Before it becomes politically incorrect to utter the phrase “thank you” during the season of Thanksgiving and the holidays that follow, I’m going to use this platform to offer my thanks to all of you and remind golfers of the many reasons that they should be thankful for their golf course superintendent.
Apparently, saying thanks is the thing to do. I’m assuming you’ve seen the GCSAA’s new television campaign starring a range of celebrities and professional golfers thanking the superintendent. That’s a great start, and we should all be thankful for whatever recognition we can get.
Will a shout-out from Jim Nantz or Johnny Miller make or break your career? Do these big shots — hell, does anybody — actually know what a superintendent does?”
But do these luminaries even know what they are thanking the superintendent for? Will a shout-out from Jim Nantz or Johnny Miller make or break your career? Do these big shots – hell, does anybody – actually know what a superintendent does?
I do, and so on behalf of golfers everywhere, here is a heartfelt thanks for all you do. Which includes …
- Getting the golf course prepared and ready every day. Rain or shine. Hot and cold. Sunup to sundown.
- Braving the elements and all the surprises Mother Nature has in her bag of tricks.
- Serving as your club’s Mr. Fix It. From turf to patio furniture, pump stations to driveway plowing, if it needs fixing, cleaning or tending, you do it. Big problem or small, you take care of it, which is a credit to your resourcefulness.
- Marrying an understanding spouse, someone who tolerates your late arrivals and early departures, and the last-minute realization that the family’s afternoon picnic will have to wait.
- Willingly sharing ideas, knowledge, and expertise with other supers, wanting nothing more than knowing you’ve helped make someone else’s course better.
- Accepting unjustified pay cuts to keep your job and keep the course open in the face of a wide range of economic woes.
- Being able to laugh when someone quotes – for the 5,000th time – a line from “Caddyshack,” even though it’s the worst possible representation of our profession.
- Forgiving the incredible stupidity, ignorance and selfishness of golfers. As evidence I offer: Unraked bunkers, unfixed ball marks, carts off paths, carts on tees, carts on greens, multiple divots, an aversion to filling those divots, leaving broken tees strewn over tee boxes, dragging their cleats across greens, driving over (or kicking and even club-smashing) sprinkler heads, pulling out plantings, breaking tree limbs, running over bunker rakes (as well as “No Carts” signs and ropes), using the course as a garbage can, and thinking that we’re nothing but overpaid lawn mowers.
- Listening – and smiling – while someone suggests a better way to do anything connected with course maintenance.
- Putting in hours of study, going to seminars, meeting with sales reps, sitting in board meetings and volunteering at any level.
- Remembering – at all times – that what we do is part of the great natural cycle, and taking extra caution not to harm the only environment we have.
- Being dedicated to your families (despite the demands of the job) and introducing your children to the golf course environment.
- Adhering to, recognizing and supporting the traditions of this wonderful game. We are the one industry that is not afraid to learn from those who have gone before us
- Fearing nothing. The golf course superintendent is always ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Given that this is the season of giving thanks, I ask that you stop and consider all the reasons you have to be thankful. And, very importantly, make the effort to thank those around you – at work, at home, at play.
I am thankful for every one of you, and what you do day in and day out. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my career. Thank you for upholding the unselfish spirit of our profession and the genuine camaraderie of our industry. It is unique, not only in golf, but throughout the world.