Whether good or bad, we find ourselves working in a relationship business. Many of us didn’t sign up for the career with the knowledge that we would need to manage turf with the same vigor as personal interactions, but alas, here we are. I don’t want to focus on turf, or even people — one of my favorite topics. I want to ask how you balance the one thing that we all rely on whether you are a superintendent or in sales. We all depend on the sport of golf, and it depends on us.
The industry has seen a building boom, the Tiger craze, and the economic regression followed by course closures. Hundreds of Massachusetts facilities and thousands of employees were taken on that same ride, whether we wanted to or not.
Member expectations seemed to have missed any regression or corrections. As the turf speed limit continues to get pushed and demand for perfection continues to ramp up, pressure continues to escalate on all of us. Technological advances in products and devices that fostered new groundbreaking solutions that previously helped achieve the desired conditions while saving time, money, or labor, are now simply achieving the new normal.
With the industry continuing to dictate the cornerstone of our lives in a manner we simply can’t seem to impact no matter what we do, how do you balance golf? Do you put in your time and maximize your effort on the job and leave it all behind when you “punch out,” if that is possible? Do you golf often, watch golf on television, and take vacations to play in far off lands? There is no correct way to balance, and I have no intention of pontificating on how you should approach golf. We all develop an approach and hopefully manage the impact it has on us in a positive way, and often changes in our personal lives can affect change on our approach.
What I want to touch on is a word you just read and probably glossed over quickly: “positive.” Above were challenges in our daily lives that are dictated to us, many beyond our control. There are many more negative items that can be added that we in the industry have no control over. Can a focus on some of the positives in our golf world help overcome some of the challenges?
Are rounds up this year? With added revenue might come a new piece of equipment, approval for a beneficial project, additional dollars to the labor budget; items that can help ease the burden on the work aspect of golf.
Did your staff complete a successful season; help you deliver a good product to your membership or customers? It is now cultural practices season, meaning the grind of another season is over. As you assess the impact of 2019, what positives came from it that you can build on in 2020?
Have you had the chance to play golf? An enjoyable round of golf with friends or colleagues can be a wonderful reminder of what makes the game so great. We depend on the positive impacts the sport has on all of our players to survive as an industry. Taking the time to play yourself should find its way on your to do list, even if it is a rare occasion.
The golf industry might seem like it has all the momentum, a freight train that dictates all. Our little individual piece of that industry may simply be a railroad tie connecting the rails and responsible for moving the industry forward. With every positive step we make personally, and impact our facility adds, can change the outlook for the entire industry. Collectively, we can impact the direction of the freight train our golf industry has become for the better. All aboard!