Communicating with employers
Few vocations demand such a wide range of knowledge to
ensure professional success as does that of the golf course superintendent.
Employers take it for granted that you know the technical side of turf
management. Increasingly though, employers expect you to also be proficient in
communication. Communication may be the single most important contributor to employment longevity and enjoyment.
The following are excerpts from
GCSAA's guidebook: “Communication: The Cornerstone to Professional Relationships.”
- Play golf with your
employer, golfers, and other golf course managers at your facility. Point out
improvements, problems and planned solutions and general turf management
practices that your playing partner/s may not be aware of. Ask for and listen
to their input.
- Golf with your employer at other facilities; he/she usually
becomes your biggest supporter after seeing other courses. If your course is
better managed, you look like a star. If your course is not as well managed
(you should know that before going there with your employer), use your visit to
illustrate similar improvements you would like to make on your course.
- Be sure your employer, green committee members and/or board
receives copies of Golf Course Management magazine and Leader
Board, the GCSAA newsletter targeted to golf course decision-makers.
- Attend green committee and/or board meetings. Develop an
agenda for green committee meetings, publish meeting minutes and distribute
- Provide committee members or board members with an
attractive binder. Encourage them to place long range plans, progress reports
and meeting minutes in the binder. Distribute timely articles, reports, Leader
Board, etc. to be inserted into the binder.
- Send appropriate agronomic and golf management articles to
your employer and attach a handwritten note with a few brief thoughts related
to the article. Stay up-to-date on turf management research. Share what you
learn with your employer and explain what the findings mean or how it could affect
- Hold employer meetings in the maintenance facility. Host
periodic tours of the golf course and maintenance facility. Be sure to
highlight turfgrass research areas and discuss the value of maintenance
- Hold an annual orientation for green committee members.
- Invite new board or committee members to tour the course and
the maintenance facility with you. Take him/her to lunch.
- Invite your employer to GCSAA related-events such as
educational seminars, chapter meetings and the annual conference and show.
- Write thank-you notes to your employer and other managers at
your facility when appropriate. For example, send a note after attending
conference and show or education seminars paid for by your employer.
- If you are emotionally upset about an issue, wait 24 hours
before discussing it with your employer. You will be much calmer and more
rational after a cooling-off period.
- During meetings with your employer, write down all the
important points discussed. It shows professionalism and serves as a reminder
for later reference.