Golf Course Management

AUG 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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82 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 Aug. 13 — GCSAA Webinar: Cultural Best Management Practices for the Golf Course, John H. Foy Time: 10 a.m. Contact: GCSAA Education Phone: 800-472-7878 Website: www.gcsaa.org/education/ my-learning-hub Aug. 14 — Nebraska Turfgrass Research Field Day, University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus Turfgrass Research Center Phone: 402-472-5351 Website: www.nebraskaturfgrass.com Aug. 14 — Michigan State University Turfgrass Field Day, Hancock Turfgrass Research Center, East Lansing Phone: 517-392-5003 Website: www.michiganturfgrass.org Aug. 22 — GCSAA Webinar: Topdressing 101: Organic Matter Man agement, Roch Gaussoin, Ph.D. Time: 10 a.m. CDT Contact: GCSAA Education Phone: 800-472-7878 Website: www.gcsaa.org/education/my- learning-hub Aug. 29 — Oregon State University Turfgrass Field Day, Lewis-Brown Farm, Corvallis Phone: 541-737-5449 Website: www.ogcsa.org Sept. 3 — North Texas GCSA Education Meeting, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children – sponsored by WinField United, Dallas Phone: 817-368-3002 Website: www.ntgcsa.org Sept. 9 — Georgia GCSA Bermuda grass Forum, King & Prince Golf Course, St. Simons Island Phone: 706-376-3585 Website: www.ggcsa.com Sept. 11 — Iowa Turfgrass Field & Demo Day, ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames Phone: 515-635-0306 Website: www.iowaturfgrass.org Sept. 16 — CMAA Industry Day, Latrobe Country Club, Latrobe, Pa. Phone: 412-838-7920 Website: www.gpgcsa.org (in the field) MEMBERS ONLY Kevin Doyle Northeast Labor continues to be a struggle for many superintendents in the Northeast. Whether attracting workers or retaining them, the pro - cess is difficult and costly. In one of my recent presentations, we spoke of how hard it is to manage and communicate with a multi - generational workforce. No easy feat, and challenges in dealing with younger employees dominated the post-presentation discussions. Much like our favorite sports teams, we need an element of youth within our staffs and the industry workforce to succeed now — and, more importantly, in the future. This piece isn't meant to be a means to fix problems associ - ated with attracting new and vibrant turf professionals, nor is there a magic bullet for molding millennials into perfect future assistant superintendents. I could simply write, "Let them do whatever they want, whenever they want, tell them they did an amazing job and give them a participation trophy." But honestly, that sounds good to me, too, and I'm far removed from my younger years. It is meant to focus on whom we are trying to attract, ways we might be able to reach them, and resources available to everyone that may assist in attracting young people to our industry. So many superintendents started working on golf courses at young ages, whether they started on the grounds crew or as a caddie. The "I want to work on a golf course" seed was planted early. Due to insur - ance issues, many of those opportunities are gone. Few superintendents hire employees under the age of 18. The problem is, by that age, potential employees have graduated high school, gotten their first or had multiple jobs, and have considered a non-turf career path that they believe they will be on the rest of their lives. We need to look to individuals even younger than high school age. Our mission at GCSAA to enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf cuts right to the heart of this matter. In order to grow the game, we need to engage young people without hiring them. I have written about The First Green before and taken part in Frank Tichenor's programs at Forest Hill Field Club and will be discussing another field trip opportunity in New Jersey in the spring. The First Green initia - tive is about opening up our courses as science labs to young students. Access to our property and game may never happen otherwise. Showing them what we do at our facility and how we do it is a key step to a possible future with golf in it. Bring them to us. Many superintendents are going the other direction and are heading back to school, going to a son's or daughter's class and talking about our profession or attending career days at local schools. GCSAA has redeveloped some marketing tools to promote our profession to youngsters. Our "office" might be slightly different than many others, and that may appeal to more kids than we think. I saw a tweet recently from the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association claiming that 37 percent of those employed in golf are students. It would be optimistic to say many of them are turf students, beginning a lifelong dream toward superintendent stardom. What I see is a large portion of your workforce that will need to be retrained when those current students pursue their actual career goals. Perhaps giving every toddler you know a Fisher-Price lawnmower might be a good start. Reaching out and engaging school-aged children about the passion and enjoyment we share in our industry may also reap future benefits. For the latest from all of GCSAA's field staff representatives, go to www.gcsaa.org/resources/ regional-resources.

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