SWAPPING WOODS: Nev Austin (left) has taken over from Grant Haviland as Sandy Gallop Golf Club general manager.
SWAPPING WOODS: Nev Austin (left) has taken over from Grant Haviland as Sandy Gallop Golf Club general manager. Rob Williams

Sandy Gallop to build with new manager

AT AGE 33, Grant Haviland is unlikely to fall for any of the traditional pranks played on new apprentices.

Haviland has relinquished his role as general manager of the Sandy Gallop Golf Club after almost eight years to take up a carpentry apprenticeship.

He is being replaced by former Jindalee Golf Club and Oxley Driving Range resident pro Nev Austin.

Austin has had a long association with Sandy Gallop, both as a member of the club golf club and as the initiator of the annual Sandy Gallop Trainee Pro-am.

Haviland has just completed the first week of his apprenticeship.

With three young daughters, he opted for the career change so he could spend weekends with his family and indulge another passion besides golf.

"I have a bit of a passion for doing renovations," he said.

What he loses in income until he gets his carpentry ticket will be more than compensated for by the family time he gets on weekends.

"It doesn't bother me," he said.

"There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

"And you can't put a dollar sign on time with the family."

Haviland said he was glad he made the decision, but admitted it wasn't easy, after he developed such a strong bond with the club and its members.

"It was hard to take the plunge," he said.

"To leave guaranteed full-time work to take an apprenticeship.

"The best thing about the club is the people, they're awesome.

"It's like a big family - that was probably the hardest thing to leave."

Not that he will be leaving completely.

Haviland remains a member at the club and will be there having a hit most weekends.

It's just that now he doesn't have to get in before the member or wait until they leave to play a round himself.

One of his highlights at the club was taking out the club championship.

Haviland has some handy advice for the man who has filled his shoes.

"Keep a smile on your face while you're working there," he said.

"People like to see a friendly face and have a chat.

"It's always a happy place to be."

That's if he has time for it, with the general manager having to be a jack of all trades.

"You're the bar manager, sales manager, you take care of the members, organise functions, everything," Haviland said.

 



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