My Career: Jonathan Taylor

7 May 2024 Feature Article

Jonathan Taylor’s career has taken him to some spectacular venues on both sides of the Atlantic and he is now enjoying life at The Addington, in Croydon.

Aside from the arresting views of London that the impeccable heathland course affords, he has also set his sights on delivering on the long-term vision of Managing Director and co-owner Ryan Noades. With a huge restoration project in full swing, Taylor’s new post has given him plenty to get stuck into.

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Jonathan Taylor


Tell us about your new role

I’m the course manager at The Addington, leading a team of 13. We’re maintaining the incredible heathland golf course we’ve got here that’s ranked inside the top 100 in the UK. My key responsibilities are to enhance turfgrass playing conditions, alongside managing the restoration project, which has been ongoing since 2020.

How does it fit into your career path?

All I’ve wanted to do is challenge myself with each role that I’ve taken on, and I looked at this as an excellent opportunity. I have the chance not only to enhance playing conditions but also to manage ongoing projects in line with the long-term vision for the club.

This role was outside my comfort zone because all my previous experiences have little to do with heathland courses, so it’s also a really good opportunity to continue to expand my knowledge.

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What skills have you found vital to your job?

I need to be personable, organised and adaptable. I get to deal with a lot of people day to day and not just the team, who all see each other more than we do our own families, so I need to be personable with all of them. I’ve got to be organised to deal with restoration plans, budgets, contractors, Mother Nature – there are a lot of balls to juggle. And I need to be adaptable because there are so many things that can change, and you have to be able to adapt to that.

What is the best thing about your new job?

Anybody who has been to The Addington can be a testament to the view that you’ve got over the entire skyline of London – it’s breathtaking. On top of that, the potential of the course and the team we’ve got to deliver on that is definitely one of the best things about it.



What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career?

I feel like I’ve managed to achieve the goals I set out for myself, but perhaps I didn’t take as many networking opportunities as I could have along the way. BIGGA offer some great opportunities, but I’ve always thrown myself so far into the deep end with whatever role I’ve had that I’ve never felt like I had the time for them.

What has been your best career break?

The biggest thing for me is that I’ve had a couple of great mentors who have helped me over the years. Scott Furlong, the superintendent at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia, was the first one that believed in me and gave me the opportunity as assistant superintendent when I was 21.

When I came back to the UK, Phil Chiverton gave me the opportunity at The Grove and afforded me the exposure to everything I would need to become a course manager, from budgeting, human resources and agronomy. Without those two, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

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The Addington


What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

I think working at a leading world-class venue such as The Addington and delivering unrivalled playing conditions and experiences, that’s my long-term goal. I’ve taken this job at The Addington because this is the place that I want to be and there’s so much to achieve here. If we implement the vision, this will be the place to be. 


What do you hope to achieve at The Addington?

Ryan (Noades, the owner of The Addington) has got special plans to restore the course back to its original design by JF Abercromby from 1913. We’ve teamed up with renowned architects Clayton, DeVries & Pont in order to achieve that, so that’s one of my main goals – to deliver on that vision of Ryan’s for the benefit of the members and guests.

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Ryan Noades & Frank Pont


Taylor on applying for a new job

Describe the recruitment process for your role

I’d seen it when Kerr Rowan got the position, but it was early days for me at Brocket Hall. When it came around again, I’d seen it on BIGGA’s website, but I was happy at Brocket so wasn’t necessarily looking to move on. Then Greg Evans, who was helping the owner with the recruitment process, rang me up and said, ‘Have you seen this and is it something you’d be interested in?’. I came down for a site visit, went through the interview process and thankfully got the job.

What do you think set you apart from the other candidates?

I think I showed some good knowledge in the interview and on the course walk, so when they asked questions about how to address certain issues, I had prepared for that and had potential solutions. The other thing was my time spent in America and having that private members’ club experience at high-end venues.

What were your new employers looking for?

I think it was somebody who had that adaptability and could roll with an ever-changing project. I had some good references, and I think they wanted someone who would be committed to the position.

What advice would you give to anyone applying for a similar role?

Do your homework. Research the club, its structure and its ownership and ultimately its vision. Go and see the course and facilities before you apply – you have to check that it matches your goals and ambitions. It’s also really important to be yourself. The people who are hiring you want to know who you are, so don’t put on a false front. Be the best version of yourself. GI





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