This is an article off the original TurfTech site in 2001. I had asked on the bulletin board what were the good, bad and ugly parts of techs jobs in golf were.
- Fresh air, sunshine, green grass, mountains in the back ground, a river running through it and Lake Superior just out the shop window. Working outside in the summer and inside in the winter. Doing something that I can take pride in, like a freshly ground reel. Sometimes I’ll give it a quick spin and let it turn a whole strip of paper into confetti, just cause I like that crisp shearing whisper that it makes. Being able to take a machine that has been designed by a team of engineers, and thousands of dollars of research and come up with a few little things to make it even better. Taking an old machine that really should be laid to rest, tearing it down and then giving it new life.
- Knowing that your boss and his boss and 20,000+ golfers are depending on you to keep this whole operation above water and best of all knowing that, while to you that feat is a piece of cake, they all expect you will be walking on water any day now. (11/3/01 – the whole crew, tech included, at this club, were just terminated by the management company)
- Regardless of the name we choose to be refered by. It takes a special person to be a golf course mechanic or tech. Not just anybody can do it, that is why there is a shortage of people who can do what we do. If you think about all the many hats we have to wear during any given day, just how many people do you know that can do what we do. Not very many. We have to know so much about so many different types of equipment and have the skills and knowledge to keep them running at all times. That is what makes us so special and that is why I say that WE are the best. And I am proud to be a part of this group.
From New Jersey,
- I can not think of a better way to start a day @5:30 or 6:00 am and watch the sunrise over the beauty of the course. Seeing the results of my hard work preparing the equipment that produce the fine cuts on the greens, fairways and the stripes in the rough!!!!! And hearing the compliments from the membership on how beautiful the course looks and plays!
- It seems there is a common thread in these posts, a love of beauty (not bad for just mechanics) and an appreciation for the independence our jobs afford us.
From New Jersey,
1. Its 2:15pm and your done at 2:30pm , Friday afternoon and you have everything wrapped up and the radio comes to life. The operator thats on the 2653 is screaming something about oil all over the place !!!
2. How did that happen I didn’t hit anything, and your looking at 3 of the 7 blades on a reel folded over.
3. How did that ball mark repair tool get in my grass basket.
4. Yes I did check the oil before I took it out this morning.
5. Mix gas, what’s that ?
6. Those days when the stress starts as soon as you walk in the door and dosen’t stop until you pull the covers over your head at night.
7. Honest it was in forward and your looking at a utility cart smashed into your fairway mower in the barn.
8. I set the parking brake before I got off, why did it roll away into the woods like that or the triplex just barely surfaced in the beautiful pond next to the green.
All the more reasons why I do like what I do it makes the job interesting.
1. Filthy equip. (“fairway mowers take too long to wash!” and why wash off the bunker rakes, it’s kinda neat to see how much sand we can bring in the shop!)
2. Assistant “wannabe” Supers who appear to be the missing link in evolution.
3. Topdressing and then having to mow with all 4 triplexes instead of 1 mower with “sand” units on it.
4. Treating the shop like there’s a housekeeper to pickup all the mud and sand and garbage everyone else tracks in and leaves laying around.
5. no budget for new equipment ever ever again and lucky just to get parts to “get us by”
6. I guess I better stop there. . .
1. The funny look the children give you when they hit something, brought it into the shop, you are working on it….and you have the nerve to ask them to sweep the floor (instead of getting in my way!)
2. When the golf course doubles from 18 to 36 holes; twice the headaches,twice the equipment, and twice the responsibilty……….without a penny more an hour????
3. The children come in every day thinking that we mechanics have the easiest job on the golf course…..until they come into the shop for one hour. But strange how quickly they forget.
4. How many times do I have to answer;
- what do you do in the winter?
- oh…so you just work on the golf carts?
- is this gas or diesel? (can know one read?)
- 2 cycle oil….whats that?
- Where is the super?
- can you get me on the golf course for free?
5. Machinery that “looks clean”…till you bend over.(don’t the children realize the equipment is in 3 dimensions…) I think they believe that we wouldn’t notice???
6. Spray equipment that isn’t washed and rinsed… because we are going out tomorrow…. then three days later; when it does go out… that call on the radio to come fix it, ’cause its not working properly…. duhhh
7. Completely new part numbers, why can’t they just add a version number on the end???
8. Salespeople who make cold calls to sell you something way overpriced…just when you were under the machine at a critical moment.
9. Is part of every dealership training teaching the line “GEE, WE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THAT BEFORE, WELL YOU LET US KNOW WHEN YOU GET IT FIGUIRED OUT !”
10. The attitude amongest some that “WE JUST FIX LAWNMOWERS !!!!”
And The Ugly:
- Assistant Superintendents that think the only way up is over the Superintendents dead body. Superintendents that are tyrants and the arrogant children of members. Taking care of the superintendents jet skis, outboards, motor homes, and such and having them change your time card to remove overtime.
- The smell coming from the wash down pit and from all the old beer cans the were collected off the course. The look of the equipment after a season of college workers playing “bumper cars” with trees. …and finally….the look of how small the number on the paycheck is !!!
From British Columbia,
- The three guys on our crew named “It wasn’t me”, “It was like that” and “I didn’t hit anything”.
- Having your only assistant tell you on Friday that he won’t be in on Monday or any other day and feeling sorry for him since you know he quit because of the low pay and lack of benefits and because he was tired of being told by the ass-istant super about the one thing he did wrong this week and never hearing a word about the 200 things he did right by anyone other than me.