Golf Course Management

MAR 2019

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

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54 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.19 It's a pain point Kevin Shook knows all too well. Shook, Class A superintendent at Point Rock Golf Club in Elkhart, Kan., is his course's only full-time employee. Point Rock used to have three full-timers — one in the clubhouse, one assisting Shook on the course. One retired and one moved, and it was decided, Shook says, they would not be replaced by full- time employees because the nine-hole municipal course couldn't afford to pay benefits. So Shook, a 20-year GCSAA member, has to fill his staff with part-time employees drawn from a tiny small-town Kansas employment pool. For insurance reasons, Shook can't hire anyone under 18, so most high schoolers aren't an option. Oh, yeah — everyone he hires also must be a resident of Morton County (Pop.: ±3,200), where Point Rock is located. "I'm shorthanded," Shook says. "ere have been times I've hired only two people because I've only gotten two applications. I would have hired three, but I only got two applications." Shook says he has been fortunate to hire a few retirees — "ey're fantastic," Shook says. "ey do everything you ask them to do. ey're here every day." — and has hired a few youngsters after they came of age. "I'm a middle-school basketball coach, so I tell them to remember me when they turn 18," he says. "I've been really blessed. I had some employees I hired when they were 18 and had them four or five years. ey enjoyed the work. ey moved on but wish they could make the money they're making now and work on a golf course." Crunch felt coast to coast e labor crunch isn't being felt only in small-town middle America. "We've been hurting the last two, three years," says Scott Phelps, CGCS, at e Golf 39% 59% 2% I had unfilled/open position(s) for the majority of the most recent peak season I had a full maintenance staff for the majority of the most recent peak season Other Did you operate with a full maintenance staff during the most recent peak season or did you operate with unfilled/open position(s) for the majority of the most recent peak season? The GCSAA invited 1,400 members of the Superintendent Research Panel and 600 ran - domly selected Class A and Class B members to participate in the 2018 Labor Survey. There were 369 responses. The graphs accompanying this article show some of the results of that survey. 19% Assistant superintendent 74% 13% 15% 13% 9% 8% Crew member/ operator Equipment manager/ technician Irrigation specialist Spray technician Other None of the above Which of the following maintenance staff positions, if any, are difficult for you to retain employees?

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