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Volunteers in a Fairway Symphony...

Kevin Ross, CGCS


It always amazes me how you can get a group of volunteers to perform like a symphony orchestra, virtually out of the gate. I have been on the fairway mowing team the entire time since I arrived at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. There are nine of us on the team. That is a lot of mowers.  


Sure, we are all professionals and have been doing this sort of thing for many years, but that is not the point.


Most of us haven't mowed (many) fairways for a long time... 10, 15, even 20 years for some of us. Beyond that, most of us have never driven the John Deere fairway units that we (the team) are using.


Most of us haven't mowed (many) fairways for a long time... 10, 15, even 20 years for some of us.


You hear the same comments each time a newbie joins our team, "Wow, I don't remember the last time I mowed fairways"; "Is somebody going to show me how Rick wants us to mow?" and "Is somebody going to show me how to operate this thing?"  


But all that really doesn't matter. Why? Primarily, because it's in our DNA.


When I hopped on my fairway unit for the first time on Sunday evening, I looked at my wingman, Steve Cook, (Oakland Hills) and asked him 'how this' and 'how that'. He said, "Don't worry, you'll get it." He was spot on!


Besides being in our DNA, we (all of us) have that 6th sense that allows us to know which way a guy is turning, what the fairway push line is, how many mowers need a second pass, among many other things.


It will always amaze me, no matter how many times I do it, how a group of strangers can work together, almost immediately... like a symphony orchestra.




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