The profession of a greenkeeper, someone who maintains the golf course, is not very common in Slovenia; how did you come to choose this job?
Yes, there really aren't many of us. But I got into golf by accident - I actually wanted to be a captain first! Then, while I was studying at the Faculty of Maritime and Transport in Portorož, I went to work in America, at an elite golf course to earn some money. And I found that I really enjoyed this job.
Soon afterwards, a golf course was built in Smlednik by Šmarna gora, where I come from. And because they needed staff, I took the opportunity and got a job there in 2008. In the years that followed, I returned to the United States several more times and completed several golf-related training courses and, most recently, the demanding school for greenkeepers in Michigan.
You are now the head of golf course maintenance at the Golf Grad Otočec. What are your tasks?
For a long time I dreamt of working on the golf course at Otočec, because it's a really beautiful course. And when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it – I took a job with Samsic, the international company that maintains the golf course at Otočec.
Maintaining golf courses is challenging, as the grass on the fields and greens has to withstand harsh weather conditions as well as heavy loads. It requires a good knowledge of the sport and the technology, and it also requires quite a bit of talent and skill.
Terme Krka, which owns the Golf Grad Otočec golf course, is known for its dedication to the natural and eco-friendly. How do you follow this commitment on the golf course?
I'm a big nature lover myself, so I try to do my bit to protect the environment in all areas. I firmly believe that this will have to be the future of our life in general, because planet Earth is already on the brink. That is why I also favour a natural approach in my work. This is why we use natural, organic fertilisers at Otočec. Maintenance should be as natural or nature-friendly as possible, without the use of pesticides, non-essential plant protection products, artificial fertilisers and other environmentally harmful products. Slovenian legislation itself is much more protective of the environment than legislation elsewhere in Europe, for example, and even more so than in America.