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The Positive/Negative GCS Ratio

Randy Wilson


The owner of Rockbottum CC, Ludella Hogwaller, AKA "Momma",  is always stressing the importance of a positive attitude, a positive work environment and presenting the golfer with a positive golf course.  She even has algae-rhythm formulas to determine if the staff is positive or negative.

Momma says two negatives can make a positive.  She proved this by changing Ben, our mean and surly golf course dog, from a negative ratio into a positive.  Momma had Ben's two negatives removed and he became much more pleasant and positive.  This formula was not lost on a couple of our more negative crew workers, who were suddenly transformed into extremely positive individuals. 


Momma contends that the GCS career should be full of positive energy, no matter how hard the golfers try to inject negativity.  She says we are fortunate to be in golf, rather than negative careers, like prison guards or Hatebook fact checkers.

Momma says there are four reasons a GCS should have a highly positive outlook: First, the work is primarily conducted outside in the sun and the wind and the heat and the cold. It's real life. It's healthy.  We are not serving a life sentence in the highest tier of the Matrix:  A corporate cubicle.

 Momma contends that the GCS career should be full of positive energy, no matter how hard the golfers try to inject negativity...

When I was 15, I considered working outside to be a negative.  Like the time a main line blew at midnight, just before the Member/Guest, taking out a bridge.  There I was, out in the dark, wet and muddy and exhausted, illuminated only by weak flashlights and the occasional burst of lightning, quietly sobbing while bailing out an ever expanding crater.  I recall Dad delivering one of his "Father Knows Best" motivational speeches:  "Dammitboy sissypants cupcake!  There's no crying in golf!"

Second, we are allowed to work with dogs.  Unlike cats, most dogs are very positive, with high P/N ratios.  Dog positivity is contagious, often spreading throughout the course to everyone who comes into contact with golf course dogs.  (Except for geese.)

Third is free golf.  It's true GCS golf can become unpaid overtime and trigger member complaints like , "Every time I see the superintendent, he's playing golf!"  This is easily corrected by only hitting practice balls at dawn, from the back of the driving range, "testing" green speeds with your putter, and rarely playing your own course.  Instead, play OPCs.  (Other people's courses.)

Fourth is the technical artistry of golf.  To neutralize the stress of engaging with so many turf and golf experts on a daily basis, one must go deep into the artistry of golf course maintenance, design and science.  The modern golf course needs a technical artist, a blend of scientist, artist and historian to produce the playing surface golfers seek.  Momma says the pursuit of technical artistry in golf makes for a very satisfying, positive career environment. 

The modern golf course needs a technical artist, a blend of scientist, artist and historian to produce the playing surface golfers seek.

Monet.thumb.jpg.5f8bf95f660290920c09056d527d54a9.jpgMark Hoban of Rivermont is a perfect example of a technical GCS artist.  (Mark used to be a technical CGCS, but he stopped paying the yearly extor--uh, yearly tribute.)  Mark caters to the golfer who prefers a softly defined course with elements of an impressionist painting from the late 19th century.  Hoban blends different textures created by layers of tall grasses blowing in the wind with splashes of color from wildflowers, along with natural looking sand in the bunkers.  (Bunkers the color of a latte', rather than a 1960ish bleached blond floozy.)  Firm and dry fairways and surrounds, forgiving width and smooth putting surfaces--rather than pure speed alone--round out the Rivermont experience, a very positive one.

The technical artist GCS is also adept at producing the modern art golf experience.  Some golfers, especially those suffering from terminal overexposure to TV golf, demand Picasso golf courses prepared with hard edges, severely defined lines and patterns and stripes.  The technical artist GCS knows exactly how to maintain maximum P/N ratio:  Give 'em what they want.

ben.jpgRockbottum CC is an example of positively affordable playability with less emphasis on looks.  (We go without the social media beauty filter.)

If you aren't sure about your P/N ratio, take a tip from the Mystic Order of Greenkeepers and check with your golf course dog.  GC dogs are excellent judges of character and can sense negativity from a great distance.  If the GC dog regularly avoids you and gives you the side-eye when you enter the room, you might need a positivity adjustment.  Just don't wait too long . . .  like Ben did. 

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Thanks, Noy.

I would have a higher positive to negative ratio if I lived in your area.  3 days in a subaru to good skiing makes me negative.

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