Brothers Lachlan and Jordan are familiar faces around Engadine Bowling Club. Born and raised in Gulgong, in the Mudgee region of Central NSW, they moved to Sydney to start an apprenticeship with the club as greenkeepers. Both are active and talented bowlers who compete for the club and are now among the state’s best players.
As an organisation, we’ve had a long-held tradition to support some of our regional communities and create opportunities for people to move to the Shire to gain new skills and continue to bowl. It has been wonderful having Lachlan and Jordan as part of our work family.
Get to know them through their story below and be green with envy about the opportunities they are embracing.
When did you start working at Engadine Bowling Club?
Jordan: November 2020
Lachlan: June 2022
Tell us about how you got into bowls?
Jordan notes “Our family moved next to the local bowling club when Lachlan had just started high school, and that’s when he started playing bowls with Dad. The rest of the family began to play, too, so inevitably, after the family hassled me for 12 months, I began to play as well. Some of the older members showed us how to play.”
What does a typical day look like?
“It’s an early 6.30am start, which always begins with a quick cup of coffee and some affectionate pats for Belle, the dog of our Head Greenkeeper Matt. Belle’s very much part of the team and a regular around the club, having come to work with Matt for over 13 years.
“There’s a little seasonal variation to our work – in summer, we cut the grass at 2mm and roll them daily. This creates a consistent surface. The grass does not grow as quickly in winter, so we don’t need to cut it as frequently. The greens are more aesthetically pleasing or typically what people expect and greener over the summer, but they run quicker in winter when the grass is dormant. The greens must be prepared to play at least five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday.
“Day to day we clean and maintain all surrounds of the club to ensure it is presentable. Following this, we will prepare the greens for play. This consists of cutting, rolling, marking out, putting mats and jacks out and pulling shades out to ensure bowlers can enjoy their game hassle-free.”
“We aim to have the greens performing at their peak for the weekend. Daily rotation of play is essential to avoid damage to the surface. We irrigate once a week on a Sunday night to have minimal impact on play availability to our valued members, who we have a great working relationship. They consistently provide feedback and support, which greatly assists us in providing the best playing surface we can!”
“To mix things up, we also rotate a day or two a week at Wiseman Park Wollongong City Bowling Club where our greenkeeping team is contracted to look after their greens. It makes for a nice change of scenery.”
Tell us why you moved from Gulgong and what attracted you to this position?
Jordan: “I was interested in coming to the city to get a trade and the opportunity to pursue bowls at a higher level.”
Lachlan: “An opportunity came up for a greenkeeping apprenticeship at Engadine, which I heard about via Jordan. I was looking for an apprenticeship, and this was a good fit as it was a trade in a sport I enjoyed. So, I applied, and the rest is history.
Has anything surprised you about being a greenkeeper?
“We had been around bowls for a while, so we understood what was involved. However, the meticulous attention to detail continues to surprise us. Even when no major competition is being held, something needs to be done.”
How has the Club helped you become part of the local community?
“We’ve very much become part of the local Engadine Bowling Club community. The club assisted us greatly when we first moved to Sydney, helping us find accommodation and settle into the big smoke. We both play bowls competitively, so it’s nice to meet other bowlers through our sport, and the community is always very friendly and welcoming.”
What’s the best part about working at the Club?
“We enjoy working in a team environment, in an industry we are interested in, and in a sport we play. It’s an added benefit that we practice whenever we like, after work. “The hours we work allow us to have a great lifestyle. We finish in the early afternoon, giving us plenty of time for hobbies and other activities such as golf and fishing.
Has anyone particularly inspired you or helped you settle in during your
Lachlan: “Matt, our Head Greenkeeper, has done so much for us. He helped us get set up when we moved to Sydney and has also helped enormously career-wise.”
Jordan: “Matt has taken both of us under his wing, introduced me to many people in the bowls community and the turf industry, and helped with my personal development. I’ve also become good friends with a former colleague in Harley McDonald who I continue to have a great friendship with. When I was new to Engadine, he constantly invited me out and included me in social events.”
What’s it like working with your brother?
“It’s fine, we both enjoy our job, so we just get on with what we need to do, although we do spend a LOT of time together – we live together, work together and play bowls together!”
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