Spring was more hectic than usual for much of Ontario. A massive three-day mid-April storm closed schools and delayed course openings across the province. Once the snow and ice melted, it was a race to get everything back in shape and ready for opening day. The next hurdle was a massive wind storm that effected many courses in Southern Ontario. A gust of 122km/h was recorded at the Waterloo Airport so needless to say we were back to spring cleanup mode which delayed all of our course preparations yet again. As things slowly get back to normal and we settle in to the routine of early mornings and weekends, be sure to take the time to enjoy your surroundings. Working outdoors can certainly have its challenges but it also provides many rewards. We are lucky to work in an environment that people seek as a location to relax and appreciate nature while enjoying a leisure activity.
There are many great things about our profession, but also some negative ones. The weather, early mornings, the weekends, the difficult customers and on and on. One of the things that has helped me through the years is simply meeting with some fellow superintendents on a semi regular basis throughout the golf season. It doesn’t even need to revolve around playing golf - lunch meetings work well if you can make the time. If we don’t get together, we sometimes allow ourselves to become isolated and negative thoughts can start to take over. Taking the time to meet with like minded individuals and talk about our challenges and frustrations can be as good as going to therapy! Try it, you’ll be glad you did.
I also have the following famous quotation framed on my office wall and it is a great read when I get a little stressed or frustrated at work:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Paris, April 23, 1910
President, Ontario Golf Superintendents' Association