Working Hard on Creating Value

Working Hard on Creating Value

In today’s world of golf course management times have changed and not all for the bad. It is true that most of the articles we read today are how golf courses are closing, budgets are not quite what they used to be, and it is getting even harder to find qualified employees but also employees in general. While I sit and write today’s post referring to my position as an Equipment Manager in the golf industry I can’t help but think that it probably applies to a lot of different industries. Times are different, things have changed, and doing things the way we have always done them has become a thing of the past if you value your career and are looking to continue moving up.

I have been an Equipment Manager for 17 years now and while I am always trying to change things up and make things better for each operation I have been a part of I find that I am also a creature of habit. The same mentality that in many of the seminars I warn people against, when I look back, I fall into them as well. The reason I do is because when I look at a facility I see what it can be and where it needs to go but much of it is drawing from previous experience and understanding that certain things go in a certain place because they function well there. The thing is once I get an operation where I want it to be I tend to want to stick to it. So while I feel I am someone that loves change I really don’t.

I love change to get the operation where I want it, but then I expect it to remain that way.  This is where I become rigid and don’t want change. I learned this after taking quite a few personality tests (MBTI, Strength Finders, Predictive Index) that have brought this to my attention. This being one I always wondered about because I am a fan of change but only until I feel it is right “apparently”. Now that I am aware of how I am I try to think about that when I am listening to others ideas on making changes.

Now on to the reason for the post. I figure you really need to know yourself and others utilizing these personality tests to understand how, when and where you can add value. As an example if I am wanting to make changes to the operation and my boss is not a fan of change then it probably isn’t a good idea that I just do it without explaining myself. What I have learned is that in our operation I am very good with projects. I am very detailed but not so detailed that it keeps me from getting the job done and I want things done right even if it means working harder to get them accomplished. So recently I took on 2 projects not related to Equipment Management that took place over at our resort. One was the planning and overseeing of the installation of artificial turf in some guest areas that were challenging to maintain turf due to shade, drainage, and chlorine in the pools. The other project that we did at the same time was conversion of a celebration Bermuda lawn to diamond zoysia (last ditch effort before having to go artificial turf due to 90% shade issues).  While doing the projects it allowed me to use many of the other skills I have learned over the years that I typically don’t use as an Equipment Manager.

On the artificial turf project I had to communicate to all of our staff at the hotel so they could communicate to our guests about the disruption over the week. I had to communicate with the installation team on what our expectations were, make sure we stuck to a time line and ultimately make sure the installation was done to our standards. During the project we had a tropical storm hit, drainage issues to combat, and guests to work around. I think one of the great things about the project was the challenges, as I believe that’s when I do my best work is under pressure. I am also an introvert as most technicians are. However with my work in the associations and teaching seminars I have forced myself to be more outgoing. While I excel on occasions I also fail a lot on it as well so this project has helped me with that as well.

Here are a few photos of the project:

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The other project to me was a really big one. It impacts the guest every day visually from their rooms as well as every time they step out the doors. The lawn had a lot of issues drainage being a major one. So with me I had a team of 5 guys and we basically domed the lawn building it up and shaping it so we could get the water to drain off on both sides of the lawn. We killed off the existing Bermuda over a 3-4 week time frame, sod cut it all out, added the sand base, shaped it, resodded it and trimmed the sod around steps, sprinklers and other tiled areas. We did a majority of the project work over a 3 day period from removal to sodding and opening the lawn up to guests. I think the guys learned how picky I am on this project as we were removing bad pieces, tamping areas, making sure they sides were perfectly butted up against each other, sanding every seam, etc. I think in the beginning they felt as though it was to much. However after we finished the project everyone loved the look. While it will take a few weeks to fill in again it got me out of what I am doing every day added value to me as an employee being able to be versatile in what I do and in the end taught me quite a bit as well.

So my point in all this is to say that we have to continue to grow and learn new things whether they are what we are hired to do or not. When we are not flexible and remain rigid we lose respect, value and the willingness to work together as a team. In today’s world we need all the experience we can get as we never know when we may need it again.

Sod Project:

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