Staff Appreciation February 27, 2015

Staff Appreciation

By Ty McClellan, Agronomist
October 3, 2008

The 47 th USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship was recently hosted at Tulsa Country Club in Oklahoma. The weather was cooperative for the duration of the event (a rarity in and of itself), players praised course conditions, and a great time was had by all. Yet, none of this would have been possible without a successful team in place.

The team that I am referring to at this particular event shows up before sunrise and stays until well after sunset. If this group is not seen during the day, it is by design. Going incognito, the course is prepped for morning play and all are out of sight and out of mind by the time players begin their rounds. By mid-afternoon when the final group has teed off and play is well underway, they are back on the grounds tidying up and preparing the course for the following day. Yes, it is the turf maintenance staff.


Turf maintenance staff with USGA officials and champion Diane Lang at conclusion of the 47 th USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship.
At the conclusion of this particular Championship, staff appreciation took a unique turn. The entire turf maintenance team, along with the equipment fleet, were on-hand and positioned alongside the trophy presentation area. For anyone on the course management side of the golf industry, it is easy to understand the significance of such recognition.

Partaking in the awards ceremony was important for two reasons. First, it helped the maintenance staff understand and appreciate the reason for their extra long hours and the necessary attention to detail. Being involved with the ceremony allowed them to see the fruits of their labor and enjoy the end results with fellow staff, course officials, and players. For many on the Tulsa Country Club turf maintenance staff, this type of recognition, especially at a USGA National Championship, was something they had never experienced.

Second, it was a great chance for everyone not responsible for the turf to get a glimpse of what goes into course maintenance and conditioning. Few understand how many staff and how much equipment are required for day-to-day course care, and even fewer realize the extra volunteers and equipment needed to temporarily produce championship conditions.

It is easy to overlook the staff at the maintenance facility when it comes time to crown a champion at the conclusion of an event. The highest of praises commonly go to the tournament chairman, course president, general manager, golf professional, chef and/or catering staff as they have all been an intricate part of the planning and success of such an event. However, by including the grounds crew at the awards ceremony, it was impossible to overlook the often forgotten maintenance staff. In this case, a very real and visual reminder was created.

At the next major event or club championship at your course, it is hoped that the example provided by Tulsa Country Club will encourage other facilities to find ways to recognize those truly behind the scenes…..the turf maintenance staff.

If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit, contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices: Ty McClellan at or (630) 340-5853 or Bud White at or (972) 662-1138.