Planning for Success!

If you’re like most superintendents, part of the draw of managing golf courses is the fact that you like working outside. Unfortunately, from time to time, being a superintendent does require significant amounts of time being spent inside your office. When you feel a chill in the air and see the leaves on the trees start to change color, you know it’s time to begin the annual ritual of preparing the next season’s budget and maintenance schedules. At its very core, that preparation helps ensure that you’ll have all the necessary money, equipment, and products to provide the expected playing conditions on the course for the next season…in theory, at least.

Until such a time we find a reliable crystal ball to depend on, we’re all stuck with this process. From the business aspect of running a golf facility, it’s absolutely critical. As much as we’d like to focus solely on managing the turf, the economics of our department is the largest expense of the entire facility. Making sure that the company coffers are filled with sufficient resources to allow us to run the Turf Management Center the way it needs to run is heavily dependent on our ability to be as accurate as possible in terms of providing a budget.

Since none of us are confident that we know what Mother Nature will throw at us months in advance, budgeting becomes a “best guess” exercise based on what’s happened previously. We all know that when the time comes, what really happens will dictate what needs to be done. This is the paradox of our industry. No matter how well we plan for the next season, there will be unexpected circumstances we never anticipated.

Hopefully, all of us know that planning is just that—planning. And plans change. Flexibility is key to developing an effective and workable budget for any given year. If the weather is unusually dry, then hand watering with extra labor will likely be required. If the weather is wet, that will probably dictate more use of fungicide to sustain playable turf. No matter what, your budget plans need the ability to change in order to stay relevant. That’s the real key to success.

Good luck as you wade through this headache-inducing process that is ultimately changed by whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Much of your value as the superintendent at your facility is your ability to react to those conditions while not breaking the bank in the process.


For more information about LebanonTurf, our products or how to improve the quality of your turf, visit our website.