Welcome to the “Off” Season?
It’s one of the most common myths regarding our entire profession; that superintendents and our staff have nothing to do in the “off” season. While nothing could be further from the truth, this misconception has been hanging around our clubs and courses since Old Tom walked the grounds of St. Andrews, I bet.
For those outside our profession, it’s hard for them to understand that for superintendents, we’re on the job every day, regardless of weather or what month the calendar is currently showing. The job simply doesn’t stop. In fact, I would argue that the time spent during the “off” season is actually the most important and productive time of year.
The time we dedicate to the furthering our education and learning the latest information about our craft equates to better crew and course management for the upcoming growing season. It allows us to be more efficient when creating and maximizing our maintenance budgets, even with the ever-decreasing available funds allotted us to run our operation.
That’s not even to mention the countless hours of annual equipment maintenance, reel grinding and bed knife sharpening, fluid changing and overall preventative measures to keep the mowers, carts and sprayers in optimal running condition.
It simply comes down to the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”. During the numerous months of 12 and 14 hour work days, no one ever seems to mind that we consistently miss dinner with our families because we need to hand water, as long as the greens putt true and the ball roll well in the fairways. But when winter comes, we are automatically presumed to be watching YouTube videos on our irrigation computer while drinking coffee and playing cards in the break room with our staff. Sure.
If you are among the hallowed few who actually have well-educated members and golfers, count your blessings. For the rest of us who have experienced this “off” season allegory, we can take solace that this is not new and many a fellow brethren have survived it to cut the grass again next season.
Good luck and God bless.