This is the last blog message I will write for this series. Thanks for your valued support. I will be in touch again.
It may surprise many when I state that the long-term career welfare of the golf course superintendents across America rests in the hands of the 100-plus chapters and not necessarily in the hands of GCSAA. This is not a knock on GCSAA, which performs its duties and meets its responsibilities on a national basis in a solid manner. Rather, it is a matter of geography.
GCSAA simply does not have the necessary geographic proximity to the vast majority of the nation’s 16,000-plus golf courses to provide the local “personal touch” required to affect the career balancing changes the profession needs and is entitled to.
Unlike PGA and CMAA members, golf course superintendents suffer rampant job insecurity; mass denial of access to written contracts; summary dismissals; minimal severance packages; and a total absence of an outreach program safety net.
Can there be greater disrespect shown the golf industry’s only “indispensable” work force; i.e., the golf course superintendents?
Nothing of consequence will happen to address this massive “affront” to the profession until the chapters take the initiative to develop the following policies:
- Re: Chapter Mission Statements: Because the chapters either do not have mission statements (80%), or have adopted mission statements that fail to address the pressing needs of their members – it is imperative that the chapters commit to developing/implementing meaningful mission statements that will address the key issues at hand.
(See my January 26, 2010 blog for a model mission statement that chapters can adopt, or modestly amend to suit their purposes.)
2. The Role Of Chapter Executive Directors: Because mission statements require implementation by experienced Executive Directors hired for this purpose – it is also imperative that chapters provide appropriate job descriptions to ensure the hiring of qualified individuals for this position.
(See my March 16, 2010 blog for a model Executive Director job description that chapters can adopt, or modestly amend to suit their purposes.)
In reality, the fundamental role of a chapter Executive Director is to function as an effective “lobbyist” between chapter members and regional golf course administrations.
While GCSAA does not have a lead “implementation” role to play here, it does have an important “trigger” role to play; i.e., (i) to alert/educate the chapters to the need for appropriate mission statements and Executive Director job descriptions; and (ii) to schedule annual workshops to help counsel chapters in their search to hire qualified Executive Directors, or to retrain Executive Directors previously hired without the full complement of credentials.
There is no challenge that caring chapter members cannot address and overcome.
The profession’s welfare will depend on how astutely its constituents identify with and accept this “job securing” challenge.