What words do you think of when you look back on the year 2020?
It was chaotic. That’s horrible. challenging. Unknown. strange. Isolation. Split. Uncertain. Succeeded.
Did you succeed? This seems out of place, right? I agree. However, considering the year from the perspective of North American golf courses, 2020 was often the year of the flag.
It seems strange to call 2020 a successful year at all levels. It seems that you don’t want to pay much attention. Surviving and even prospering in such a year-when so many companies and industries do not-relieve the excitement of people.
For those who manage golf courses, 2020 was a strange year to imagine for many reasons. This year started pretty normally, and then, as you know, it turned upside down in a few months. For many, including the golf course in western Washington, where I supervise, this is a complete stoppage of play and a very uncertain future. That meant managing a golf course with no players — and not knowing when they would be back.
And they’re back — and the boy did them! I wrote this on the second day from the end of 2020, but our golf course is still full. After reopening in the spring. Golf has undergone a resurgence during a year when there was little industry. But I think it’s okay to see this without feeling guilty. Golf courses have provided many with the long-awaited rest. Participating in a golf course in 2020 was an escape from the brutal reality of the global epidemic. Golf suddenly became a fairly safe haven and a place to get rid of stress and worries for at least a few hours.
Looking back at the challenges we faced as superintendent in 2020, we must start at that time in early spring, when the golf course was completely closed for several weeks.
There was always my secret desire to run a golf course without a golf course, but when it happened it was strange and surreal, and its novelty quickly disappeared.
Many of our typical management methods had obvious advantages. I quickly realized the limits that normal play on a crowded golf course imposes on maintenance work. Lawn mowers, especially fairway lawn mowers, significantly reduce mowing time. The atomizer can go out anytime, anywhere, and is no longer restricted to tee time constraints or golf courses full of golfers. The re-entry time went out of the window. Light green top dressing, which is usually a logistic nightmare, has become easier.
Managing a playless green has been an interesting endeavor. For us, an empty golf course lasted only a few weeks, but even during that time it was difficult to keep the green too thin and too healthy. The issue of rolling frequency related to mowing height and mowing frequency has become an interesting challenge. How fast do you need a green when no one is wearing it? In my opinion, maintaining stiffness has become important. If they are too thin and too healthy, it will definitely be difficult to get back to the level they need when golf returns. Therefore, it was decided to manage it as usual. If anything, we were able to keep them even more pure and playable. Top dressing, rolling and spraying whenever you want. It wasn’t the irrigation season yet, but if needed, watering could easily be added to the combination of cultural management.
When golf came back, it came back with all its might. I couldn’t keep a record of the rounds that took place in the year on my course (the course has been open since 1991 and only 1998 played more rounds). The transition from an empty course to a very full course was stressful and demanding. We’ve spent less time around the world doing maintenance than we all remember.
The budget for 2020 went out of the window. There is no golf in golf more than ever — how do you allocate money to this? Obviously, labor was the most test. Dismissing most crew members in March and April and requiring more workforce from May to the end of the year was a new challenge for most superintendents.
Securing a seasonal workforce was at least one of the fairly easy things for many golf courses, as the pool of workforce drawn from it was large, thanks to COVID-19. Training workers who have never worked on a course have become a key factor in successful course maintenance in 2020.
The superintendent probably hasn’t relied so much on his assistant at the rarest time ever. It was imperative to have a reliable and reliable assistant. It’s not just about training, but frankly, just ask someone to give you an idea for situations that you didn’t really need to consider.
So what will 2021 bring? Predicting the future is not something that everyone can be sure of. One of the safest things to say is that in 2020, and what we all have done, we can only make us stronger and better.
Ron Furlong is the director of Avalon Golf Links in Burlington, Washington and is a frequent contributor to the golf course industry.
– GOLF Sports
Troon has acquired a company formerly known as Billy Casper Golf
http://www.golfcourseindustry.com/Article/troon-indigo-golf-partners Troon has acquired a company formerly known as Billy Casper Golf