As the manager of international sales for Brandt's line of turf fertilizer products, Bruce Williams, CGCS, is on the road - a lot. At least he used to be.
With virtually all of the country on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 threat, Williams, like everyone else, is hunkered down in his home, which in his case is near Barrington, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Few people likely have had their schedule affected quite the way he has. He has gone from traveling some 200,000 air miles over at least 125 nights per year to staying home seven days a week.
"It's been good to be home and get some home cooking," Williams said. "There's been no hoarding that you hear about in the larger cities. It's been pretty calm. There's no shortage of paper towels or toilet paper."
Drive-through, carry-out; we want to support local restaurants that we want to be around when this is over. We've found some new places, and it's fun to try something new."
Just because he's off the road and off an airplane, Williams has plenty to keep him busy at home as he attempts to keep up with Brandt's customers across the world - including Asia, where he spends much of his time.
"I have about six months of work staring at me to keep me busy," Williams said.
His time at home hasn't been all play. He and wife Roxane have been spending time, weather permitting, at open places such as Cook County Forest Preserve parks and taking advantage of their newfound time at home.
"We're pretty boring, doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles," he said.
While being frugal until the current global health threat is a memory, the Williams have been supporting the local economy by supporting their favorite local dining establishments.
"Drive-through, carry-out; we want to support local restaurants that we want to be around when this is over," he said. "We've found some new places, and it's fun to try something new."
We are taking an hour each evening and actually talking to each other and turn the TV off."
Steven Neuliep, director of golf operations at Etowah Valley Golf and Resort in Etowah, North Carolina, is taking advantage of some of his mandated time at home to pursue his goal of attaining Master Greenkeeper designation through the British and International Greenkeepers Association.
"I am studying and preparing for both the site visit and eventually the examination portions," Neuliep said. "I have already completed compiling all of the information to complete Stage 1, which is the documentation of educational and work experience and plan to send in all of that documentation next week at the latest."
And when Neuliep isn't preparing for MG status, he is spending some of his time looking for a replacement for the TRX workout he used to do at the local YMCA . . . before it closed in deference to social distancing.
So far, he's taken up walking more with wife Tammy and he's rediscovered his bicycle.
The two also have rediscovered the art of discussion.
"(We are) taking an hour each evening and actually talking to each (other) and turn the TV off," he said "Many times in the past, and not that we were really watching the TV, but it was almost on as a background. While we want to be informed, we are not addicted to watching it every minute in the evening."
And . . . margaritas at home."
Not everything has been fun and games as people spend more time at home.
Joe Wachter, superintendent at Glen Echo Country Club in St. Louis is still working 50 hours per week at the golf course. When he's home, he's catching up on household chores.
"I've delayed painting my foyer and living room over the winter, but will now embark upon getting this done since my wife and I have stopped our trips out to relax and enjoy our local establishments."
He's grilling out more for himself and wife Beth, but when they do eat out during the stay-home order it's take-out tacos on Friday nights.
"And," he said, "margaritas at home."