As part of the Golf Operations team at Loch Lomond Golf Club, Golf Starter John Callaghan can’t think of any other job he would rather do – and he puts that down to the Members, guests and, of course, his colleagues, writes Karen Peattie

The Herald:

ASK John Callaghan if early starts on the golf course are ever a problem and he answers: “No, never – not even when the weather is bad and that can be quite often in the west of Scotland.”

Preparing to start his second season as Starter at the exclusive, private Members only Club on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, John extols the virtues of a largely outdoor job and explains how he wouldn’t swap it for anything – even the sunny lifestyle he enjoyed in Melbourne, Australia for 18 months.

“I actually first started at Loch Lomond Golf Club back in 2008 and worked at the practice facility before moving into the Service team who are the first point of contact for our Members and their guests when they are playing golf,” he explains.

“This is a really important job because we’re essentially the ‘meet and greet’ team welcoming Members to the Club, looking after their cars and golf clubs, and making sure they have everything they need. I really enjoyed that job because it involved meeting everyone and hearing their news.”

Before long, John was promoted to Service Supervisor “until I popped off to Australia”. With family in Australia he decided to leave the unpredictable Scottish weather for the warmer climes of Australia’s Gold Coast.

“The climate was great and I saw my family but had to come home after 18 months when my visa ran out,” John explains. “It was a fantastic experience and I’d recommend it to anyone but it was time for me to come home. I’d left on a positive note and was friendly with everyone so we kept in touch and I followed what was happening at the Club from afar.”

John jumped at the chance to return to the Club and is looking forward to welcoming Members and their guests this season. “As a golfer myself – and not a very good one at that – it’s fantastic to work here and get everyone off the first tee to enjoy their day,” he says. “It’s quite a privilege and having been away for a while I really appreciate how special this place is.

“I love my job but all of us in the Golf Operations team never get complacent – we’re always out to do better and be better because we know how lucky we are to be part of something so special. It really is a joy – not just for us but for the Members because they tell us how much Loch Lomond Golf Club means to them.”

For John, having such a long association with the Club means that he has been able to build up a rapport with Members and colleagues. “It sounds a bit cheesy to say it’s like one big happy family but that’s the best way to describe it,” he adds.

“When you’re driving around the estate and going about your business, doing your job, everyone waves to each other or shouts ‘hello’ – that makes you feel part of it.”
John, who lives in Glasgow, says that early starts aren’t an issue and he usually manages to avoid getting caught up in heavy traffic.

“Everyone wants to come to Loch Lomond during the summer,” he laughs. “Starting early means I don’t have to worry about that.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard work and the hours can be long but for me it’s definitely worth it. Over the winter, when the course is closed and there is no golf, we spend time doing repairs, maintenance and getting everything ready for the new season to ensure we are ready to hit the ground running from the end of March – we’re certainly not taking it easy!

“There are lots of staff perks too, including a free round of golf every month during the season, so you’re very well looked after as an employee.”


Now in his fourth year working in the Professional Shop at Loch Lomond Golf Club, Rory Campbell says that no two days are ever the same in his fulfilling, Member facing role

The Herald:

THERE’S more to working in a shop than standing behind the counter, says Rory Campbell, adding: “It’s actually quite hard work that involves keeping your wits about you and, of course, always smiling.”

The latter comes easily to Rory, now in his fourth year as a Golf Management Trainee in the Professional Shop at the private Members’ Club. “It’s great because I love meeting the Members and guests, chatting away to them – not always about golf,” he says. 

“Our Members are involved in so many different businesses and industries all over the world so you get so many stories and insights.”

Rory, 25, who studied Golf Management at the University of the Highlands & Islands at Dornoch, knows more about golf than most thanks to his qualification which involved spending a placement year in the USA.

“I used to come to Loch Lomond Golf Club with my dad when the Scottish Open was played here so I was familiar with the Club and it was when I was out there at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon that I met someone from here and that got the ball rolling for me to get a job,” Rory explains.

Curating relationships – with Members, guests and colleagues – is very important to Rory, not just because he is in a customer-facing job but because he believes the world is a much nicer place when everybody talks to each other.

“There’s a great atmosphere among the Golf Operations team here – and across all the various teams at the Club,” he adds. “It’s something that new staff pick up on very quickly when they start working here. Everybody gets on and helps each other out.”

Rory, from Inverary, is himself a keen golfer and takes advantage of his free monthly round of golf during the summer months – one of the perks of being an employee at Loch Lomond Golf Club – as often as he can. 

“We also have a great view of the 8th tee from the shop.”

With some seasonal opportunities in the Professional Shop available, Rory is quick to recommend the experience to “anyone with an interest in golf and who likes meeting people”.

He adds: “I started off as a seasonal employee for two years and it was brilliant. There’s room for progression as has been the case for me, training is available.

“I’m looking for a new course at the moment – and you’ll be part of a really friendly and welcoming team.

“The job is also quite varied, from working in the stock room to keeping everything spick and span, and making sure you are there to help Members with all their requirements and queries – no two days are ever the same and it’s very fulfilling.”

For more information on the many wonderful job opportunities currently available at the Club, contact