As we all prepare for holidays, take time to reflect on the year. It has been another challenging and unusual year in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the USGA Green Section. Thoughts to reflect upon could include:
- The Weather. What is a normal year? The 2007 season was more or less, a drought. This region of the country is in a cycle of weather extremes. Be prepared as healthy grass is more tolerant to weather extremes.
- The Golf and Grass Growing Season. What worked? What did not work? Now is the time to remember and, more importantly, document what you will continue to do or change for next year. This is a valuable exercise.
- Appreciate Your Agronomic Intuition. Learn to listen to and trust your agronomic intuition. Can you remember times when you should have listened, but did not?! Think back and then look ahead. Trust your agronomic intuition as it's telling you what to do. This is an important life message as well.
- Common Sense. Never lose sight of the fact that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Trust your good, old fashioned common sense. Listen to other opinions, but rely on your common sense, experience, and agronomic intuition in your decision-making process.
- Appreciate Your Staff. You must look at yourself as an employee as well as an employer. Few of us are good at both. Think back on what you should have done differently. If necessary, apologize, talk it out with your staff, and develop new and better working relationships for the future. What better time to do it than now?
- Develop Your Team. How effective were you in developing a team approach to golf course management and/or how well did the team actually function? No one can do every job on a golf course; it takes people working together towards a common goal to be successful at whatever you are trying to do. It is important to always remember this point.
- The Coming Year. Start thinking about your list of New Year's Resolutions. Did you attend enough seminars? Do you read enough? Did you spend too much or too little time on the computer? The winter is a good time to catch up on all those technical journals that are collecting dust on your desk. Get prepared.
On behalf of our entire staff, Keith Happ, Sr. Agronomist, Darin Bevard, Sr. Agronomist, Laura Niehaus, Marti Zontek and Pat Stairiker and myself, we wish all a Happy and Healthful Holiday Season and.a Great New Year. It has been our pleasure to have provided these updates throughout the season. Be well.
As always, if the Mid-Atlantic Region's agronomists can be of assistance, contact Stan Zontek (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Darin Bevard (email@example.com) at 610/ 558-9066 or Keith Happ (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 412/ 341-5922.