Golf Course Management

JUN 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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06.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 47 believed in us," says Kari, 42, who finished her prison sentence last November and has since landed a part-time position on the maintenance crew at another golf facility. "Having someone believe in you and trust you after all the things you've been through — that's really big for people like me." Help wanted Tipton took the reins at Hillsview in February 2017, having previously tended nine-hole Colby (Kan.) Country Club and growing-in three courses: nine-hole Oahe Trails Golf Course in Pierre, S.D.; 27-hole Sutton Bay Golf Club in Agar, S.D.; and 18-hole Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Willis- ton, N.D. Tipton's résumé also included a stretch as agriculture program specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agricul- ture in Pierre, where he managed the state's pesticide program from 2008 to 2017. —at post was where he first encountered the idea of workers from the department of correc- tions, who were employed in various divi- sions of local and state government. A South Dakota native, Tipton returned to golf course management to fill the shoes of Hillsview's superintendent, whose retire- ment coincided with the departure of the course's assistant superintendent and irri- gation technician. Hillsview — where the golf season is typically March through mid- November — has four full-time employees, so Tipton was essentially tasked with build- ing a team from scratch. —e seven seasonal crew member positions proved the toughest to hire. "—e ability to find workers besides college students here is pretty lacking," Tip- ton says of Pierre, which has a population of roughly 14,000. Tipton assembled a seasonal crew that consisted of college students and retirees, and all went relatively smoothly that first season at Hillsview. —at is, until the stu- dents headed back to school mid-August, leaving Tipton short-handed with much golf left to be played. "In Pierre, we're semi- arid and warm, and we can have 80-degree weather all the way until November," Tipton says. "So it's really difficult to get through Labor lab Read more superintendents' stories of innovative labor solutions, plus get insights on finding, managing and retaining your crew members at GCMOnline.com/Labor. August, September and October without having a full staff. —e golf course really suf- fers from that. You're still getting the same amount of play, and you want to have quality conditions, but if you don't have the workers, you can't have those conditions." Knowing Pierre's labor pool would be scant and remembering the inmates on the clock at the department of ag, Tipton reached out to the DOC on Aug. 18, 2017, to inquire about bringing some of the wom- en's prison workforce on board. Four days later, three inmates were at Hillsview bright and early, ready to join Tipton's crew. Kari was part of that first group. "—e day we got there, it had rained 4 inches the night be- fore, and they were pumping out bunkers," Kari says. "Bryan just threw us right in." Beyond bars —e inmates who work at Hillsview are minimum-security, meaning they're classi- fied as low-risk and are allowed to enter the community through work programs. At the South Dakota Women's Prison in Pierre

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