Golf Course Management

OCT 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.18 Julie says, "When he was tired and going to bed before they (children) were, (it) was a little challeng - ing. I know it's hard when you're working with a liv- ing product, and there's always something to do. We have done the best we could, made the best to have time that we can. I do think he's positively influ - enced our kids." She has put up with a lot over their 25-year mar - riage, Kevin says. "I am grateful for her undying support of what I've done, including disregard of my family life. I was too interested in work to realize it," he says. "I'm working hard to be a better husband, a better father." He sees the makings of a generational shift in superintendents, and much of it is positive. "is generation seems to have a better work-life balance, striving for a manageable schedule. ey get some - thing we (his era of superintendents) didn't," Kevin says. His role at EarthWorks provided a new start. Although he's on the road every other week, Kevin maintains a home office. It has taken Julie time to adjust to Kevin's job change. "He's coming down the stairs and having coffee at 10:30 in the morning. I'm like, 'What are you doing here?' I wanted to give him a to-do list, but he said he already had a list," she says. "Periodically, I'll see him working outside at 2 in the afternoon, and I've got to pinch myself." For the superintendents, Kevin sends this mes - sage: "You only get one chance with the kids. Don't miss it. And don't have the worst-looking yard on the block." oversaw Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Resort. Before that, he was in charge at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise, Idaho, and Desert Forest Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. After leaving Coeur d'Alene, Hicks landed as a regional agronomist for EarthWorks Natural Or - ganic Products, a job he began last November. His wife of 25 years, Julie, called the change "a blessing in disguise." Kevin, a 28-year GCSAA Class A member, views it as such — and more. "It gave me a nudge to force me to think about things differently," he says. Perhaps his story serves as a cautionary tale for su - perintendents. Kevin wishes that he would have seen the signs of how the job was affecting him — at the expense of his family — long ago. "I really had my priorities messed up. I was at (his sons') baseball games. My presence was there, but I really wasn't there. I'm at a baseball game, thinking about it (work), and I'd go back to the golf course after the game. It's a tough business to be a good family man because you've got two families," he says. Julie, the mother of his three sons, Michael, Luke and Brady, managed. "You have to provide for your family," she says, "and being a superintendent is kind of extreme. It's mentally and physically exhausting. His parameters were sunup to sundown." At Coeur d'Alene, Kevin organized split crews. e first group arrived at 5 a.m. e second group came at 2 p.m. and worked until 10:30 those evenings. "Plenty of opportunity to overwork myself. Probably 80 hours a week. In hindsight, all of it wasn't necessary. Maybe it was a lack of trust in myself. Maybe I thought I was indispensable," he says. Julie and Kevin Hicks with their three boys, Michael (next to Kevin); Brady (front); and Luke (right). Kevin, who was a superin - tendent for 25 years, now is regional agronomist for EarthWorks Natural Organic Products. Photo courtesy of Kevin Hicks

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