GREENKEEPER Sean Tubridy might not be able to hear, but Branxton Golf Club is singing his praises loud and clear about how he has improved the course.
Since beginning work in February he has overhauled the mowing, irrigation and spraying of the course, and Branxton president Richard Crooks has labelled the condition of the greens as the best he has seen in 10 years.
What has made the transformation so remarkable is Tubridy was born completely deaf.
Previously Tubridy worked at Cypress Lakes in a crew of greenkeepers, but he struggled in communicating with his colleagues.
Crooks said Tubridy’s deafness has been easily overcome at Branxton.
‘‘When he came over to us it was great for him as he predominantly works by himself, and with a few volunteers around the place we’ve found a way to communicate with him and he’s just got a passion for what he does,’’ Crooks said.
‘‘He’s there from sun up to sun down, you have to jump on him to pack up and go home.’’
Branxton is currently looking to secure funding from the federal government to purchase an iPad which will allow members to communicate with Tubridy by transcribing their voices into text.
Members of the club have also started learning sign language.
‘‘I have no major problems with my deafness while working on the golf course,’’ Tubridy said.
‘‘I proved some people wrong that I can do the job regardless of being deaf and Branxton Golf Club gave me a great fair go.’’
Tubridy played golf as a teenager at Roseville in Sydney before starting a greenkeeping apprenticeship in 1988 at Chatswood.
Since then he was worked at eight different courses, which included helping to prepare the Australian Golf Course in Sydney for the 100th Australian Open back in 2004.
Branxton lost two greenkeepers last August to mining jobs and club volunteers helped maintain the course in the interim.
Tubridy has already improved the course but has further plans in mind.
‘‘My future vision is to rebuild the greens to match recycled water suitability and maybe a couple of bunkers and remodelling tees to a better standard,’’ he said.
‘‘When I started my new job I ripped in with head down and worked hard.
‘‘I transformed the golf course in a week, then two weeks later the fairways improved.’’