Meet Byron Bay Golf Course Superintendent, Shaun Cross.
Shaun has held this position for almost 18 years.
What do you love about your course? Watching it evolve for the better.
What challenges do you face being a super? The day to day challenges of being an agronomist, a financial planner, a mechanic, a HR Manager, Administration Manager, a mentor, a councillor, etc… etc…, however this is what makes our role interesting and diverse.
What was your first job? Apprentice Greenkeeper at Hills Golf Academy and Private School
What was your best job? My Current role, as I feel I have being entrusted to keep driving the course to new heights.
What was your worst job? Housekeeping in a VERY remote Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, which didn’t last long as the owner loved his golf and would always roster me on the bar shifts so we could play golf in the morning. My now wife hated it, as guess who had to pick up those shifts! Ha ha
In addition to being paid money, how else has your career created value in your life? The opportunity it has created for me to meet some amazing individuals all around the world at various facilities. Not the mention the perks that come with this, which allows you to visit and play some of the best golf courses in the world at the same time. Priceless experiences!
Who was the biggest influence in your career? Brook Maxwell, current Superintendent at Pelican Marsh Country Club in Naples, Florida.
Is your job what you thought it would be when you started? Until you are in the driving seat it, is hard to fully understand the commitment required in our positions. As mentioned above it is such a diverse position.
Are there any projects have you worked on that have been particularly interesting? I would have to say the fairway turf species conversion at BBGC was extremely rewarding. To now see the end results how it has improved our facility is a credit to the team involved. It was completed 100% in house, with basically no extra funding inputs, a real feather in the cap that we can all be very proud of.
Describe your team Diverse, honest, hardworking, dedicated, proud, in a nutshell ROCK SOLID! Up until last year the core team of 5 have been together for 13 years, with 3 of us together for 17 years. It is nothing for my team to work from dark to dark on Friday to ensure that the course come Saturday is presented to the highest possible standard for our members and guest. They are a rare bunch of very dedicated individuals that make up a very reliable team.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in this field/job? It is up to the individual to make it what they want to make it. As they say “You only get out of it what you put in” So true! The opportunities these days are endless in a wide variety of specialised fields that come under our umbrella.
How do you prepare yourself for emerging trends and changes in the industry? Don’t be afraid to change, I am always looking for that edge that can improve our facility and operation. I love to change things up to find better methods, ideas, products, etc… Be creative, listen and learn. Visit and explore other facilities. Keep learning.