Golf Course Management

JUL 2018

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

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42 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.18 from the superintendents I polled. e word "balance" is important, because for superin - tendents, personal lives must coexist with a strong work ethic, even though those two things sometimes compete. Some superin - tendents mentioned developing the ability to "shut it down" when they go home. After a 10-, 12- or 14-hour workday, it's important to let it go and not carry the stresses of the workplace home with you. In most regions, summertime is crunch time. Long days are the norm. It is neither good, noble nor healthy, however, to tip the scales with work and neglect the things that are more important. You must decide what those things are — nobody else can priori - tize your life. For some, the ranking is faith, family and work. Yours might be family, health and career, or maybe golf, fishing and then work. No matter how you score it, work and career should not be in the No. 1 slot. 4. Plan and organize Bryan Riek has been the superintendent at Palm Valley Country Club in Palm Des - ert, Calif., for 21 years. Private clubs some- times have a way of chewing up superin- tendents, but Bryan is an example of how a great superintendent stands the test of time. He credits his success to learning to plan, establishing systems, and anticipating chal - lenges so he can produce a top-quality prod- uct every day. Consistency does not come from "wing - ing it." All superintendents would benefit from a good overall agronomic plan that outlines cultural practices, fertility matters, and a schedule for chemical applications and labor requirements, with that last item based on the superintendent's own "manpower" studies done to determine the time required for each task. Develop capital improvement plans regardless of whether you have the fi - nancial support for the projects. You should always know what upgrades your property needs and about how much they would cost. Equipment replacement planning should in - clude a thorough understanding of the cost of ownership of each piece of equipment, and how this improves with a solid preven - tive maintenance program. Most planning efforts stem from histori - cal data and information gathered over time, so excellent record keeping is an integral part of this commandment, as it will allow you to optimally prepare for the future. Obviously, budgeting is a component of planning, and budgeting is an exercise in which past data is paramount. Keep meticulous records of all expenses. Knowing what you spent is a de - cent indicator of what you are going to spend the next year. Finally, always keep a clean, organized and professional-looking office and mainte - nance facility. All the planning in the world won't help a bit if your space is in disarray. You can have the best-laid plans, but if you don't know where those plans are or you rarely look at them, they're about as useful as a rotary mower for mowing greens — it's just not going to cut it! 5. Embrace humility is one surprised me a little, but it was noted by half of the respondents. For 12-year GCSAA member Bobby Jaeger, superinten - dent at Lake Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., taking responsibility when things go awry is a sign of a good leader. Humility also pertains to asking for as - sistance when you need it. Chances are you don't know it all, so don't be afraid to reach out for help from the various sales profession - als you work with, and from your fellow golf course superintendents. At the end of the day, asking for help makes us better, as these are instances in which we learn. I've seen superintendents who would rather struggle through turf issues, trying to figure it out themselves, than admit a lack of knowledge. Do not make that mistake. As author Criss Jami puts it, "To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength." 6. Hone your agronomic skill set Obviously, you need to know what N-P-K is to be an effective turfgrass manager. e importance of the agronomic skill set cannot be overstated. Ryan Zuehlsdorf, superinten - dent at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton, Adequately training your team figures prominently into two of the 10 commandments: holding people accountable and delegating.

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