greens are fast, regardless of whether the grass is more green or less green, and I think we achieve this”. 

golf greenkeeper jobs


Soto also explains that Finca Cortesín’s project, “was built with the factor of sustainability in mind. There was very little vegetation here so the whole course was planted with native species which, as you can see, have grown wonderfully. We didn’t bring in anything from outside the region that we didn’t know,” he assures.

What’s more, each year, Finca Cortesín sets out, “to be more generous to the environment.” In order to do this, the greenkeeper tells us the different measures they have carried out. Firstly, they decided “to change the greens in 2017, from a cool-season variety to a warm-season grass, like that in Bermuda. The greens in Bermuda need less water, fewer pesticides, and in the end, it makes sense to have a green that uses 100% warm-season grass.        

Another measure taken has been creating “bird feeders and drinkers, so that, during the long summers when water is scarce, the birds have places to nest”. Finca Cortesín also has several sustainability certificates, including the ISO 14001, the ‘Q’ award for Quality, and it is currently in the process of becoming GEO Certified - a recognised golf sustainability certification. 

Finca CortesinSource:


And if that wasn’t enough, Íñigo Soto adds that this golf course “doesn’t use any water that isn’t recycled.” “Water comes from Manilva”, he explains. “This was one of the reasons why we decided to change the course to the one in Bermuda. The grass is more resistant to waste water, which always comes a little saltier and with an excess of nutrients, but it’s great for us. We are very happy with the residual water”, claims Finca Cortesín’s greenkeeper.     

As you can see, the greenkeeper’s role is essential so that players can enjoy their games to the max. The Costa del Golf has more than 70 excellent well-maintained courses, thanks to the work of these professionals. Don’t wait any longer and discover them today.

New call-to-action


Search in
our blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

All about the Costa del Sol in your inbox

Submit your email address and receive exclusive information and great offers about the Costa del Sol.


New call-to-action

Related posts