Friday, July 8, 2016

What will be changing in your budget for 2017?

In the next month most superintendents will begin losing a little more sleep with thoughts of turf loss due to unforeseen circumstances.  Combine that with sales representative ready to talk about early order/ capital purchases and you have a full plate.   So I ask you to finish the sentence:  I could not do my job without….. Did you say your irrigation system or what about that new greens mower purchased last year? 
Depending who you ask it seems there is a different answers from each department to what their #1 asset is.  Golf course management today has now become only a small portion of the complexity that superintendent’s face.  The first thing that SHOULD have come to everyone’s mind first should be your staff.  Without a good team built around you, your equipment is basically useless.  You need a team that can safely mow, keep the turf alive, fix the equipment, and prepare the course for daily play.  Some may say well that is all me….  Well you are considered staff as well. 
This next season consider setting a line item in your budget for staff.  Finding staff nowadays is already difficult, and by taking the time to train, re-train and retain good staff will show great dividends to your course conditions.  If you look at most common budgets there is always money set aside for your other assets.  Equipment has a repair and maintenance line item, right?  Your irrigation system has a line item for repairs and maintenance.  Why should there not be a training/safety line item for staff in every budget?
Simply three hours a month to do training with your entire staff present will not only be educational for them, but can also open your teams eyes to safety issues or bad habits that can be detrimental to turf in the heat of the summer.  For Victoria National this is vital because we are an 18 hole golf course that sits on over 420 acres of extreme terrain shaped by coal mining. It is unlike any course you have ever seen.  Simply getting around the course safely is difficult enough, yet alone trying to manage it.  

I hope most superintendents’ have a great Owner/Membership that is willing to send you to GIS or other shows to further your education.  But are we doing the same for our staff? Here are a couple examples of items that can fit in this category: Training day, team building (Bowling?), Safety Glasses, Earplugs, Dust masks to prevent Silicosis, Safety consultant, McCord Safety Videos, Skin Cancer screening, and purchasing bulk sunscreen. 
In another article we will also discuss about how your “break room” is being utilized to its fullest potential.

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