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Page 16 - June 2011


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You Saw It In The Golf Course Trades


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Personnel management was definitely the biggest struggle first starting out, but after a few seasons now as the superintendent, I have a very good system in place. One piece of that system has helped us watch labor hours very carefully down to the week. Using a system that I learned at the 2010 GIS, from superintendent Darrin Batisky, called labor tracking, helped our maintenance team easily manage hours and overtime on a weekly basis. We modified it to our needs, but kept the concept the same for tracking individual hours and individual tasks. Each staff member had a mailbox and at the beginning of each week he received a blank task sheet. At the end of the day he filled out the task sheet. Every Monday morning, the sheets were collected and the data entered into the master sheet. It definitely helped keep track of our labor dollars in a year that could have sent us very far over the labor budget. If certain areas needed extra attention, it was understood what it would do to the budget, and a very informed decision could be made. This was particularly helpful for those monthly meetings that discussed where our labor investment was going. Once the data was collected for the entire year, we could easily break it down into parts of the season, or just analyze it for the entire year. I was also able to use this data to have an estimation for current labor hours for each guy on the hourly staff. With this chart, I could project what hours would be for the remainder of the year, and easily pull up a year-end total. This system proved to be very useful and important as we entered the fall season this year. We were able to accurately lay guys off for the season or keep guys on based on actual numbers. It was so accurate, that our variance in payroll from the 2010 season to the 2009 season was 0.01 percent. Some of this may have been luck, but I can attribute most of it to the hard work my management team put in this year.


My professional growth in the turf industry has certainly been on the fast track. My original goal was to become a superintendent before I was 30. Now, my goal is to become certified before I am 30. I feel the preparation would help me become a much more rounded superintendent, and in the process the golf course would benefit greatly. I take each day at the golf course very seriously as I am always trying to make one part just a little better. I am excited to begin the 2011 season as a Class A superintendent. I am equally as excited to face the new challenges that are ahead. Thanks for taking the time to read a little about Stow Acres Country Club! If you have any questions regarding programs that we have in place, feel free to contact me at jvanbuskirk@stowacres.com. Also, make sure to check out our blog at http://stowacresturf.com.


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