Golf Course Management

FEB 2017

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

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34 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.17 It's a new year, and now is the time for planning. Whether you're creating plans from scratch or reviewing existing ones, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to be thinking about long- and short-term plans and goals. We're all familiar with long-range plans for golf courses that entail scheduled archi - tectural changes or updates to the property. These usually serve as a road map for changes over a period of five to 20 years. Long-range plans can also be five- to 10-year capital plans that encompass equipment purchases, infrastructure improvements (such as main - tenance facilities), and rebuilding bunkers, greens or tees. Short-term plans typically cover activities to be accomplished in, say, one to two years. These projects generally re - quire less advance work to secure contractors, permits and approvals, and can often be done in-house. The use of long-range plans frequently helps steer course changes along a path that takes into consideration the costs and how the work can best be funded over time. Incor - porating financial planning into a long-range plan ensures that the focus will remain on the original objectives throughout the plan's life. A critical component of the success of long- range projections for course modifications is selecting a capable golf course architect who is willing to commit the time and effort to fully understand the complicated world of member politics and ideas. The membership must be united in its desire for the future of the course to ensure a consistent product as the plan moves forward. When long-range plans fail or never reach completion, it's usu - ally because this or another critical compo- nent has collapsed. Long-range capital equipment plans are often five to 10 years in length, but are more effective if they are set up as rotat - ing long-range plans. Rotating long-range plans remove the current year from the mix and add another year at the end of the plan. This creates a dynamic, flexible plan that is constantly evolving. Each current year then becomes a short-term plan with equipment, budgeting and timeline elements. (business) Roger Stewart, CGCS Twitter: @ridevictory Short-term planning is a great way to pre- pare for the coming season — to list what needs to be done and how you plan to do it. These types of plans include agronomic plans, staffing plans, application plans, proj - ect plans and just about anything else you can think of that you want to tackle in the coming year. Such plans can be expressed as a simple calendar or as a detailed agronomic plan that specifies a timeline, resources needed and budget information. You can employ short-term planning for course changes if the modifications are in - tended to improve agronomic success or play- ing quality, such as small irrigation tweaks or upgrades, drainage projects, or bunker rebuilding. When these short-term projects begin to impact the character and playability of the course, it may be time to incorporate the concepts into a long-range plan to ensure the integrity of the course is maintained, or, in some cases, to demonstrate the need for more extensive renovations or updates. Often, superintendents brainstorm with their staff, green committee or managers about projects, ideas, concepts and schedules. By converting this brainstorming into a plan, you'll be better equipped later on to commu - nicate the goals you want to achieve on both a short- and long-term basis. You can share the objectives and how you foresee reach - ing them with staff, members, committees or other individuals as necessary. You'll also have a document to refer to during the year or during work on a project that can keep you on track and help you easily incorporate ad - justments along the way. Roger Stewart, CGCS, is the director of golf course mainte- nance operations at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn. Stew- art and Bruce Williams, CGCS, will team up to teach the half-day seminar "Hire, Manage and Develop Your Team" at this month's Golf Industry Show in Orlando, which will include a section on developing golf course standards and long-range plans. Planning the work, and working the plan By converting brainstorming into a plan, you'll be better equipped later on to communicate the goals you want to achieve on both a short- and long- term basis.

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