Silly Season

Any follower of NASCAR will recognize Silly Season as that time of the year when the circuit is over and either by their choice or not, a few drivers will move from one team to another. Unfortunately, this happens in the Golf Course Superintendents’ world as well. Unfortunately, it is usually not the Supt’s choice.

This year was no different in our area. The weather was unusual at best and created conditions under which turf grass suffered. As a result at least a couple of guys were relieved of their position.

Now I need to be clear that I am certainly no judge of the skills of any particular Superintendent as I don’t pretend to know much if anything about growing grass. And, of course, I am not privy to the conversations and facts that led to any one person’s dismissal. However, I can speak to the individual’s character, dedication, and work ethic as I have seen it. And, once again this year, I am baffled at decisions that were made.

Budgets are tight, no question, but really in the scope of a golf course operation is a reduction in payroll by replacing an experienced person with a lower paid person, truly material? I just cannot imagine that there are ultimately savings after the change over but maybe it works. I can tell you in our business, it would take quite a while for a new person to get up to speed with a lost seasoned veteran, and what costs are associated with mistakes and inefficiencies during the learning process?

Over my many years of watching “silly season” moves, I hope that I might be of encouragement to those of you who are currently “between jobs” and those who might find themselves in that situation in a future “season”. I believe that, without exception, all of the people who I have been close enough to, to have had information, are all doing quite well. Some ended up in better positions within their chosen field while others moved to a different side of golf, and others yet left the golf business altogether.

It’s hard to offer optimism when it is clear your world is fine and the one you are trying to encourage is very down. Things will work out. Make use of all of your contacts. Don’t fail to do this out of embarrassment. Job changes are now a fact of life. There is little to any loyalty left, at any level. Keep your mind open to any and all opportunities or ideas. You will be just fine if my experience is any judge.


3 thoughts on “Silly Season

  1. Hi Steve
    Great article! It truly is disappointing when people of the quality of Tim O’Driscoll are let go. Never will I understand it.
    Hope all is well with you and family.

  2. Steve,

    The problem as I see it is a complete lack of imagination on the part of the properties. I managed for a short time a property, you try to spend your time finding new partners to grow your business like local sports teams so you don’t have to think about reducing but rather expanding. Golf needs to get over itself and think more progressively in order to grow up.

    Make the courses more inviting to come to, give people more value for their dollars and for goodness sakes, make the game move a little quicker.



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