Once golf course superintendents commit to becoming personally Rules literate they enter into the game's inner sanctum, which is the pedestal on which Rules devotees are placed in golf.
How Do Superintendents Acquire A Rules Expertise?
- By registering for the PGA/USGA sponsored Rules Workshops to prepare for taking and passing the very challenging national Rules test.
Then, once having passed the Rules test (which might require several attempts), superintendents can validate this newly acquired Rules status by:
- Becoming a contributing member: First, of their club/course Rules Committees; and Second, as time permits and as a PR gesture for their profession, the Rules committees of local Junior tournaments (which never have enough Rules officials) -- two scenarios that would likely surprise but be welcomed by their employers and player communities.
- Demonstrating an ongoing respect for the Rules by ensuring that their daily golf course setups definitively support the application of the Rules of Golf.
- Identifying 'teachable Rules moments' when playing golf with members/players (as suggested in the Oct. 9th blog).
- Keeping their administrations and player communities informed along the way by reporting when each of the above tasks is undertaken and completed on their maintenance program web sites. (See Oct. 2nd blog.)
It is by no means an easy road for superintendents to work through the above scenarios; i.e.- a series of tasks that might take a year, or two to complete. But, the following rewards earned are unique throughout golf:
- Realizing a sense of self-accomplishment rarely found in one's professional life.
- Acquiring of a 'favorite son' status within their course constituents that will not be heralded with trumpets and song; but rather by a newfound level of respect in the hearts and minds of administration members, peer professionals and their course player communities.
Enhanced job security. Employers basically want their "favorite sons" to succeed and, accordingly, will help superintendents navigate a successful career path.
FYI: This is one of the better opportunities superintendents will have to gain access to written contract security. (See Oct. 16th blog.)
- A more certain path to the higher levels of regional compensation packages.
The highest echelon of respect an individual can earn within golf circles is to be recognized for possessing a broad-based Rules expertise. It is time that superintendents begin to travel this road to add a new dimension to the essential nature of their work.