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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gcm ex t ra Despite differences in age and gender, members of a golf course maintenance crew can be managed to work together like a "well-oiled machine," Geyer says. Photo by Donna Ingledue Every day, I remind myself of three words that fuel my approach to working with the team. Fairness. Firmness. Compassion. Book smart or people smart? All employee partners in the Firestone CC maintenance department fall into two of these categories. Personally, I fall into the spaces of "women" and "younger." As a 20-something female, I am not someone that many people would expect to see working on a golf course. We have all fought hard to get where we are today in our lives, and my story is probably just like those of many GCM readers. I began my collegiate experiences at a well-known Ohio university with a major in secondary music education. After two years, I realized that I was more suited to spend time outside on the greens. So I moved on to a turf management degree and became a student of Mother Nature instead of a student in the classroom. But did you learn everything in college you needed to know to be successful? Book smarts, maybe, but people smarts? No way. Most of my knowledge on that topic is drawn from Firestone, where I am currently the assistant superintendent. Firestone CC's maintenance department has 78 employee partners, whose ages range from 19 to 80 years old. Only fve of these members are women, including myself. This makes me a minority by gender and a minority by position. I am the only female supervisor in our department. I am commonly asked, "How do you take on this kind of role with such a diverse crew and get the work done?" Every day, I remind myself of three words that fuel my approach to working with the team. Fairness. Firmness. Compassion. The desired result It doesn't matter if you are 19 or 90, man or woman, veteran or novice, everyone wants to be treated fairly and given a shot to be equally successful in their skills, recognized for their work and treated fairly by their peers. We all want to be given that fair chance to prove ourselves. Firmness constantly comes into play. As a manager, you have to stick to your guns. All leaders must make judgment calls, and some of those are more popu- 64 GCM October 2013

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