Musings from the Ledge: You might be a superintendent if…

By |  May 18, 2023 0 Comments
Photo: Alan Fitzgerald

Photo: Alan Fitzgerald, CGCS, MG

As golf season ramps up in the Northern states and winds down in the Southern ones, I thought it might be a good time to remind ourselves why we do what we do. Look at it as motivation for those starting the season and as an encouragement to those finishing up and putting another one behind them.

So, here are the top 25 things you know if you are a golf course superintendent — or at least work in turf — in no order of importance:

25. You take immense pride in your perfectly mowed lawn or, conversely, have the worst one on the street. There is no in-between.

24. You get so involved in a project or work that you lose track of time.

23. You are not officially a superintendent until you have lost turf. If you never push it, you’ll never know what it can take and how far you can go in the future.

22. You have survived losing turf — although, it seemed like the end of the world at the time.

21. You’ve got those glorious tan lines.

20. A 10-hour day in season feels like you’re leaving early.

19. At some point in your life, you briefly looked like a Smurf (you can’t deny it, tracker dye has an incredible ability to get on you no matter how careful you are).

18. You have no idea what it is like to have every weekend off. How are these regular people not bored all the time?

17. You still haven’t found the perfect work boots.

16. You have lifelong friends from turf school and when you were coming up through the ranks.

15. You’ve been soaked by a quick coupler or sprinkler.

14. You know that Mother Nature will always have the upper hand.

13. You’re a literal jack of all trades and the one everyone calls when there is a problem.

12. You can take the superintendent off the course, but you can’t take the course out of the superintendent. All my friends who went to the dark side still miss the beauty and satisfaction of the job.

11. You know never to say it’s too hot, cold, dry or wet. As soon as you do, the opposite becomes true.

10. Stuff (mostly irrigation) always breaks or sticks exactly 13 minutes before you plan to leave — usually on a Sunday.

9. You know golf carts usually turn their operators into extremely bad drivers. Especially since, at least once, you have been that bad driver.

8. Problems usually don’t phase you. Superintendents usually have the answer or know someone who does.

7. You diagnose problems with people’s lawns as you drive by.

6. You know what a sunrise looks like.

5. You have a magical ability to get the most out of every dollar and get the job done no matter the resources you have.

4. You know perfection is an unachievable goal, but you still strive for it.

3. You can’t drive past a golf course without slowing down to admire it.

2. You love the time of day when the sunlight angles just right. The way the shadows are perfect, the turf is happy and all is right in the world.

1. No matter what, you know deep down that you have the best job in the world.

We all have those days when we question our sanity and why we do what we do. However, the positives usually outweigh the negatives.

Being a superintendent means you’re part of a family that loves what they do — protecting and beautifying the environment. The sense of accomplishment and achievement, when it all comes together, is immensely fulfilling and burns through your soul.

No other job can rival that. That is why we are a lucky group of people who get to enjoy it.

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