Why it’s important to toot your own horn

By |  August 24, 2021 0 Comments
Photo: Photobuay iStock / Getty Images Plus

Photo: Photobuay iStock / Getty Images Plus

A common thread on industry forums is the aggravation superintendents feel toward golfers and course leadership for not being aware of the good work that is done to constantly improve the course. Golf course superintendents are extremely talented when it comes to identifying and solving problems. Unfortunately, they are equally lacking when it comes to documenting their accomplishments. If you are feeling unappreciated, you might have no one to blame more than yourself.

An old classmate of mine, Tommy Witt, may be the best I have ever seen at documenting his accomplishments via a portfolio. Tommy even has his own website and domain that is certainly worth a visit. Tommy has developed his portfolio throughout his entire career but started out pretty basic he simply documented his course improvement efforts with before and after pictures. No project was too small. His efforts were organized into an album (portfolio) that he shared with his golfers, course leadership and prospective employers. Tommy’s dedication to documenting his accomplishments (and those of his staff) played a large role in the success he has enjoyed and earned as one of the country’s top superintendents.

In addition to being an invaluable communication tool with your existing employers, a photographic portfolio will prove to be a huge asset when you are applying for a new position. Put yourself in the position of the person who is trying to decide which applicant to hire. In addition to the standard resume, yours includes a link to your portfolio illustrating your skills and accomplishments. You might very well be the only applicant who invites your prospective employer to view your work in this manner giving you a real advantage.

Start today

It is never too late to start building your own portfolio. Although there are tons of software programs and apps to help you create a highly professional end product, I suggest you start by simply taking photos of the projects you want to complete and uploading them into a photo site such as Google Photos. These projects could be as simple as leveling heads, fixing leaks, removing specific trees, painting ball washers, edging bunkers, etc. Obviously, larger projects such as leveling tees, rebuilding bunkers, weed control and so on should also be identified.

In other words, create a photographic “to-do” list. Be sure to include a brief description of the project as well as how you plan to address it. Once the project is completed, be certain to photograph the finished product and briefly describe how it was accomplished. One of the many powerful tools in Google Photos is the ability to create albums and then share them with anyone you like. Each project should be organized into its own album making organization and sharing much more effective.

As your photographic portfolio grows, even you might be surprised at how much you have achieved over the years. Remember, it is unlikely that anyone else is going to document your accomplishments so it is up to you to tell your own story.

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About the Author: Jim Moore

Jim Moore is the retired director of education and outreach for the USGA Green Section. While with USGA, Moore made more than 1,000 consulting visits to golf courses in the U.S., Mexico and Germany. Now retired, he lives on the family farm in McGregor, Texas.

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