JAMIE Hughes returned from his trip abroad working at the second major championship of the golfing year at Bethpage Black golf course in Farmingdale, New York.

His morning shift started at 3.30am, lasting five hours, and the evening one began at 4.30pm, lasting as long as it took to get the work done.

This unforgettable experience gave him an invaluable insight into how a major championship golf course is set up to the very highest level.

Many of the tasks are similar to any other golf course except for the extensive man power and unlimited budget offered in the weeks leading up to the event.

The 95-strong greenstaff supplied a standard of course which can only be seen, to be believed, going to extensive measures to produce a type of course only suitable for the best in the business.

For example on championship days 20 greenstaff were given the job of fluffing up the rough that had any tyre marks or footprints from the previous day’s play.

As a golfer Jamie appreciated the testing conditions for the professionals, with greens stimping at over 12 – championship speed – rough that was thick and extremely punishing, and tee markers pushed right to the back of their boxes.

The whole experience gave Hughes a chance to meet and share experiences with greenkeepers from all over the world, discussing issues and brainstorming solutions, gaining good networking experience that will stand him in good stead on into the future.

Of his experience, Hughes admitted the whole trip had “opened” his eyes as to the standards required for professional golf.

Hughes said: “Overall I feel this trip to the US has really opened my eyes to expanding my own personal development as a greenkeeper and encouraged me to go further with my education which I can therefore use to enhance my own club.

“It was truly a pleasure to have worked with such a professional group of guys who I can call friends for life.

“I would love to get the chance to do more volunteer work in the future if the opportunity arises.

Lyme Regis Golf Club have supported me throughout the trip as have my colleagues by putting in the extra hours whilst I’ve been away. This has kept Lyme Regis looking at its best and I’m very grateful to everyone involved.”