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.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/385759

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82 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 and go; owners change; regulations, expecta- tions and budgets change (sometimes daily). Change is a natural part of any human en - deavor, but what is not natural is the nega- tive impact that we experience when we fail to navigate change properly. Like the distorted image from a broken mirror, these added stresses often result in physical illness and mental fatigue. Left un - checked, stress ends many careers, which are then discarded like broken glass. The key is to navigate these changes with a positive at - titude and sincere commitment. Gandhi said, "We must be the change we expect in the world." Successful superintendents embrace the winds of change, adjust their sails and set their course accordingly. They realize that this one skill may shape their future more than any other. Embrace the changes that you see in the mirror; they are likely the road maps to your future success. Facing your future: It's personal and professional It is 3:20 a.m. on a Tuesday in June, and I am looking in the mirror and thinking about the 90-plus degree temperatures and our bentgrass greens, which are becoming increasingly rare in Atlanta, Ga. I am think - ing about water, staffng, budgets, fungi, cut- worms, nematodes and the reality that our property just went through a reorganization that saw many tenured managers eliminated or replaced. I hope to make 12 more years, but how can I make this happen? I asked some of the most successful people in the golf/turf in - dustry and this is what they said. Become a masterful communicator. Develop positive public relations and relationships both in your operation as well as outside your operation. Work diligently to demonstrate your value starting at your property and then expand your ring of infuence throughout the industry. Host events, volunteer, innovate, be seen and be heard, but get involved and net - work like your future depends on it. Bruce R. Williams, CGCS, a 38-year member of GCSAA who served as the association's presi - dent in 1996, always says, "It's not just who you know but who knows you that creates op - portunity." Embrace te nology. Become competent in the latest forms of technology and keep up to date. This includes everything from equip - ment advances, computerized irrigation, staff- ing and payroll software — even social media. I asked sports turf legend George Toma about how technology had advanced during his ca - reer and he said, "In 1948 I sent a bill to the Cleveland Indians for $25 for the rental of a mule and harrow to prepare the infeld for spring training." That is a lot of change in one generation for the man who made turf part of Super Bowl history. Another GCSAA direc - tor, Rafael Barajas, CGCS at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, Calif., sums up technology — specifcally social media — this way: "Social media have improved my options to effciently communicate with peers and stakeholders across many geographic regions, both domestically and internationally. Given the unrelenting legislative obstacles, drought, and political and economic uncertainty since the recession, technology must be embraced by everyone in our industry." Work to grow t e game. Consider alterna - tive uses for your course such as introducing FootGolf, using 8-inch cups for a beginners' day, establishing a setup for an easier course, marketing to women and minority players — whatever you can do to grow the game, do it. World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona re - minds us, "The main issues that cause people to leave the game and not try the game are the same. They boil down to time, cost and dif - fculty." Maintain professional et ics. Someone who Starting at your own property, demonstrate your value by becoming a masterful communicator. Photo courtesy of Anthony Williams

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