So many of us us are focused on our hour by hour, day by day duties that we may tune out everyone and everything going on outside the department in which we operate and wind up feeling alone on an island or possibly with castaways who work closely with us.
It’s a thought I shared with Canadian Golf Superintendents Association president Darren Kalyniuk, who also doubles as superintendent of the St. Boniface Golf Club in Winnipeg in this chat on Wednesday.
The occasion was Thank A Golf Course Superintendent Day, or more affectionately #ThankASuper Day on Twitter, which lit up on Wednesday with notes of appreciation for a job well done.
In my previous blog, I used a quote from the late Jacques Plante that nicely describe the life of a goalie in the NHL.
“How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?”
That part is true, but then again, Plante is remembered as one of the great goaltenders for positive reasons, particularly his outstanding play for the Montreal Canadiens in the late 1950s.
It’s also true that very often, the feedback that reaches the ears of a golf course superintendent involves something that is amiss as opposed to the majority of their duties that that person has done well, with no Stanley Cups to show for it, as Plante had,
That doesn’t mean people aren’t noticing the positives in a superintendent’s efforts, which could be the result of the super spending most of the time out on the golf course or away from the main traffic of a golf operation, zeroed in on the task at hand that the super doesn’t notice other people’s appreciation for the job he/she does on a regular basis.
On the flip side, people aren’t quick to pass along kudos, often just assuming you know they think you’re doing a great job.
All of that changed on Wednesday, when every other tweet, or so it seemed to carry the #ThankASuper hashtag and rightfully so, especially in this year of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check out some examples here.
What makes superintendents leaders is that they bring the industry’s attention to something it may have overlooked.
What Thank A Super Day demonstrated that it doesn’t take much effort or cost too much to offer thanks for a job well done, especially in these uncertain times.
The supers took care of a golf operation’s main asset, the course, while the rest of us were in our bubbles and played a big role in setting up safety protocols etc.,
However, people from other departments, in many cases, pitched in to help rake leaves, pull tarps or contribute whatever way they could, despite never working out on the golf course.
Think of the owners or GMs at the beginning of this pandemic being in lockdown and not sure what revenue was coming in from weddings or tournaments or other means and having to make, in many cases, heartbreaking decisions on staffing.
When the golf course did open, think of the people who did work in various capacities and despite all of the safety precautions, were still not entirely sure that they might soon test positive for coronavirus.
Yet, here we are in September and, according to National Golf Course Owners Association numbers, rounds played across the country were up 24 and 26 per cent, respectively, in June and July with that trend expected to continue in the remaining months.
Those are confidence inspiring numbers as the season winds down and we look ahead to next year which, at this point, seems just as uncertain with coronavirus numbers trending upwards again.
Something that isn’t uncertain is the people who played such an important role this year. Owner, boss or employee, they all deserve appreciation, be it verbal, through a tweet or other means,
The supers showed us Wednesday that it doesn’t take much, but means so much at the same time.