President’s Message – August 2022
Long gone are the cold wet days of spring, and as I write this, we are two weeks into the so-called “Dog Days” of summer, which is an astrology reference to Sirius, the Dog Star. During this period, the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of the earth. Thus, the term “Dog Days” of summer came to mean 20 days before and 20 days after the alignment of Sirius with the Sun, usually around July 3 to August 11 (you can find more astronomical information about the Dog Days in the Farmer’s Almanac).
We associate the “Dog Days” of summer with working in unbearably hot and humid weather dragging hoses, setting up roller bases, and trying to keep turf alive through drought conditions. Our irrigation systems are working overtime. Turf stress tolerance and OUR stress tolerance levels are being put to the test. We also find ourselves using our energy to motivate others, to get the most out of our staff, and to provide our members and clients with the best possible playing conditions. Pro tip: Freezies are a great motivator no matter how old you are.
Many of us are working to achieve all of this with reduced or new staff. The number of job postings that come across the OGSA desk this year have not gone unnoticed. We certainly celebrate those that have received promotions over the last couple of years or have changed roles altogether, and we all know the transition isn’t always easy, especially during a season like this one. Credit to all of you that have successfully adapted to these challenging times and have been able to maintain stability within your departments while keeping standards high. It’s a tall order.
There are some mornings during this stretch in the season where I find myself pressing snooze, just one more time, before I drag myself out of bed. Coffee and music help with my morning motivation, as I typically hit my Metallica playlist and crank up some of their early work. Many superintendents have implemented alternative scheduling to give their staff and themselves a little more time away from the demands of the job. Innovative scheduling has worked extremely well with all my staff keeping them fresh and productive. This has dramatically reduced the dreaded August burnout. It is so important, to find the time to take care of our own health and wellness during the season; step away from the course, get together with friends and colleagues, grab a pint, and share some laughs. These couple hours spent with those of who you enjoy being with are so significant to our well-being.
Check out the What’s New page for the latest initiatives from the OGSA like, how we’ve removed student membership fees with the hope that we will engage and encourage more students throughout their studies to stay in the golf turf industry, and in Ontario. We certainly look forward to seeing them at our conference in January at Blue Mountain! Be sure to reach out and say hello. It’s a great chance to begin building relationships with up-and-coming superintendents. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
- Ferris Bueller ■