Golf Course Management

SEP 2013

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

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gcm ex t ra a 5-cent refund. Turner estimates that the course collects up to $3,500 per year from returnables that are thrown away or recycled by players. "We run golfers through here pretty solidly throughout our golf season," Turner explains. "It's a busy course." Turner's staff also will participate in the annual employee appreciation event for all departments, often held at a local bowling alley with family members, including children, invited. Employees can win such giveaways as Portland Trailblazers tickets, weekend hotel stays and gift cards that are purchased by or donated to the course. Turner will often receive gifts or free items from vendors he purchases supplies from during the course of the year. He'll save those items, which can include various tools and landscaping products, and give them to employees as rewards for going the extra mile. "We have to be creative with how we recognize our employees because we don't have the same amount of discretionary money we used to, and I think that is true just about everywhere," Turner says. "But I try to mix it up so that everyone on my staff gets some recognition during the year." Scheduling fun As a result of these and other activities, Turner experiences very little turnover. Many of his employees have worked at The Reserve Vineyards GC since before 2004, when Turner himself arrived. When Alwine attends industry events such as the Golf Industry Show, he grabs as much SWAG ("stuff we all get," or giveaways such as hats, T-shirts, candy, pens, pads of paper) as he can to share with his staff. In addition members at courses where he has worked in the past will often be willing to put together a small collection of donated money for the staff for a fun event, even if it is $5 per member. 72 GCM September 2013 Bernardo Heights staff members select items that Alwine brought back from the Golf Industry Show to share. "There are times obviously I just take my team out somewhere or bring in pizza with my own money because I remember my bosses doing that for me when I was younger," Alwine says. He has never really budgeted for such events as part of his annual expenditures, but adds that there are plenty of creative ideas available to help recognize staff. Here are a few ideas for events and activities from business consultants and superintendents around the country: • Staff cookout/dinner. A signifcant recognition event would include higher-end food and some sort of formal recognition for the staff. A luncheon could be ideal so that staff who work both the morning and evening shifts can attend without much hassle. • Tickets to a local sporting event, such as a professional or minor league team or a major college team. The San Diego GCSA, for example, traditionally holds an appreciation day for members' staffs at a San Diego Padres game at Petco Park. Renting transportation, such as a bus, can be effective. Superintendents will need to be cognizant of early morning work schedules the next day. • Half-day with pay. This could be built into the budget. While it may not be an effective way of publicly recognizing certain employees, a paid holiday may be the most appreciated form of recognition. • Gift cards. These could be awarded through random drawings, or to specifc team members for specifc achievements, or to everyone on staff. Choose gift cards that can be used anywhere or ones from major online retailers to appeal to the broadest range of tastes. • Golf tournament. Even if they are not golfers, almost everyone on your staff will enjoy a casual golf event. Making this tournament a fun competition with small prizes and even trophies for teams or individuals can add to the camaraderie of a staff. GCM Mike Scott is a freelance writer based in White Lakes, Mich., and a frequent contributor to GCM.

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