After 11 years heading up the greenkeeping team at Peterculter Golf Club, Paul Sharp decided to trade in his sand rake for a sales sheet with Turf & Amenity Solutions. We catch up with him to find out how life on the road is treating him
Two weeks into the new job; how are you finding it?
“It’s a learning process, but it’s really good. I’m learning a lot about all the products we supply. Coming onto the supplier side is a bit different, but I’m enjoying it. We cover the majority of Scotland from Tayside and Fife up, so we travel around a lot. We’re always looking for new customers and to grow in staff numbers in the near future.”
Coming into April can be a busy time on the course. How is it for you?
“There’s a lot of renovation work going on at this time of year. You’ll get hollow-coring and aeration to kick-start things, so this is an important time especially for big inputs of sand. At the moment we are coming into the time of year when sand will become a big part of our daily routine.”
More generally, what does the job entail?
“We promote the products we sell, supplying golf courses and bowling greens etc. It’s an advisory role. We look after the customers, most of whom are in the golf industry – 95% of our customers are golf courses. I know a lot of the guys, so it’s been quite easy to make the transition.”
How important is sand to your business?
“It’s very important. We sell a large tonnage of Hugh King sand annually, so it’s a big part of what we do. It’s a big string to our bow. If you get the right sand into the soil profile, you can improve surface drainage – that’s what everybody wants. So a big part of it is about getting customers to use the right volumes of sand, which is part of our advisory role. The key thing is, once the guys get onto it; once they’ve tried Hugh King sand, they’ll stay on it. It’s all to do with the profile of the product.”
Why do you only promote Hugh King sands?
“We have access to other sands, but we promote Hugh King sands – that’s our main topdressing sand. It’s about getting the right ratio between cost, quality and uniformity. I was an end user and I know what the sand does. We used to put down 100 tonnes of Hugh King sand a year at Peterculter Golf Club; so I know how good it is. And that means it’s very easy for me to promote it.”
Are there any other business benefits associated with Hugh King sands?
“At TASC, we supply leading brands and only work with suppliers when we know the quality of the products is of the highest standard. Hugh King would be considered the market leader in their field and we are proud to call them a key partner.”
That’s got to be good for everyone.
“It is, but what also benefits everyone is good service. Hugh King is very quick with deliveries. That’s what our customers are looking for. You’ll have a lot of customers that will phone and want sand delivered quickly. Because Hugh King do their job right, we don’t get any negative feedback. It makes it easy for us – nobody complains.”