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Standardized Maintenance
« on: March 12, 2003, 07:31:49 AM »
In having one of the many futile discussions with our super, I was attempting to cajole some response to the idea that his maintenance practices both drown out and don't allow for creative shot-making. His response was an emphatic "that the golf course is maintained like every other course". If that doesn't say a mouthful, I don't know what does. Here's this piece of art that somehow is being treated like every other course. It makes no sense to me.

Then yesterday I was talking to eddie, he's having a tough time right now but said that he was able to get out at WWPB one day and then he mentioned how the conditions there have deteriorated to the point of ruined.

His further discussion went to how these managment companies use formulatic proportions of both chemical and water on thier course with no regard to the art, or site specific applications of same and only have bottomline considerations.

I guess the lowest bottomline will come when the bank takes the course and the doors are shut. Now thats cheap maintenance.

Isn't this the starting point for the maintenance meld concept, really learning from mistakes and acting contrary to those mistakes?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2003, 07:36:44 AM »

I'm not a Superintendent, nor do I play one on TV.  However, it sounds to me as though these decisions are being made by management companies looking to achieve cost savings through standardization.  

Most of the really good Superintendents I know would tell you that not only do maintenance considerations vary widely from course to course, but also "within" each course.

The talk about things like "micro climates", which exist in particular pockets throughout the course, and which require differing treatments and have different needs, which may even dynamically change throughout the season.

Yes, it's possible to turn creative art into rote craft, I guess, but I similarly wonder if that's a wise long-term strategy for any course, even from a financial standpoint.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:03 PM by -1 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2003, 07:44:45 AM »
Whole heartedly agreed Mike.

The fundamentals of short term profit and long term losses comes to my mind in any final analysis of these misguided principles. Another reason why the golf "business" is one that fits few models other than the "TLC" one.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2003, 09:42:00 AM »
I caution you against generalizing about the golf industry. There are certainly management companies who would probably do a fine job at your course. The good ones have learned to be very picky about which courses they choose to manage. It doesn't do them much good to go in to a situation where they can't succeed and if ownership doesn't create an environment for success, a good company will pass. We have been approached to manage other courses, but we have passed because we didn't feel the circumstances were favorable for success. There are a lot of companies out there who are only trying to add to their portfolio and figure they can make money in any situation. That's usually not the case and the course pays the price.
One other thing, unless the supt. feels like your on his side and are there to support him, he probably wont buy in to much of what you have to say. Remember, he's going to listen to the folks who sign his check. If you’re his friend, he'll go to you for help, if you’re his adversary, he'll go the other way when he sees you coming.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2003, 04:19:49 PM »
Thanks Don, I shouldn't condem the basket for some bad fruit. I know that there are many a wrong impression out there in many industries and I do believe that each individual should be evaluated on thier own.

As for my super, fuhhgetabout it. He has his job to do. My petty facts mean nothing to him.

But that is really what I meant above, that the proper way to get a course optimized is directly related to the people who get hired and the attitude of the check signer towards that individual.

Aren't the most successful business's run with attention to every detail? Aren't the best courses maintained by a guy who loves his job? If the job pays x amount and there is no room for advancement and x is well below the nat'l average, aren't you goning to get what you pay for? And then there's the municipal syndrome that sets in where caring is a notion for little boys and girls to dream about, not a city employee to practice.

Someday Don, you may have to or want to relinquish control and when that happens aren't you going to bust your ass to find that special someone who will take the care you require of him? And if that fit is right won't he basically be an employee for life? If your lucky.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2003, 07:40:21 PM »
Managing courses to the standards often mentioned here in the DG require risk taking walking a line with watering practices and mowing heights. Management Companies do not reward risk taking only conformity and prdictability.
Don is right, the better companies choose their spots as to which course they will manage.

Your half right A Clay Man.  THe best maintained courses that
I know of in the Palm Springs area, public or private, are not
by Management Co.s.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Eric Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2003, 11:22:52 PM »
Before rushing to judgement, make sure you have all of the facts regarding the maintenance practices at PB and Spy, SBay.

PBC is not a charity.  They present the product (golf course) to their market (resort golf), successfully I might add.  Yes, it would be great if all courses were maintained green-brown, firm-fast, etc. but, throw in some other factors i.e., carts, weather, grass type(s), water quality, water availability, soil conditions, number of rounds, budget, maintenance window, green and tee size, etc. etc.  

The bottom line is if the management wants green; you (the Superintendent) ask them how green!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Standardized Maintenance
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2003, 06:45:15 AM »
I played two new(to me) courses this week and they were less than 60 miles apart. But the changes in temp. (alt.) made the first, green and the second still dormant. In taliking with the apparently knowledgable asst. pro at the first course, he acknowledged why they had to keep the greensites (and everywhere) soft. He blamed it on the old guy thats trying to hold the greens with  seven woods. While I don't own a seven wood, I keep threatening my three iron with mandatory retirement if I don't hit a good one, on occasion. So far I am not that old(no matter how I feel). But even if I were I would still be disgusted with hitting greenside mounding or kickplates and having the ball drop dead.

 The second course was a real wasted opportunity. As we pulled in the parking lot ahead of the gal who opens the joint, the doramnt brown turf was activating my salavary glands. We weren't there five minutes and the sprinklers started and we were forced to trailblaze on the mush.
Playing the land is no longer part of the "commercial game" and so therefore the neccesity for using that land for creative design is also diminshed. Thank god there are individuals who see the importance of learning from the past and are able to extrapolate that the future does not have to be filled with chocolate pudding. At least the ones with any potential for success in my opinion!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


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