Saturday, November 01, 2014

Home News Still a greenkeeper

Still a greenkeeper

Digital Turfhead Jim Black has no problem with the term "greenkeeper," which invokes a simpler time when you depended on the rain for irrigation, sheep to take care of your roughs, and a 5-man crew to handle the rest.

Jim Black | April 4, 2011

From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary: green•keep•er: a person responsible for the care and upkeep of a golf course. Now I’m no dummy. I know that the term ‘greenkeeper’ has been technically on the outs for quite some time. Just not a fancy and dynamic enough term anymore for what is arguably one of the toughest jobs out there. I find it to also be misused and abused in its’ reference. And to include the ‘s’ ? Blasphemy -- plain and simple.
   
Personally, I have no problem with the term Greenkeeper. But then again, I’m also into antiques, old barns and rusty cars abandoned in fields. Greenkeeper, to me, invokes a simpler time - when you depended on the rain for irrigation, sheep to take care of your roughs, and a 5-man crew to handle the rest. The golfer came to the first tee carrying his bag, let fly from the first tee and played the ball where it lay, accepting the course as it was presented.
   
I will enjoy considering this long ago golf course maintenance era until my reverie is shattered by the alert from my iPhone announcing a 2 percent drop in soil moisture demanding irrigation as my 15-man crew stripes every inch of turf with trim mowers and the committee demands the greens stimp out at 12. Alas.
   
As a writer, I’ve researched some of those content creation sites where you write little informative ‘how-to’ blurbs. The topics were always kind of obscure, and the burning hoops you had to jump through to get published got pretty painful after awhile. But you can imagine my amusement when I ran across this one entitled: Greenkeeper Duties. It included in its’ description, “While there is no formal education needed for this job, the majority of employers prefer employees to have specific certificates pertaining to gardening experience.”
   
You’ll get a kick out of the whole thing, I promise.
   
Since Mirriam-Webster got us started, I would like to point you in the direction of where greenkeeping got started. The Old Course in St. Andrews is blogging about their goings on like the rest of us! Course Manager Gordon McKie will be posting regular updates as they prepare the course for the coming season.
   
BIGGA, our industry friends across the Atlantic with ‘Greenkeeper’ in their name, publishes a monthly magazine called, surprisingly, ‘Greenkeeper International.’ Obviously since they invented it, they can use it at will. Visit this LINK to see the latest edition.
   
If you’re planning on playing golf in the west, you can log on to Greenskeeper.org. (yes, I see the ‘s’) It is a site dedicated to golf course and product reviews - with a twist. There is also an area dedicated to Aeration and Maintenance Alerts. As long as there are timely updates, you can check here first to see if the club you want to play is undergoing aeration, bulldozing, or whatever. Kudos on the concept.
   
 

Top news

Understand and enhance course value

No one knows how to best economize in the maintenance context than a superintendent. GCI guest columnist Larry Hirsh explains that a well conceived and executed maintenance plan can enhance the value of a golf course significantly.

Simplot Partners expands operations

Company opens retail location in Oklahoma City.

Three entering Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Hall of Fame

Class includes Bobby McGee, William Shirley and Ron Sinnock.

Carolinas GCSA honoring Mike Fabrizio

Longtime superintendent helped rebuild golf course after Hurricane Hugo.

Kohanaiki achieves Audubon International Signature Certification

Site includes 18-hole Rees Jones golf course.

x