Today’s GCSAA superintendent is an educated leader with a broad baseof facility management skills. They are trusted stewards of the land and oversee a facility’s largest financial asset.Technology has taken the industry from grazing livestock and horsedrawn mowers to computerized irrigation equipment. The superintendent manages labor, time, materials and finances in a manner that is compatible with the environment, meets financial goals and enhances the enjoyment of the game.
The professional GCSAA superintendent is responsible for working with other management team members, owners or board of directors, green chairs and committees, golfers, vendors, suppliers, golf professionals, golf course architects and others in the golf industry. Additionally, the GCSAA superintendent is called upon to educate community groups and the media about golf course and turfgrass management in today’s changing world.
The superintendent usually reports to the golf course owner, a general manager or green chairman. When a city owns the golf course, the superintendent may report to the director of parks and recreation. In managing the golf course, the superintendent works together with the club manager and golf professional to ensure the success of the entire facility.
GCSAA superintendents generally earn a good living. Those who voluntarily complete a rigorous certification program, administered by the GCSAA generally earn even higher salaries and have a greater opportunity to advance in the profession. It is not unusual for GCSAA superintendents to earn a six-figure income as they advance in their careers. GCSAA superintendents will often go on to other areas of management, such as general manager of a facility.
Every day, the superintendent communicates with his/her maintenance staff to assign tasks and plan for the day’s play. Crew organization and management directly affects golfers’ enjoyment of the game. According to a survey by Golf Digest magazine, avid golfers ranked well-maintained greens and bunkers as the most important aspect to their enjoyment and satisfaction in playing the game of golf.
Superintendents schedule times throughout the season/year for watering, fertilizing, topdressing, seeding/sodding, drainage, verticutting and other primary maintenance duties to ensure the health and beauty of the course. Superintendents also are involved in construction and renovation of the course, planning, management, budgeting and various other business-related activities at the facility, including staffing and training. All daily tasks assigned, including dew removal and trash pick-up are equally important in getting the course ready for play.