Sunday, December 6, 2009

Training by Committee

Last week provided yet another opportunity to learn a new skill from somebody who knows what they are doing. There are so many odd jobs that come up at a golf course property, than many times, I have no experience doing the work and need to look for help. Lucky for me, the instruction I need can often be found right in our own maintenance department.

In this instance, we needed to frame, pour, and finish a concrete basin to collect water near the storm drain. The original placements of the drains were less than perfect and the small plastic catch basins we had installed were subject to frequent clogging and became a maintenance nightmare. I have minimal experience working with concrete, but I knew that Teddy, a two year member of the crew, came to us from a small concrete company. All I had to do was paint the area for the concrete to be installed and walk away.

On top of Teddy's leadership, we also received some instructions from Jim Worrall, a member who is always willing to help and is an avid reader of this blog. The support network at a private club is pretty amazing if you're willing to accept some advice and constructive criticism. There is a lot of knowledge in our club and we frequently use it to our advantage. While I may get a little more advice than I sometimes need, the portion that is useful makes it very worthwhile and the rest still shows an interest in making the course the best it can be.

So, just like I tell the staff, keep sharing your suggestions because they won't hurt my feelings. The maintenance crew occasionally has to be put on the spot to share their thoughts on the maintenance of the course. I encourage them to take ownership of their work and if they feel there is a better way to get the job done, by all means let's investigate all of our options. After four years they are starting to warm up to the idea and now we have brand new members of the staff leading projects that show their individual expertise.