Roller-coaster Month Continues

To start of this months blog post I have to just say “WOW” what a month. To set the stage for this post it is/was to be the busiest month I have ever had. I started off with a trip to the BTME conference in Harrogate, UK then returned to work for a week to then leave again for The Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida and now I am home another week then we are off to Canada for a few days of consulting, seminars, and conference. One would think this is busy enough but this is just where the story begins.

So the trip starts off as Mike Kriz and I head to the UK. One of the things we always try to do when visiting other areas is to try and meet up with members of ours and view their operations. We met up with Chris Minton the head equipment manager of The Belfry. Chris showed us around his facility and golf courses and talked with us about how golf courses are managed in the UK. Mike and I had the opportunity to stay and dine at the Belfry the first night and what a great experience it was to stay at such a historic place in golf.

Stephen Tucker, Chris Minton and Mike Kriz

Stephen Tucker, Chris Minton and Mike Kriz

After our great experience at The Belfry we packed up for the 3 hour drive to Harrogate. While on the way we noticed a sign to Sherwood Forest and so I asked Mike is the Robin Hoods Sherwood Forest? So after confirmation we decided to check it out. Out in the middle of no where but what a great place to experience.

Trip to Sherwood Forest.

Trip to Sherwood Forest.

The "Major Oak" where it is said Robin Hood and everyone met.

The “Major Oak” where it is said Robin Hood and everyone met.

So while having this great experience I get a call from work. I am thinking this can’t be good they know I am in the UK. I am told that our Maintenance Facility collapsed. I am thinking I don’t have time for jokes and kind of brushed it off. I called my assistant and he confirmed that the facility had totally collapsed. So I am thinking here I am in the UK, in the middle of Sherwood Forest and my facility is no more. So the rest of the week I spent putting an inventory list together of what was inside and working to try and get grinders, height gauges, tools ,etc to our facility in Dallas. In addition we had a presentation to award to our Edwin Budding winner Tom Hurst which was rather exciting to do as well.

 Shop Photo 1 Shop Photo 2 Shop Photo 3

Following the award ceremony at Harrogate Mike and I began the return to London so I could try and get a faster return flight in which I had no luck doing. So we had a day to burn and figured why not see the sights while we were in town. So Mike and I toured downtown London before heading back home. I have to say that despite the issues back home what a great experience. I have been to the UK a few times but having the opportunity to meet up with a few of our members and check out some history while in town was great.

Chris Minton, Mike Kriz, Stephen Tucker, Ian Sumter, Stuart Hall

Chris Minton, Mike Kriz, Stephen Tucker, Ian Sumter, Stuart Hall

 

Big Ben

Big Ben

 

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

 

Once I returned back home it was diving in to our building collapse situation. We had a demolition to get going, temporary facilities to arrange and by the way we have no tools, lifts, etc to get our normal maintenance done. On top of the every morning we were in freezing conditions with the average temps hovering around 32 degrees. When something like this happens it basically puts you back into grow in stages so having some experience doing a grow in I took everything back to the basics. We needed heat, power and we had to figure out a way to get our basic maintenance completed. So we put together some lists of what we needed and went at it working to secure the items we needed. While the cold is great when you need to keep mowing frequencies down it adds a new challenge when trying to keep your staff warm and out of the elements.

After a long week we made a last minute decision to make my trip to GIS this year a short one. As I was leaving demolition was to be completed and the insurance adjusters were due to take a tour around our damaged items Thursday of GIS. The great thing was that I was able to help deliver our presentation at the show, attend some very important meetings and spend a little time in our booth before departing on Wednesday. I was invited to a great John Deere event and got to spend some time with many of my colleagues both equipment technicians and Superintendents. The highlight of the week I missed and that was awarding Carl Osterhaus of The Toro Company and achievement award. Carl is one of the biggest ambassadors of equipment technicians that I know. If it were not for him a lot of the things we have accomplished would not have been possible. He is now at a different division within Toro but he is still there to help when needed. I unfortunately could not stay to present the award but we could not have given this to a better person. Congrats Carl well deserved!

Carl Osterhaus

Carl Osterhaus

Stephen Tucker and Jody Farber

Stephen Tucker and Jody Farber

Night out with the guys.

Night out with the guys.

 

In closing I returned to a building full demoed and a new challenge snow! So now as we establish some normalcy at our facility I prepare for Canada and my final trip before our PGA Tour event (The Byron Nelson Championship).

Damaged CartsDamage 2

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