Golf Course Management

JUN 2018

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/986198

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56 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.18 ner, then they believe that. "So you have to control people's percep - tions, and in customer service nothing will send a person away to never come back more than some indifference from an employee. And it's not just the pro treating people right. It's everybody. It's the cart kid bringing them the cart and helping them load their bag. It's the starter, the bartender, everyone they meet." Michaud sets the example, making it a point to drive around Fox Ridge, "making people feel welcome and wanted. "If I see someone standing there looking at their card and trying to figure out what kind of shot to make," he says, "I'll stop and try to an - swer their question for them. en I'll ask them if it's their first time and where they usually play and where they live, how'd they hear about us. at's important. If that's working, then you want to do it in your marketing program." As time goes on, golfers are expecting more and more from golf courses, Michaud says, pointing to green speeds and roll in the fairways. "e actual turf management has changed," he adds. "I'd like to throw out the old adage, 'Brown is the new green, so you can keep things dry.' No. We need (the club) to be sustainable. "I'm more of an environmental steward than 99 percent of the people I know. I like to hunt and fish and be outdoors, and the last thing I want to do is pollute the land. So I'm careful how I do it. I use a lot of biological, or - ganic products. But you can't be 100 percent organic unless you have a huge budget." GCSAA supportive Key to his argument is the GCSAA, which he says "are about the only people that fight for us superintendents as a profession. ey toot our horn as far as the great environmen - talists we are. Everyone thinks we're poisoning the planet. And they've done great work with the things we do to make golf sustainable and what we do to protect the environment. … No one else is doing that for us." Besides environmental stewardship, Mi - chaud says the GCSAA "has been great at promoting the golf course superintendent as a well-trained professional who can do the job better than anybody else because of the train - ing and constant educational seminars, yearly CEUs to keep up our licenses and Class A membership." Workforce Aside from finances, the biggest obstacle Michaud encounters each year is finding em - ployees for the grounds crew. "Our crew is 10 to 12, almost all part-tim - ers," he says. "It's just my mechanic and me in the winter. Assistants are hard to find. When you go to the New England show or GCSAA's national show and look at the job bank, ev - eryone's looking for assistants and mechanics. Occasionally, you'll see a spray tech or irriga - tion tech. "It's tough. People know they're going to work 60, 70, 80 hours a week at the peak of the season, and they can go and start their own little landscape company and make twice the money and work half the hours. ere are more options nowadays with all the landscap - ing that's going on." Regardless, Michaud is happy and content at his choice to make the two-man Myshrall- Lessard team e ree Musketeers. A frequent contributor to GCM, Mark Leslie is a freelance writer based in Monmouth, Maine. He is the author of the companion e-books "Putting a Little Spin on It: The Design's the Thing!" and "Putting a Little Spin on It: The Grooming's the Thing!" as well as several historical and contemporary novels. "So you have to control people's perceptions, and in customer service nothing will send a person away to never come back more than some indifference from an employee." — Ed Michaud The "Three Amigos" who designed and built Fox Ridge — Michaud, Lessard and Myshrall — all say that they would take on the challenge again if given the opportunity, although with some newfound perspective on the process.

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