A review of last week’s blog message (October 22nd; Tip #10) will remind superintendents that by elevating their game, scheduling play routinely throughout their golfing community and identifying with the inherent values of the Game, they would be positioning themselves to acquire new status within golf’s inner sanctum; i.e., the nationwide Family Of Golf. In due course, this newly earned standing would likely become one of the surest forms of job security available to golf course superintendents throughout their long careers.
Once superintendents… earn their way into the Family Of Golf circles they will be treated by their employers and constituents as the equivalent of “favorite sons”…
This premise stands true because past history shows that once superintendents take the time to earn their way into the Family Of Golf circles they will be treated by their employers and constituents as the equivalent of “favorite sons” working within a small business operation; and accordingly, will be supported, counseled and job-protected to the fullest extent that course economics will allow. At a minimum, this translates into the comforting circumstance whereby the dismissing of a respected “favorite son” superintendent will become a matter of last resort for course operations facing economic pressures and not, as is now too often the case, a matter of first resort.
…the highest echelon of respect a layman can earn within national golf circles is being recognized for possessing a broad-based Rules expertise…
The Rules Pedigree:
Carrying the Family concept one step further, the highest echelon of respect a layman can earn within national golf circles is being recognized for possessing a broad-based Rules expertise. The most direct evidence supporting this premise is noting that one of the fundamental requirements for becoming a USGA officer, executive director, or field staff operative is possessing a thorough working knowledge of and an acquired expertise with the Rules of Golf – gained through years of dedicated field service to this cause.
Could there be a better time for golf course superintendents to seize on this guaranteed respect enhancing (i.e., job securing) opportunity? Nothing stands in the way, except committing to the following readily addressable qualifying program: (i) registering for the one or more PGA/USGA sponsored Rules Workshops needed to qualify you to pass the challenging national Rules test; (ii) once having passed this test, volunteering to serve on your club/course Rules Committee; (iii) working with your course’s golf professional staff to co-teach the Rules throughout your golf course setting and (iv) further volunteering to serve on your regional golf association’s tournament Rules Committee from time to time.
Servicing the Rules needs of their course-playing clientele will convert the superintendents’ present “back-of-the-house” image to a newly respected and deserved “front-of-the-house” image…
Working through this four-step Rules program will benefit superintendents in ways never previously anticipated. For example, superintendents would: (i) earn unprecedented professional respect; (ii) convert their present “back-of-the-house” image to a newly respected and deserved “front-of-the-house” image; (iii) enhance their job security; (iv) gain a decided edge when seeking new jobs because of their Rules commitment and (v) acquire a new satisfaction with and pride in themselves and their careers.
Clearly, this won’t be a quick and easy road to travel, but it’s one where the benefits gained are valued and true. Who would’ve thought the Rules of Golf could deliver treasures forever sought but never previously perceived as being deliverable to golf course superintendents?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.
Why is it that while superintendents play a lot of golf they are not considered to be an integral part of golf’s inner sanctum, or true players of the game? The direct answer to this question is because superintendents essentially play golf outside golf’s mainstream arena; i.e., roughly 85% of the rounds the typical superintendent plays are with peers via monthly chapter meetings, chapter tournaments, late afternoon rounds with staff and friends, etc. This is tantamount to drinking beers in the parking lot and not in the fraternity house with the pace setters on campus.
The missing element here is that golf course superintendents must learn to identify with the game of golf’s inherent values and not just use it for social exercise…
The missing element here is that golf course superintendents must learn to identify with the game of golf’s inherent values and not just use it for social exercise. Caring for and maintaining the nation’s golf courses is a different thing, entirely. Identifying with the game is a two-step exercise:
Step One Requirements:
1. Your first concern must always be giving the necessary attention to optimizing the quality of your golf game because this is the only way you will be comfortable playing golf in the “mainstream arena” before the world. This nets down to taking golf lessons, practicing on the range and practice putting green to the degree necessary and, of course, playing enough golf.
2. It is important to understand that how well you score is far less important than playing the game comfortably within the accepted norms of the players’ community; i.e., at a good pace, within your game’s limits, by handling adversity well and by showing a respect for the Rules Of Golf.
3. Dress like a golfer and play with a set of modern age clubs and golf bag. Tired clubs and golf bags convey an image of indifference to the game.
4. Schedule your season long golf game into the mainstream arena via rounds with members of your governing boards and committees; playing a weekly game with your course players that would include informal course maintenance Q&A sessions before, during and after each round; participating in several weekly PGA ProAms a season with fellow course players; and scheduling post-season international golf trips with course officials/players as golf professionals often do – and more.
It is a well-accepted axiom that playing golf will provide insight into your and your fellow golfers’ personalities like no other way in life. Accordingly, use the opportunity of playing golf in the mainstream arena to show the world (and your club/course constituents) who and what you truly are. Best job security in the world.
5. Always establish and maintain a USGA-based handicap via your course’s score reporting system by posting a minimum of 20 scores a year. There is no greater way to tell the world that you couldn’t care less about the game of golf than by failing to maintain an official handicap.
There is no hurry; take the time you need to effectively grow into and implement the above “player” qualifying recommendations. Once you have met the criteria, you will have earned the right to be considered a players’ player and all the otherwise not available career and life altering benefits associated with this status will begin to accrue to you.
…which will profile what further commitments will be required of you to assume, not just a membership in, but a leadership role in the Family of Golf…
For the moment, however, I leave you to speculate what specifically these job enhancing and securing benefits might be until next week’s blog message, which will profile what further and final commitments will be required of you to assume, not just a membership in, but a leadership role in the Family of Golf.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.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans have less than a necessary feel for the true state of the national economy. This situation has developed primarily because conflicting stories about the state of the economy emanate regularly from the White House and the national news media. Human nature being what it is, however, most Americans are underestimating the severity of this recession and, consequently, will likely pay a greater than necessary price if and when reality hits home.
What Is The True State Of The National Economy?
The most direct answer I can provide to this question is to suggest that there are “dark days” ahead – hopefully, for a short while. The following summary facts that are rarely reported should give you insight into the present economy: the current national debt is greater than the combined debt for all the 233 prior years of the country’s history; the country is presently facing $65 trillion of unfunded liabilities; economists predict that currently proposed legislation, if passed, would drive the national debt to “unsustainable” levels; and, finally, the true unemployment rate is not 9.7% as is being reported but rather roughly 18%. (Suggestion: to further your economic education, Google and surf the Internet to confirm the above factual data.)
There’s more, but the above facts are enough to paint an alarming picture that the White House advises “will get worse before it gets better.”
Because it is a generally accepted premise that mismanaging your personal finances will eventually bring down your career, I recommend…
Recommended Courses Of Action
Because it is a generally accepted premise that mismanaging your personal finances will eventually bring down your career, I recommend the following effective ways to organize your lives to survive hard economic times:
My purpose… is not to discourage readers; rather, it is to instill sufficient constructive fear in your hearts and minds to ensure that you will do what is necessary to survive this economy…
My purpose in painting the above economic picture is not to discourage readers; rather, it is to instill sufficient constructive fear in your hearts and minds to ensure that you will do what is necessary to survive this economy. Is there hope for the future? Absolutely, because tens of thousands of Americans are awakening to the realities of this economy every day and, consequently, will no longer take American opportunity for granted. We will become a stronger country than ever before in the near future. Your job is to survive this economy during these few intervening years. Godspeed!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.
Two economic realities will dictate the fiscal viability of the nation’s private golf club community for the coming year(s): first - how heavy a financial hit the private golf club community takes this fall when it invoices for 2010 member dues; and second – how heavy a tax hit the nation’s achieving class (i.e., the core of private club members) will have to absorb should pending tax-generating legislation (universal medical care, global warming and a first time ever VAT, or national sales tax) be voted into law by Congress.
I say again, “90% of the jobs that might be lost in a bad economy can be saved by knowledgeable superintendents taking the appropriate initiatives…
Because the golf industry can not expect to escape cleanly from the above economic entanglements, superintendents have little choice but to go on the offensive to minimize the risk of job loss to the lower salaried. Restating what I said in an earlier blog message, “90% of the jobs that might be lost in a bad economy can be saved by knowledgeable superintendents taking the appropriate initiatives” translates into the following:
Offensive Initiative: First, adopt the central theme of the main body of my earlier 2009 blog messages; i.e., “The best thing superintendents can do to keep their jobs is to take the lead in re-shaping course maintenance budgets to reduce operating costs without sacrificing significant course quality; then, specifically put into practice the seven “Job Securing Tips” recently published via this blog. (FYI – another dozen or so additional “Tips” will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.)
Defensive Initiative: Commit to either updating your previously prepared personal web site, or preparing your first web site now. In either case, your web site should emphasize (with the use of graphics when possible) that you have the experience to maintain a quality golf course in a proven highly cost-efficient manner. Because up to half of all interview slots go to candidates submitting personal web sites, you do not want to be caught “naked” should you lose your job unexpectedly; i.e.- having to compete for your next job against uniquely difficult odds. Always be ready to move on job-wise 24/7 in this economy, whether this be at your employer’s initiative, or your own. Do not take your job for granted under any circumstance.
Without question, a newly hired golf course superintendent will have better job security than most incumbent superintendents…
More Offensive Initiative: With a new or updated web site in hand, stay tuned to the job market and always consider applying for another job while still holding your present job. (Review the following two earlier applicable blog messages before applying for your next job: (3/20) “Stress Free Job Interviews,” and (4/30) “Don’t Waste Your Cover Letter.”)
Should you apply for another job, your cover letter should make several points: first, that there are no such things as being “over-qualified” or making a “lateral move” in this economy because every job presents its own set of unique challenges that will test the best of superintendents; and then, that you would expect your salary to fit comfortably within revised economy-driven budgets. Without question, a newly hired golf course superintendent will have better job security than most incumbent superintendents.
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.
This is the third blog message I have dedicated to the subject of maintenance facility law and order within the past two months. (See Tips # 3 and #6 within the sidebar archive.) Why have I made this ongoing commitment to this one subject – because I firmly believe that what you see in the maintenance facility is what you will get on the golf course. In today’s difficult economy where employers will continue looking to replace higher with lower salaries for some time to come, a loosely maintained facility will too often become the final straw that will cost many unsuspecting superintendents their jobs.
To successfully address this job-threatening challenge, a repeating mechanism is needed that would both educate the remaining uninitiated (yes – still in the majority) and remind those who have recently seen the “light” to stay the course.
…an annual chapter-based contest to identify “The Best Managed Maintenance Facility Of The Year” would effectively help to realize these two educational goals…
Accordingly, I suggest that the concept of an annual chapter-based contest to identify “The Best Managed Maintenance Facility Of The Year” would effectively help to realize these two educational goals. The recommended guidelines that would be used to conduct these yearly contests follow:
1. A “Maintenance Facility Guidance Committee” would initially be formed within each chapter to define contest rules and regulations. Once formed, this Committee would also be asked to promote the annual contest and the concept of sound maintenance facility structure throughout the chapter membership.
2. The contest would be open only to clubs/courses with working superintendents who are chapter members. Golf course superintendents wishing to have their courses participate in this contest would submit the applications for their respective clubs/courses to the chapter secretary.
3. Judging panels would be appointed by chapter Boards that would consist of a combination of +/- three members selected from the following: former chapter presidents, retired member golf course superintendents and at least one mandatory company sales rep because they visit maintenance facilities every week.
4. It will be important to announce, manage and conclude the contest within a workable annual schedule. Click here to see a suggested model contest schedule.
5. To insure the contest would receive the serious attention it would need to realize its stated educational goals – the awards to be given to contest winners must appeal to the mass of chapter members. Click here to see a suggested “awards” program.
Certainly, chapters are invited to fine-tune the above listed contest guidelines to better suit their separate needs.
No longer will the sloppy maintenance facilities of some drag down the professional image of many…
Effective “Best Managed Maintenance Facility Of The Year” contests will sustain an important educational process, enlighten the golfing public, save superintendents jobs and elevate the image of an entire profession. No longer will the sloppy maintenance facilities of some drag down the professional image of many.