Anyone who has been in the golf business for more than a few years knows the excitement about Masters Week. This marks the beginning of the golf season for many in spirit. For many superintendents it is also the beginning of the whining season.
It is not just the golfers who whine about the massive difference between Augusta National and their course, but many superintendents will lament that this week is the root of all the complaints they receive. It is such an important aspect of our lives in golf turf, we have name for it: The Augusta Syndrome.
Stop whining and start talking.
The golf turf industry has what we call in the education business a 'teachable moment'. Typically these are moments of great joy or great sadness, but often they present opportunities to "move" people from one point of view to another. I can tell you with great certainty that the Augusta Syndrome is among the most important teachable moments of the year.
Golfers are getting geared up. A survey from Golf Datatech found that 40 percent of all the club sales occur in the next three months starting now. In fact, more than 50 percent of those sales come from my beloved Northeast. Now is the time to talk to them or in other words "sell them" on the idea of why providing Augusta-like conditions on our course, even for one week is not sustainable. "Sell them" on the idea that if they do want those conditions, here is what it takes financially in labor and resources.
I love the Masters. It is appointment TV for me over the next few days. It is time we as an industry embrace Augusta not that we think everyplace should be like that, but that for one week, one place can be. Marvel at the technology we all know goes behind it and I believe we should speak of it unabashedly. Stop whining and start talking, there are no victims of the Augusta Syndrome, only volunteers.