New amenity specialist

Agrovista UK has announced the appointment of Doug McLaren as a new amenity specialist who will be operating throughout Berkshire across to Essex and up to Northampton.

Doug started his career in greenkeeping after enjoying a summer job at a small nine-hole golf course in the Scottish Highlands. For the next thirty years he proceeded to work at many prestigious courses such as The Wisley Golf Club in Surrey, St Andrews in Scotland, a De Vere club in Lancashire, the Golf de Joyenval in Paris, The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, and Batchworth Park Golf Club in Rickmansworth. Along the way he worked hard to gain qualifications including an NVQ in Greenkeeping and both a HND and a HNC in Golf Course Management.

Prior to joining Agrovista Amenity, Doug was taking some time out after recovering from a brain haemorrhage. 

“I was very lucky, and it made me take a step back to reassess,” he said. “I felt that it was time to move away from greenkeeping and then I was made aware of an opportunity at Agrovista Amenity. It is a company that I have worked with a lot over the years, so I know the products very well. I felt it would be a good fit.”

With a wide variety of clients in different sectors, Doug admits it has been a whirlwind start, but claims he wouldn’t have it any other way.  

“I’m a bit of a sponge at the moment,” he said. “I’m really enjoying going around all the different businesses, taking in as much information as I can, as well as passing on my knowledge."

Doug says he is ready to address any emerging trends and he is already seeing a strong desire within the industry to shift towards more eco-friendly products and packaging.

Turf and amenity managers are publicly showing that they are keener than ever to address sustainability with their practices. Working with the current supplier base Doug sees huge potential within the portfolio to provide solutions to these challenges and other yet to come. 

“Covid has without doubt had an impact on sporting venues," he continued, "but some are returning with a bang - golf in particular. Prior to the pandemic, golf membership was declining throughout the country but now looking to get back to if not beyond the previous levels. I’ve noticed that lots of clubs are benefiting and are now looking to invest in their courses and facilities. 

“I know first-hand that it is getting harder and harder for these people to produce the best surfaces they can and I’m looking forward to helping them.”

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