5 things your greenkeeper is thinking (but not saying)

By |  October 4, 2019 0 Comments
Photo: Matt Neff

Matt Neff

We’ve all seen those clickbait articles, like “10 Things Your Waitress Doesn’t Want You to Know,” or “15 Secrets Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You.” Spoiler alert — sketchy things sometimes happen in restaurant kitchens, and people occasionally do really weird stuff on airplanes. Everyone knows you’re pretty much rolling the dice on some level when you go out to eat or board a plane, without those intrepid reporters blowing the lid off the story.

Have you asked yourself why no one ever writes these tell-all exposés on things that few people actually know anything about like, say, greenkeeping? I have, and coincidentally, this magazine is dedicated to the greenkeeping industry, and I happen to write a column that appears in said magazine. If the world is interested in “12 Things Your Barista Isn’t Telling You,” it might be interested in “5 Things Your Greenkeeper Is Thinking But Not Saying.”

When you tell us the course is great, we’re always waiting for the “but.”

Sad but true. Maybe it’s the result of our fragile egos. Maybe it’s the result of having experienced it several times in the past. Maybe we have fragile egos because we’ve experienced it several times in the past. The psychopathology behind this one probably could be turned into a Ph.D. dissertation.

When we help you find your ball, we’re basically just trying to keep you moving so we can get back to work faster.

Of course we want to be helpful, but we probably want to get back to work even more. Nothing personal, we just don’t want to fire the mower back up until you’re out of earshot, and that’s not going to happen until you find your ball. Maybe Karl Marx is right — there is no such thing as altruism.

We hate aerification as much — if not more — than you do.

We know you hate it, and we don’t blame you. We’re not big fans of it either, but we also know that it’s one of the most important practices in pursuit of the putting surfaces we both want. Pay me now (deal with aerified greens for a week or two) or pay me later (inferior greens or worse for extended periods of time).

We really try to pay attention and stay out of your way while we’re working.

However, occasionally we can’t or don’t see you waiting to tee off or hit your approach shot into the green. Just letting it rip anyway and hoping we can hear you yell “fore” over the tractor engine is a really bad way to handle this situation. Sending a member of your foursome to give us a heads up isn’t really that big of a deal when you consider the possible consequences. Most of you are in carts anyway, right? High-speed projectiles and the human skull are not a good mix.

We’re not that interested in how your swing looks or how good (or bad) of a player you are.

Trust me, we’ve seen it all, so no matter how bad the shot you hit, we’ve probably seen worse. Honestly, we’re more focused on not disturbing you, then getting back to work as soon as possible, than we are on your shot. Stop thinking, let things happen and be the ball, Danny.

Because this column lacks food safety horror stories or gratuitous airplane bathroom shenanigans, I have little faith it will be widely read or picked up by the purveyors of this hard-hitting brand of journalism. But because people seem to be interested in “The 12 Things Your Barista Isn’t Telling You,” I would think that inside access into the glamorous world of greenkeeping would blow people’s minds.

This is posted in Columns

About the Author: Matt Neff

Matt Neff is the assistant golf course superintendent at Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in Powell, OH. He is a graduate of Malone College in Canton, Ohio, and obtained his turfgrass science degree from The Ohio State University. He has been writing for Golfdom since 2013.

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