Today’s market is flooded with assistant superintendent jobs, but getting the job is only half the battle. Taking over a new assistant role can be a daunting task but rest easy, you’ve got this. Take these five suggestions to become the best assistant you can be for your club.
1. Learn your superintendent
Much like yourself, your superintendent has his or her own traits, habits, and so on and so forth. Learn them. Find out what they want and expect from you on a daily basis. Ask what properly doing your job looks like in their eyes. Your idea and their idea of what your job entails may vary. Keep in mind the little things too. It didn’t take me long to realize my superintendent isn’t very talkative in the morning. Not only that, but he enjoys a little quiet time to himself. I can remember a former employee who frequently rushed in the office first thing in the morning, ready to solve all of life’s mysteries and anything else he could think of to have conversations about. I could always recognize the blank stare when my boss was ready for some peace and quiet, and now any time I notice the same look I know to make my exit. Learning this quirk of his early on has helped me communicate better with my superintendent, and it’s something I know he appreciates. Little things.
2. Learn your property
This goes without saying but the sole reason we are all employed is the golf course. The piece of land that is X number of acres, has X number of greens, with X many bunkers is the reason we wake up and work hard every day. Study it. Know where all the irrigation heads are as well as the valves that feed them. Find all the drains and where they eventually leave the property. Learn the hot spots, the wet areas, the shade trees and what gets dry, the quick connects and the shortcuts through the course, all of it. Learn them.
3. Learn your crew
Management is such a huge part of what we do as assistants. Every crew member is his or her own individual person. Get to know them and how they think and act. What jobs do they enjoy doing? What jobs do they dislike doing? Who do they work well with? Who should you keep separate? They are a key part of the operation and proper management can make or break a crew. Learning these things will help you gain a better grasp of them as individuals — and also the dynamic of the team as a whole. Happy crew. Happy super. Happy assistant.
4. Learn your club
Sure, you met the head pro and shook hands with the GM. But take it a step further. Get to know the people responsible for accounting and HR. Take time to introduce yourself to the events coordinator, the F&B folks and everyone who is essential to the total operation of the club. The more you know and understand about how your club works, the better you can understand where you fit into it all.
5. Learn yourself
Find out who you are. No, I don’t mean, say, take a trip to Joshua Tree or join the Marines. What I’m saying is find out who you are as a person, as a manager and as a leader.
Take time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, your limitations and where you excel. A simple Google search can refer you to several online personality tests that can be helpful with exploring this topic. What’s the old phrase about not being able to help others until you can help yourself? Same kinda deal.
I’m telling you, don’t sweat it. You’ve got this.