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A Shift is Happening...

Paul MacCormack

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It was no more than a whisper for years. But thanks to the courage of more and more people willing to speak out, the hushed tones are growing into an audible conversation. People who you never would have suspected are opening up to a new narrative. Those who have always felt strongly about it are speaking their minds and sharing with each other openly. 

Mental well-being, stress management and mindfulness are beginning to take root in the turf industry. 

This movement towards a more honest and holistic approach to well-being is gaining momentum with each new day and making our industry more sustainable for us practitioners than ever before. The trajectory of this movement has been much like a golf course master plan methodically executed over many years. 

Mental well-being, stress management and mindfulness are beginning to take root in the turf industry. 

It began simply enough; with someone willing to open up a few dark corridors, clear out the underbrush and let in some much-needed air and light. New perspectives were taken and folks bravely began looking at the same picture differently. As the project evolved it gained momentum and some of the early skeptics started to become its biggest supporters. 

But none of this happened quickly or easily and the conversation about mental well-being continues to be an ongoing one. 

And rightfully so.

Any change in the accepted narrative inevitably invites stumbles and harsh responses along the way. Sharing deeply makes many folks uncomfortable, and sometimes in their discomfort they choose to criticize instead of offering a helping hand. Unfortunately that’s how it goes with any new movement; push-back and skepticism are part of the journey forward. But it remains vital that those able to share their story continue to do so. The harshness will soften over time. All we can offer those who choose not to participate is kindness. 

So many brave souls have stepped up and shown what it means to be truly vulnerable. They have done so with the sincere hope that if lending their voice to the movement helps even one Superintendent open up about their troubles or seek help, it is worth it. 

And it has been. 

Superintendents are beginning to understand the value of fully living the themes of leadership, balance, presence and kindness.  Any super who chooses to live these values improves the working conditions for their employees and for themselves.

Superintendents are beginning to understand the value of fully living the themes of leadership, balance, presence and kindness.

Our industry is always looking for ways to make us more sustainable. By focusing more on our personal well being, the ripple effect is palpable. If we can approach our lives and our jobs with a greater sense of spaciousness and kindness, it will naturally filter down to all other areas of the golf world. Eventually the game may even regain some of its simplicity and get back in touch with its minimalist roots. 

It’s not too much to hope for.  

I may sound like a broken record, but if you know of someone who needs help, reach out. If you have the opportunity to attend a talk or seminar by any of the wonderful folks who are sharing their version of the message, do so. If you are thinking about making a change in your own life that will make things better for you and the people you love, give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose, and in doing so you will become part of a movement which is literally changing the way we tend turf and our lives for generations to come. 

Thanks for reading.

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Twice in last month I have watched turfgrass conference audiences of +/-150 experience the ease and common sense insight of MacCormack's message.  It's been an honor to witness and write about. Also a big help personally.

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It has been such a wonderful experience both meeting you and having you sit in on the seminars Brad. Thanks so much for the kind words. 

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