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Trainee Irish greenkeeper embarks on new journey at US golf club

Maurice Daly is now a trainee greenkeeper at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, US. Photo: courtesy of IISS.

Formal education in Monaghan Institute and the National Botanic Gardens provided Maurice Daly with the background to pursue a greenkeeping internship in the US through the Irish Institute of Sport Surfaces (IISS). Following a successful application, Daly is now a trainee greenkeeper at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.



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13 August 2019

Maurice Daly, from County Cork, is now embarking on a new stage in his career after his successful application to become a trainee greenkeeper, through the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces (IISS), at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, US.

In his spare time, Daly is also volunteering as football groundsman at the professional Minnesota United soccer stadium. 

Remembering his roots

Growing up in the countryside of County Cork, Daly from a young age worked for local farmers earning his own pocket money every summer with his friends. “I would make my own money working for these farmers which was hard earned but a great experience for any young person.”, said Daly. 

For Daly, a career in horticulture always seemed to be inevitable, both due to the love of the outdoors as well as an inspiration close to home.

“My mother loves gardening and she always has the garden beautiful  with hundreds of different varieties of plants. “

Daly began his horticulture training with a work placement on an allotment with Patsy Tumalty. Seeing the results that Tumalty achieved “on a shoestring budget” as Daly put it, just furthered his admiration and love for horticulture.

Daly began his formal education in horticulture with a Level 5 in Horticulture course in the Monaghan Institute. Daly has great praise for his lecturer, Donal Lister – who he saw as a positive influence – and for Lister’s beliefs about using organic and cultural practices long before it was fashionable. 

Greenkeeper option

For Daly, the next step in his formal education journey was to the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. “Such a beautiful and great place to learn with all my lecturers having a good influence.”, said Daly thinking back.

During his time at the National Botanic Gardens, Daly met Niall Richardson who was superintendent at The Dutch Golf Club in The Netherlands, who provided Daly with his first greenkeeping opportunity.

“Niall and his assistant Paul O’Donaghue had done a great job and were awarded the 2016, 2017, and 2018 KLM Dutch opens. I couldn’t have landed there at a better time. Niall did the first KLM Open and Paul O’Donaghue took over as superintendent. Paul is a fierce knowledgeable guy, always pursuing better techniques and science, so I picked up a lot from him.”, said Daly.

Daly also volunteered for the Irish Open in 2016 at the K Club: “I met some great guys from all over the world. One was Daragh O’Sullivan from Wicklow Golf Club, who also joined the Irish Institute’s USA Training Programme in California, and is now the assistant at The California Golf Club of San Francisco.

“Daragh has inspired me and that’s why availing of USA greenkeeping opportunities for training was a no-brainer (sic) to contact Donal Kearney of the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces”.

For more information on IISS US internships, see

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