Friend Takes his Show on Tour

Friend Takes his Show on Tour

Rarely do I write much about people in general and maybe that’s something I should do a lot more of. I find it difficult because there are really a lot of people in this industry who have helped me  throughout my career (good experiences and bad ones) and it would be very tough for me to narrow that down to a few to write about. However, this week I want to make an exception as a good friend of mine Thomas Bastis – Superintendent at the California Club begins his new journey as a PGA Tour Agronomist. I was introduced to Thomas by a mutual friend of ours and a great friend of mine John Cunningham. I would say that John has a great sense of people and how they operate and we tend to gravitate to those who are like minded and think the same way. Thomas and I hit it off right away. I think there are a handful of people in this business who absolutely cannot stand “the norm” and want to get outside the box, are very hungry, data driven, and are looking to push the envelope in a very calculated way and Thomas is one of those as is John and I.

Over the last few years Thomas and I have called on each other quite often whether it be to help troubleshoot some issues, talk equipment, help each other prepare for drone testing, or even support each other as we are building a business or looking to grow. The reality is the relationship is easy (and I don’t even work for the guy outside of consulting). We think very similar, we LOVE tech, teaching, and guess what I am a “mechanic” (tough for me to say that) and he is a Superintendent. I think the reason I was kind of led to write this, and it helps that Thomas announced his move today, but over the last few weeks there has been a lot of discussion on the relationship between the Equipment Manager and Superintendent and often times how poor that relationship is. Thomas and I can communicate not as him being this High and Mighty Superintendent or me being this mechanic but no titles lets just talk. Lets depend on each other, lets check on each other, lets look out for one another and give each other advice because you know what those titles don’t mean anything. The relationships do. Titles in this business change all the time. We are all people and the reality is that we all want to do a great job and be on a great team. I am very lucky in that I have a handful of really close colleagues that operate this way by calling and touching base with each other, talking to them about whatever it is or them just calling to check in. The titles and club names and what school they went to and how connected they are doesn’t mean crap. The relationships do.

I can’t say enough great things about Thomas. He’s a great person, great superintendent, and even better to talk to and bounce ideas off of. I also bet if you were to ask either of our wives they would probably say “well he doesn’t listen to what I have to say at home”, so this could get us into trouble. I think one of the best things about Thomas is that it doesn’t matter what your position is or what club your at he always takes the time to talk to you and shows interest in what you have to say. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to be one of the best Tour Agronomists to ever do the job so for those of you who are lucky enough to have him at your site take full advantage and learn as much as you can because you can bet he’s going to be absorbing everything he can while he’s out there. Wish you the best buddy!


Thomas teaching me to fly!


PS…….Think about this. Let’s say you went home walked in the door and told your wife, I need you to get dinner cooked, get my clothes ironed and ohh btw tomorrow I am planning on having some friends over so the house needs to be cleaned. LOL that would not go over well would it?? Well isn’t that what we do to our techs? If you were that tech would you want to push to get as much done as you could for that guy, would you want to work that over time, would you care if the quality of cut is the best that it could be? Would that encourage you to get more education or get involved in our industry? What if every week your team all met together to discuss the next weeks plans and everyone’s thoughts were considered so that when you left the meeting everyone was working for a common goal? You would be a lot more interested in pushing harder when your part of the process. It’s time we look at everyone on our teams beyond the titles and start understanding the big picture and that life is short. We all have an opportunity to be great at what we do but we can’t be great alone. We need a lot of help from colleagues such as Thomas that I mentioned above and for me a long list of others who care more about the cause and less about themselves. If we can figure out how to do that the sky is the limit.


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  1. Mario
    April 19, 20:48 Reply

    That’s awesome. Expecially the P.S. part. We met on a weekly basis. The super, asst. two foremen, spray tech, and myself and the other mechanic. It’s always uplifting to come out of our leadership meeting, but I just wish all of us was on the same page. I’m always looking for to improve in my field. Hoping to get certified. Once again thanks for the blog.

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