Golf Course Management

OCT 2014

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

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60 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 with most identifying with one to a lessor or greater degree. Without a doubt, trees add a great deal of pos - itive value in the form of beauty, structure and shade. Defective or hazardous trees can degrade the positive to a large extent. The second approach can tug on the stakeholders' heartstrings a bit. When using the feelings strategy, it usually adds clarity to point out where a hazardous tree exists on the course and then explain the con - cept of "target." Targets are objects of importance on your property that trees (or tree parts) could fall on. The most common targets are people, houses, sheds, power lines, cars and fences. The farther a defective tree is from these targets, the less signifcant its level of hazard is. Finances Right or wrong, many decisions are based strictly on the costs involved. Cost should certainly be a fac - tor, but when it comes to spending money on trees, there are three classes of costs: (1) ongoing mainte - nance, (2) inspection protocols/tools and risk assess- ment and (3) engagement — hazards, targets, neg- ligence, accidents and lawsuits. The good news is that if dollars are spent on the frst two, the third is rarely necessary. Keep these things in mind while you are putting together your strategy of persuasion. • Unless it's a sapling, every tree carries some level of risk. • Managing tree risk is similar to risk management in other golf course operations — for example, the swimming pool, clubhouse, golf car rental and refreshment stands. • "Hazard" simply means that some level of injury threshold has been surpassed and should be dealt with. • The reasons for concern are safety and accident prevention for golfers and golf course workers. • A quick Internet search of "golf course tree ac - cidents" or a similar phrase will turn up a few unpleasant news stories. • Property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care or they are negligent. If a tree catastrophe occurs, that means they have failed in that duty (a breach), that the failure caused injury and that the injury caused real harm to people and property. The failure in duty exists when it can be docu - mented by expert testimony that customary practices Some tree defects, such as this co-domi- nant leader, need to be noted and closely monitored, while others require immediate attention to avoid an accident and possible injury from tree failure.

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