Job Securing Tip #5: Personal Appearance Matters

on September 11, 2009

Personal appearance matters because without a consistent solid appearance you will not develop pride in who you are and what you do; and, accordingly, you will not earn the respect your God-given talents deserve. In good economic times this would be a shame. In bad economic times this is tantamount to working with one hand tied behind your back. As a golf course superintendent, the list of where your personal appearance matters is brief but vital:

Nothing delivers the message more directly that you have defaulted into a laissez-faire world than a deteriorating overweight body…

1. Your Physical Fitness: You owe it to yourself and your family to strive to be physically fit throughout your life because you will live longer; enjoy your career and life more; sustain your self-image more effectively; be a better model to your children; and continue to command the respect of those you interact with throughout your work environment. Nothing delivers the message more directly to those who you surround yourself with in life (including your employer) that you have defaulted into the laissez-faire world where the concept of excellence no longer exists than a deteriorating overweight body.

2. Your Personal Dress Code: As a general rule, superintendents spend far too little for their personal clothing and as a result often come up short appearance-wise when playing golf, or attending employer-based social and business functions – where a sport jacket and slacks are the general dress code of the day for a golf course superintendent. Nothing wrong with wearing a sport jacket and slacks most of the time, but this should not be the top of your personal dress code line.

Golf professionals learned the value of a quality dress code a long time ago…

How often do we see a superintendent wearing a good suit? Rarely. I am not suggesting that suits become the prevailing dress code; rather, that every man and woman superintendent should own and be seen at appropriate times by his/her constituents wearing a well-tailored business suit. If you want to be perceived as a professional person, dress like one. Golf professionals learned this lesson a long time ago. Spending to upgrade your clothing line is a justifiable expenditure and is money well used – even in a bad economy.

Keeping a job today is everything about commanding respect. Don’t give it away through sloppy personal and dress habits.

Superintendents, want to help your assistant(s) on their career path? Print out these Career Corner posts and responses on an ongoing basis and assemble them in a hard copy binder for your assistants and crew.

There Are 5 Comments

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  1. Jim McLoughlin says:


    Each GCSA Chapter should consider scheduling a first annual “Best Dressed Golf Course Superintendents Of The Year” contest at one of its Chapter membership meetings next Spring. Yes, candidates would walk before their members as fashion models do every day.

    There might be three categories of competition: (i) wearing golfing attire; (ii) wearing informal social attire (jackets and slacks); and (iii) wearing a business suit – with an appropriate award/prize for the winner in each category

    Finally, the photos of the three category winners might be presented on the Chapter web site and/or in the Chapter newsletter.

    Do well.


  2. Jim McLoughlin says:


    The purpose of suggesting the above dress code contest is to encourage golf course superintendents and their Chapters across the country to focus on the importance of professional dress to the success of their careers and mission in life.

    Superintendents have been disrespected thru the years because too often they have personally dressed below the level of their professionalism. Let the contests begin to help bridge this gap.

    It is time to upgrade the “personal” image of the golf course superintendent.


  3. Robert Cook CTP says:

    Jim I agree with this “Personal Appearance Matters” article 100%. Dating myself now, I remember when we would bring out our favorite “Leisure Suit” probably light blue or green with a white belt and attend the monthly superintendents meeting. Now thank God those days are gone but the sports coat is always in fashion. The big problem as I see it many come for the golf and beer than to mingle and learn during a monthly meeting. Many associations still require the BOARD to wear a coat but the industry as a whole does the slum thing. Remember everyone: you only get one chance to make a first impression. And you never know who and when that time will come.

    Jim McLoughlin Reply:


    We have to learn that we dress to meet our own personal standards – not for others.

  4. Jeff Johnson says:

    When I started in the business in the early 90’s I was impressed by the local Superintendents and how they dressed and I guess I never really noticed too many caps being worn at events, now the dress attire is casual and when we are in a club house I cannot believe how many of these guys continue to wear their caps in the club. Not only is this unprofessional but it is disrespectful as well. When going to meetings leave the caps at home!!