Golf Course Management

OCT 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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Page 65 of 129

gcm ex t ra Renee Geyer (in blue shirt) pauses for a moment with the greens mowing crew at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio. Photo by James Dobbins Building a bridge Firestone CC's assistant superintendent offers her perspective on successfully managing a golf course crew's gender and generational differences. Renee Geyer 62 GCM October 2013 For many golf course superintendents and assistants, the summer of 2013 can be summed up with one word: rain. For the majority of the early months of the season, northeast Ohio was inundated with storm after storm and saw severe weather like never before. In the month of July alone, Firestone Country Club received 11 inches of rain, which is 7 inches more than our July average. Along with wet conditions for golfers, the Firestone crew dealt with days of rain suits; wet boots, ropes and stakes; clumped clippings in the rough; and areas that could not even be mowed. However, the most diffcult challenge was washed out bunkers. While we were preparing the South Course for the 2013 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational (Aug. 1-4), the rain kept coming. It was an experience like no other. As I shoveled along with our crew, I witnessed a truly magical moment. As I watched our team, I saw a brief glimpse of the dedication and effort that is given year-round at Firestone. Over a period of two weeks, the 225 bunkers on the property washed out four times, and the crew reshoveled after each downpour, with no questions asked. Our crew spent countless hours shoveling up bunkers on all three private courses and our nine-hole public course, while trying to prepare the grounds for the 73 best golfers in the world, and thousands of spectators who would soon enter the gates of Firestone. I am constantly amazed at the work that the Firestone crew completes and am humbled when recognition is given to them. But how do you get to the point where everyone is working like a well-oiled machine? The diversity of our staff is greatly varied: men, women, older, younger. How do you deal with leading such a population?

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