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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44 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.18 egate. But some superintendents are able to take even greater advantage of the power of delegating because they take the time to set clear expectations and communicate those expectations to their team. Delegating involves training, schedul - ing, understanding the strengths of each team member, prioritizing, planning, and then training some more. I once asked Ryan Meredith, superintendent at e Club at SpurWing in Meridian, Idaho, and a 13-year GCSAA member, how he achieved such im - pressive results at a previous golf course given the small crew he had there. His response? "It's my guys." As mentioned before, your staff is only as good as you are. Empower your team, and your course will benefit. A nice side perk of delegating is that it will sub - stantially boost job satisfaction among your employees. It's a win-win. 10. Mind the details Attention to detail is a quality that will absolutely set you apart and serve you well in this profession. Many superintendents have great eyes and pride themselves on being able to see all the little things. For some, though, the detailing issues on a property can be hard to spot — they might drive right by them repeatedly and never notice. If you struggle to be detail-oriented, you must train your eye. Deliberately pause and concentrate on each golf course feature in order to examine it thoroughly. Check the tees closely. Are there broken tees? Faded tee markers? Water stains on ball washers? Dirty towels? Tee markers not aligned with the target? Look down the fair - Seascape Golf Club in Aptos, Calif., is one of more than 80 golf facilities operated by American Golf. Calif., and a 23-year GCSAA member, ex- emplifies dedication to continuing education in turfgrass management. Ryan understands that a desire to keep learning is essential in this ever-evolving business — you simply cannot learn it all and be done. While formal education is valuable, not all the answers are contained in books. A couple of summers in the desert will teach you more about growing warm-season grass than any text on the subject could. Books and classroom education are important, but combining these with experience is more important. Nothing will be as beneficial to you as time under your belt growing grass. In my conversations with superintendents, most say their agronomic knowledge is 10 percent classroom, 90 percent experience. 7. Cultivate work ethic is one is a big deal, but "work ethic" can mean different things to different people. When I interview a superintendent job can - didate, I always ask, "What does work ethic mean to you?" For me, it means investing the amount of time needed to get the job done correctly rather than just cutting out when the crew does. Jon Christenson, superintendent at Span - ish Trail Country Club in Las Vegas and a 31-year association member, epitomizes the exceptional work ethic that is the hallmark of many successful superintendents. For Jon, there is no clock — the amount of time it takes to keep the course in pristine condition is the amount of time he works. If there's a job that needs to be done, he's going to do it, even if it means he's out digging ditches with the irrigators. A strong work ethic will sometimes clash with the earlier commandment of finding balance. You need to put in the time when necessary, but you must also balance your work with your home life. is can be a struggle, and it is up to each superintendent to weigh the circumstances and make these decisions on a case-by-case basis. 8. Engage "Be friendly to all members and golfers. Wave, smile, engage. It always comes back beneficial in the long run," says Russ Van - dehey, CGCS, superintendent at e Or- egon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore., and a 34-year GCSAA member. I couldn't agree with Russ more! Yes, there are successful superintendents out there who are more reserved and reclu - sive, but you up your odds of success and advancement by being engaged and letting your personality show. Beyond connecting with your membership, players and guests, you can take engagement to another level by establishing rapport with and assisting other managers at your facility. You'll gain a mountain of support, and by making their success your success, the entire business will be stronger. 9. Delegate is seems like a no-brainer — we all know a golf course superintendent must del -

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