Richard Bissell, Resident Golf Pro at Patshull Park in Shropshire

Golf is very important to us here at Patshull Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club.  Our par 72 parkland golf course was designed by John Jacobs and is located in Shropshire, between Telford and Wolverhampton.  As we have long been a popular venue for golfers we thought it would be interesting to give you some behind the scenes insights into what we do to ensure you have the best golf experience possible when you play here.  This first post in our golf series shows what a working day entails for our resident Golf Pro, Richard Bissell.

Richard has worked here since 1993 becoming the Golf Pro in 1997.  He joined as a Junior Member in 1982 aged 11.  It’s fair to say he knows the golf course well.

A typical Saturday as a Golf Professional

Golf is one of the most glamorous sports in the world so you’d probably expect my life to be all champagne, relaxing rounds of golf and teaching the odd lesson?  Well that’s not exactly how it is but I still love my job.

I’m the face of golf at Patshull Park. My role is to service the needs of both club members and visiting golfers, may they be hotel residents, golf societies or visitors paying a green fee.  It is incredibly satisfying being the man with the answers. “Can we tee off a little earlier? A little later? Are there yardage markers on the course? How long will the round take”?  We work hard behind the scenes to ensure all golfers receive a high standard of service and an enjoyable experience throughout their visit.

The role of a Golf Pro has changed over the years.  It isn’t simply about playing and teaching golf now. Golf is a business. Of course I still play and teach the game, but I have acquired a whole new set of skills, taught in the PGA program, to enhance my business and managerial abilities.

At the weekends my day starts with the buzz of my alarm clock at 5.45am. A quick shower and slice of toast then I’m on the road to the golf club whether it’s summer or winter. The shop is always open and ready for business by 7am. The early starts don’t worry me, even as a child I was up early to play golf. The drive up to the Hotel through the golf course and Patshull estate really is a spectacular sight first thing in the morning..  For me this is just the start of a very busy day. Many people start their day depressed but not me. I’m so lucky to have a job that I truly love.

I greet the Golf club members who arrive as I’m opening up.  They like to take the opportunity to practice a spot of putting or to fine tune their ‘just out of bed’ golf swings in the practice net.  After these few early starters, a steady stream of golfers pass through the golf shop. The most frequently asked questions are not golf related as you would imagine. They are usually “What’s the weather forecast”? or “What’s the code number for the locker rooms”? If I had a penny for every time I had answered those questions during my 19 years in the job I’d be a very rich man!

I spend a lot of time in the shop. It gets incredibly busy with the phones ringing constantly and visitors buying golf merchandise. Often golfers arrive en masse, five minutes before they are due on the first tee, to buy refreshments or to collect their scorecards.

At 11am I head out onto the golf range to coach the juniors for an hour.  It gives me great delight to see the youngsters out there hitting golf balls with a smile on their faces.  Some have been having lessons for a while, some are new to the game, but they all progress by listening to the tips given and putting the advice into practice. Next,  I usually have some one-to-one golf lessons booked in.

golf-300x215Towards the end of the day I like to reflect on the stunning beauty of my surroundings. Just outside the window I see perfectly manicured fairways, fantastic views across the parkland and happy golfers walking off down the 1st fairway.  Our staff work incredibly hard to keep it this way but that’s another blog post!

Our course is generally booked solidly up until 3 or 4pm. Once the light starts to fade we take the opportunity to tidy up and prepare for the following days business.  At 6pm is time to return home and spend some quality time with my family. After a busy day it’s lovely to have a cuddle and a smile from my two little boys.

Feel free to call the golf pro shop on 01902 700342 with any queries or to book your tee time within 7 days of play.