Former golf professional, groundsman, technical representative then sales consultant, Mike Dennis brings a wealth of experience – and ambition - to his part-time appointment as IOG Regional Advisor for Scotland. Will Collins reports
Little more than 12 months into early retirement, Mike Dennis admits that he had no hesitation in accepting the role as IOG Regional Advisor.
“I’m involved in spreading ‘the word’ to various organisations - local authorities, colleges, universities and all other sports grounds – about the undeniable benefits of IOG membership, in particular the rewards on offer via the IOG’s various training courses.
“There is no doubt that career development generates not only benefits for employers in terms of improved skill sets and capabilities but it also creates higher levels of personal satisfaction and empowerment (and, of course, financial reward - certainly in the long term at least).
“That said, the IOG is not just about training courses; the Institute offers a wealth of services (visit www.iog.org for details) and I see it as another of my main roles to increase theawareness of these, especially among grounds professionals who are new to the industry.
“I will be a focal point in Scotland for grounds professionals locally, and already the response I have received (since I took up the part-time post in June) has been very promising. That includes at last month’s IOG Scotsturf show in Edinburgh, where a stream of visitors to the IOG stand applauded what the institute stands for and is achieving as part of its Challenging Perceptions strategy.”
A former club golf professional assistant at Downfield Golf Club in Dundee, then at Royal Guernsey Golf Club, Channel Islands, Oakfield Golf and Country Club, Nova Scotia, Mike became a professional at Quaker Hill Country Club, New York before moving to Arcot Hall Golf Club, Newcastle.
His career path changed direction when he joined Glenalmond College, Perth, as groundsman.He then moved to the ‘other side of the fence’ by becoming a technical representative with Sports Turf Services (STS) for 10 years. Rigby Taylor took over the STS sales activities and Mike took early retirement 15 years later from his role as Regional Sales Director.
“I was involved with the IOG during my time with STS and Rigby Taylor,” he reflects, “but not in a similar role as Regional Advisor! However, I look forward to working closely with Roy Daniels and the IOG voluntary team in Scotland and, of course, the IOG head office. They have an enormous amount of experience and I can only hope that my role will help the IOG move forward even further on this side of the border.”