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.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/178551

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gcm ex t ra can use either as an idea on the course or just as a piece of sage life advice. I work on a daily basis with many people who are much older than I am. They often remind me, in the hectic pace we keep, to stick to my guns and stay methodical. So often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the course that we forget how important it is to take the time to relate to the people who are helping us get the work done. Listening to my elders has taught me many things, not only about turf, but also about how to walk through life as a better person. Lasting impressions We all have had someone, or a group of people, who helped us to become the person we are today. Part of the reason I wanted to be a teacher when I frst got out of high school was to help the next generation of kids grow up to be awesome people and inspire them in the way that teachers had helped me. Although we are not in front of a classroom every day, we still have the opportunity to affect those that are younger than we are. Many of us hire young adult college students (men and women) who view getting up and going to the golf course as "just a summer job." They may not always be the most punctual or detail-oriented people. Yet we have the chance to instill a sense of pride, community and respect in these individuals. Talk with younger workers to help them understand what makes our veteran workers so skilled and respected. We wear many different hats as superintendents and assistants. We need 68 GCM October 2013 Left: Maintenance staff and volunteers receive their assignments during the Bridgestone Invitational. Photo by Donna Ingledue Right: One of the biggest challenges Geyer faced with her team was repairing 225 washed out bunkers just before the tournament got under way. Photo by Scott Traphagen to be relatable, available and understandable. This may mean taking two minutes to ask about the presentation a student gave for a college English class or even asking about his or her fantasy football league. If it means that you have built a base of trust with someone from an age group that normally defes authority or has little motivation for just a "summer job," it's totally worth it. Sincerity is key, and if you are sincere, being relatable, available and understandable will fall in line naturally. If you have done what you feel you need to do to establish a great working environment, the idea is that you're on no one's side, but everyone is on your side. Hopefully, you have built the bridge across age and gender gaps, and have given people a level playing feld to work on for you. No matter the age or gender, authority that can be respected is available. As a leader, it's our goals that need to be met. You choose how to get there. We certainly are not everyone's friend at work, nor should we be. But we should be an ally. We have a common goal to achieve and need to work together to get there. The tournament has come and gone. The glitz and "glamour" (if you can call it that) of preparing a course to host such an event as a World Golf Championship is over for the year. And what is left? In my opinion, it's a property with the best crew to maintain our golf course. The lasting images of Firestone captured on television and in photographs are not only etched into the digital archives of media, but also into the hearts and minds of our crew. And if that is all that remains — well, it's enough because in the end, they are the ones who remember what it took to get there and are proud of how it all happened. GCM Renee Geyer is assistant superintendent at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, and a six-year member of GCSAA.

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