Jump to content

Dave Wilber

Author/Contributor
  • Content Count

    595
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

86 Eagle

Profile Information

  • Club/Course/Company
    Wilber Consulting
  • Location
    Littleton, CO and Clovis, CAQ
  • Interests
    Geekery, Wizardry, Energy, Spirit, Bass, ProTools, Yoga, Bodywork, Vulcans, Turfheads, Macs, Travel, Thai Cooking, World Travel, Logistics

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.turfnet.com/blog/5-dave-wilber-turfgrass-zealot/

Recent Profile Visitors

1,244 profile views
  1. Dave Wilber

    Cell Phone Policy . . . revisited

    Is it me or is Mama looking hotter and hotter?
  2. Dave Wilber

    The Death of a Salesman?

    The maestro gets it!!! Thanks Peter!!!
  3. Dave Wilber

    The Death of a Salesman?

    Back to the inbox, as it is the sluice box that keeps on giving little nuggets. This one from the commercial world. "I'm really confused about this whole selling thing. I figured as an ex-superintendent, I would be treated fairly or at least with some respect. It's got me down and I just don't know what to do. Can you give me any advice" I was fortunate enough to spend 7 years with Sierra Pacific Turf Supply as their Director of Agronomy and handling a sales territory as well. And of course, before and after that, I have been selling myself as a consultant. The Sierra Pacific gig was difficult for me. It was a lot of hours , enough phone time to cause brain cancer and many days of many miles. And every day, something new came into the mix. Don and Becky Naumann, the owners of SPTS, are amazing people and in hindsight, I didn't tell them that enough. I also got to work with Dean Kinney, an extraordinary sales manager whom I drove completely crazy with my idealistic turfheadism. And a team of 30 other unique and amazing employees. Again, in hindsight, I didn't tell them enough how awesome they were. Even though the best salespeople in our industry are consultative in nature and approach, selling and consulting can be two vastly different things. A client wrote me an email once and told me what a shitty salesman I was, and in the same email told me how excellent I was at solving his problems and advising him. Total truth. But I learned a lot. And I am happy to share what I think might help get and keep a commercial career on track and help with the transition from superintendent to commercial sales. 1. Your past is your past, leave it there. When you were a buyer, you were special. The Prom Date. And you got treated that way. Now you aren't a buyer. And so you won't get the same treatment you did when you were a Super. Let that shit go. You are doing this now, not that. I remember thinking, "Doesn't this person know who I am and what I have done?", as they were telling me how all salespeople are bottom feeders. The answer? No. It was up to me to hang in there, prove my worth and not take it personally. Thick skin. All that. You are here to do this now. Do it. 2. No matter what you do, no matter who you are, no matter what you are selling, there are some people who are not going to buy from you. When you figure out who that is, be nice and let them know that you will be happy to help them when they call you, but that you won't waste their time or yours in the interim. 3. Find your exclusives. Whatever you are repping, Iron, Pipe, Chems, your company should have access to something that no one else has. Or at least a large competitive advantage. Find it. Figure it out. Know it, how to demo it. This is your where you get to shine. If you are spending your time talking about and working with non-exclusive products, you are in big trouble. If the company you work for doesn't have exclusives, you may want to find a way out. You're going to starve. 4. Gross Profit is everything. Good companies are run on profits. They grow because they are profitable. Not because they just flow cash. You may think that you are tossing out big numbers, but if there isn't profit in those numbers, then its a bad move. Case in point. I got all excited about winning a big Ammonium Sulfate bid. Yay me. And the 50 tons of product that we had to handle and warehouse and deliver in batches ended up with us breaking even. Not so awesome. I could have done better with a 5 gallon pail of high quality Kelp Extract. Less gross dollars, but more total gross profit. Think about it. 5. Keep the phone on. Your job is to sell and service and the phone is your best friend. Keep it on. Answer as much as possible. Be available 24/7. You thought this being accessible thing was bad as a super, it's nothing compared to being a great rep. Nothing. Return the calls, return the texts, return the emails and don't procrastinate. Again, I learned this the hard way. Don't give a customer an excuse to look elsewhere. 6. Break-ups can lead to Make-ups. Client X makes you crazy. Friday and weekend deliveries of stuff that they "think" they may need on Monday. Always asking for freebies. "Forgets" you have an appointment. It's time to let them know that the breakup is happening. And here is the thing: they need you. They feel inferior or are insecure so making you jump over the moon is a rush for them. But when you hump 50 bags of Urea on a Sunday for an application that they "might wanna" make on Monday and that product is sitting there a week later, it's time to have a chat about why you are dating. A salesman much better than any of us once told me, "The takeaway is one of your biggest tools". I agree. You will too when they call you back. And if they don't, good riddance. 7. Miserable people cannot make you a miserable person unless you let them. Eeyore the Super hates everyone and everything. The golfers are all assholes. His boss is a douchebag. Even the vehicle he drives sucks. This vampire will suck the wonderful life out of you if you let him. Be nice. Be quick. Handle the biz. Park down the road and look at pictures of baby animals and shake the stuff off. If you take it with you, you will become that person. 8. Your expense account is not to be abused. Once upon a time, it was customary for the salesperson to always grab the check. But that time is over. If you find yourself always picking up the tab, you are being abused. Plain and simple. There is nothing wrong with rotating the check pick-up or splitting the bill. Nothing. And if you aren't invited anymore, then you know why you were there in the first place. I know some reps who buy their way into opportunities and don't realize that they are spending a lot of money for a lot of maybes. There's nothing wrong with the occasional thank-you, but it can't be the reason you are around. That said, a couple dozen doughnuts or some other yummies dropped in the break room, or cooking some Carne Asada for the crew lunch is a worthy expense. One that I often footed out of my own pocket, and still do. 9. Knowledge is power. Learn. Every day. Be up to speed on everything in your world. Be a geek about it. Full on. With the Google Machine at your fingertips, it can lead you into a level of expert that makes for really good conversations. Along those lines, learn the competition. Know their offerings. This doesn't mean you get to run them down. It just means that you understand what is and what is not. If you are weak in any area, reach out to as many of the technical resources you need to until you are are sure that no one who comes in the door of whatever facility you visit is more up to speed than you. This is the heart of Consultative Selling. It's awesome being a resource, an expert. And it's also awesome when you teach someone how to really use what you offer and they stop asking about prices. 10. Some days just suck. Just like when you were growing grass, some days are glorious. And some days are total horseshit. I spent 4 hours stuck in traffic one day, only to finally get out of that mess and end up in the middle of a roadside fire started by an overheated RV. When my vehicle filled with smoke and everyone was driving the wrong way to run from the blaze, I walked into a Starbucks down the road, covered in ash and sat down and cried. I was determined that no one, on the face of the planet, could have it any worse. Guess what. They do. And guess what else, no one cares about your woes. You must dig deep to be in sales. And if you can't or won't or the magic is gone, do yourself and everyone else a favor and find another gig. 11. Be proud of your work. A while back, I wrote a blog post that was called, "Take the Dark Side and Shove it". You can read it here, about 35,000 other people did. Along with some net spiders and bots. But what I was saying in that think space holds true today. Being a sales rep in the turfgrass industry is good and amazing work. Hard work. Not for the weak of soul or faint of heart. And if you find yourself in those shoes, be proud. And as I point out in that piece, everyone in every position in our business has to sell, something. You got this!
  4. Dave Wilber

    Parker Stancil: British Amateur Championship Prep

    Parker. I love your photos. So much!!!
  5. Dave Wilber

    Reinventing myself for a life-long dream...

    Great Stuff!! Thanks for letting us in your world.
  6. Dave Wilber

    When The Critics Won't Quit

    Jon, Thank you for tha insight. I hope people read those words and take them to heart.
  7. Dave Wilber

    When The Critics Won't Quit

    Thank you! And thank you for reading.
  8. Dave Wilber

    Back at it: Grinding for more credibility

    Go Parker!! I will never forget my visits to Portmarnock. You are in for a treat! And you will learn to love the ground game that is so essential to links golf. Can't wait to read about your time there.
  9. Let's go back to my inbox for this post... "I need your help. As you know, it's been a cold, damp spring. The golf course wasn't great for Memorial Day. And as I write this on June 4th, it's just barely starting to come around. The comments I am getting from golfers are really bad. "When are you going to fix this place", is the tone of their gripes. I've talked to everyone, blogged about it, written about it and I'm still getting hammered. Any tips?" This has been more common in the spring of 2019, but nearly every year, I get a bunch of these. In whatever climate. Be it a rough overseed situation, or a slow spring, or a project that has expectations, it happens. And as written above, let's assume that you've done the basics as far as communication goes. One would think that they would get it. But they often just don't pick it up. Here, you have to muscle up and embrace the fact that there is more work to be done. Here's my list: 1. Don't Be defensive. Our relationship to our turfgrass is one of a very personal nature. You know the place. And you know damn good and well that it isn't where it should be. You know it better than they do. So when they come to tell you what you already know, you can't be deflective and it can't openly piss you off. Step closer to that person. Look them in the eye. Keep your hands to your side, don't cross your arms. Or put your hand in front of your mouth. Breathe easy. Let them vent. It can't kill you. It hurts, but it can't kill you. Resist the temptation you are feeling in your gut to grab their fancy new driver and throw it in farther than they can hit it. 2. Speak agreement. It sounds silly, but when you agree with someone, you diffuse their bomb. Even if they are clearly wrong, at least acknowledge that you hear them. Be open. "Yes, Mrs. Fourputt, I understand and I am just as concerned as you are." Simple. 3, Control the moment. Vernon Van Der Wedgeflop III is used to controlling his world. And he'd like to control yours. But you don't have to let him control that moment. "Sir, I'm on my way to check on some of my crew's work, and if I don't get there now, it could be a problem. Can we talk after your round?" Give yourself some time to cool off, after Vern just declared your greens the worst they have ever been. If Mr. Complainiak catches you at the clubhouse, again, control the moment. Invite him to your office for a chat. Have water or coffee ready and let him sit in front of your desk or let him stand in the middle of the chaos and see how much you have going on. The key point is that the hard shove the words you get from someone doesn't need you to react right then. In fact, if you do, you are giving away your power. 4. Invite them to see your world. The habitual complainers usually have zero point zero percent idea what you really do. Invite Yapper Man to join you at 5am for your first loop around the course. If your whole greens or advisory committee doesn't get it, have the next meeting at the shop. Or on the course. Stay out of the board rooms and away from the bar for these conversations. We are famous for telling everyone that our offices are great. So meet them there. Again, on your terms. Educate them in how much you see that they don't or won't. 5. Employ your allies. You have people that you like. You see them on the course and they always have a smile and a wave. Talk to them. Tell them that you appreciate their positive attitude and ask if they can help. "Hey Dr. Kildare, Dr. Tracy just talked to me and he hates the golf course right now. You know that we've had a really hard spring. Would you mind saying a few positive words to him. I think it would be better coming from you than always from me". Bingo. 5.2 Find the Ty Webb. Every course has one. Somewhere. The person that everyone respects and believes and secretly wants to be. It may not be the best golfer or a golfer at all. At one of my jobs, it was the bartender. At some places, it's the locker room attendant. It can be everyone's favorite server in the restaurant. I'm not talking about the Bar Blowhard. Nobody is really listening to them. When you discover who this is, make that person your friend. And feed this person good info. Things you want everyone to know. "We've had a really tough spring, but we have done everything we can do to be ready when better weather comes". Ty Webb will get to say, "Look Herb, you don't like the greens, but our greens are just about to be great; just enjoy playing and practice your putting". You don't get to say that. He does. 6. Realize there will always be trolls. Some people are relentlessly unhappy. Always. And some people just get a personal woody making other people squirm. This is their sad pathetic life. I think these people are easy to spot. And while I don't believe you can or should blow them off to their face. I do think that you avoid wrestling in the mud with a pig. As the saying goes, you get muddy and the hog has fun. Some of these types are walking soundbite collectors. They are just waiting for you to say something stupid so that they can tell everyone what you just said. So casting your pearls before these swine is bad. Just don't. Be cordial and be on the move. Don't stick to their fly paper. 7. Yes, you have a turf degree. So what? Look, whatever level of education you have in our biz, don't let that make you believe that every conversation has to be a technical discussion on par with the best presentation you have ever heard at a turf conference. Seriously. Talking down to people, especially when they are wanting to be heard, is a disease that so many of us have. I have it. I think it's mostly in remission, but now and then it comes out. If you start with the barrage of turfgrass stats, it's like a firehose hitting a little marigold plant. Destructive. And yet I see people do this all the time, "Well Mrs. Grimski, the daily readings of soil temperature that we take at 2 inches and 4 inches show a median soil temp of forty-one degrees, rising to fifty-four degrees on average at 2 pm. When we combine this with the moisture we are getting and our overall photo-period, our growth potential is..." Blah Blah Blah Blah is all she just heard. There is a time and a place for tech talk, but not when Mrs. Grimski just wants to know if things will be ok for the Ladies Invitational. I'm dead serious. Great turf people can sound like complete bullshit artists when they go to the big agronomy words. Don't. 8. What's is so? In the world of self-help and psychology a key way not to feel like you are messing up is to examine what is actually true and let that be the truth. Joe Badswing comes up to you and wants to tell you the greens suck. In the history of the world, no greens have ever sucked worse that the abomination that this guy calls his golf swing. His 20 handicap is a lie, just like his footwedge. So when he pops off about the course, you employ the techniques you have learned above. And you walk away. And you forget that Sir Gasbag has ever uttered a word. Same goes with Madam Margo Tomatosalad, who knows for a fact you only mow fairways on Ladies Day. Listen, then apologize for said operator getting in the way of her 90-yard drive and walk away and forget she spoke. No one in the Ladies Club hears her either. If you let the absolute abject BS land on you, and stick to you, you will be doomed to a life of self-loathing at the highest order. 9. Talking points are the deal! Mr and Mrs Beemer stop you on a Saturday AM and have questions about "this project we have been hearing about". They have busy lives. They are mostly good people. They like their course. They don't want to play anywhere else. You have an opportunity here to make fans or foes out of them. First off, you know more about the project than anyone. So the rumors are just that. Second, you have 3-5 things that you want everyone to know. Quick talking points. Give them to them. And if they want to know more, see number 3 and 4 above. In every conversation with customers, especially when you know some gossip is in the air, there is no better way to control the situation than to have a few key things to say that are real, truthful and represent the word of the Horse's Mouth (yours). Don't let these folks get their info from the pro shop or the drink cart. It's gotta be you. That's part of your job. 10. Don't lie. Ever. I have been involved in some really bad stuff when turf professionals decide to take number 7 above a step too far. From a real situation: Superintendent X takes his first weekend off in two months and his rather inexperienced assistant misses three key irrigation cycles and the greens take a hit. Super X is a good person. He's pissed at that employee, but also knows that the buck stops with him. So he makes up a story about a rare disease that they didn't catch. You get where this is going, right? Yeah. Just don't. I'll finish the story by saying he got caught in that lie and it was a really tough set of meetings that allowed him to keep that job. Suffice to say, he took a huge credibility hit. If something you can control goes wrong, admit it. Be on top of it. And don't sugar coat or lie your way through it. Or invent a visit from the agronomy boogie man. Spring of 2019, Summer of 1984, Winter of 2002. On and on. We are agriculturalists. And we are faced with dealing with the weather and all kinds of other out of control variables. But with a little thinking and planning, you can be on top of the court of public opinion. But it takes work, thinking and planning. Like every other aspect of the job. You got this!
  10. Dave Wilber

    Spot Spray Techniques at Rivermont CC

    I am sure that Mark Hoban is my spirit animal. So good.
  11. Some great questions flow through my various inboxes and DM's. I'd like to share a recent one that was really from the heart. "I just had my Annual Review with my GM. And his biggest issue with me is communication. Especially my written communications. I feel judged harshly. I have never been a very good writer. Can you give my any tips to help? It's sad that the golf course is good, but he has this problem with me." My Answer: This is SO COMMON. It really is. Relax. I'm going to give you some support and some tips and some encouragement. It's my belief that everyone can improve their writing. You may not become Hemingway. That's OK. You don't need to be. Writing is a muscle that needs some workout. Typically when people are struggling with their writing, all it takes is some focus and some drills and things get better, quickly. 1. Read. I know. I get it. I'm writing this in early May and time usually isn't in surplus. But to become a better writer, you need to be a reader. Read. But here is the catch. Read aloud. Buh? Yes. And this will come full circle in a moment. But the start of this boot camp is to read aloud, every day. Even if it's just a few paragraphs. Get used to hearing how others use words, with your ears. I have a favorite book that I tell people to read aloud. It's a collection of essays from Jack Kerouac. He is, by far, my favorite writer. And more importantly, he is a supreme communicator of his thoughts. Often good writing in the world of the turfgrass professional is about putting thoughts and experiences into words. Kerouac was the master. His book, Lonesome Traveler, is a collection of essays about his experiences traveling. And in particular, the essay titled, Alone on a Mountaintop, is perfection. Read aloud from this and you will understand what it means to have a "voice" with your writing. Here is the key thing... Reading authors like Kerouac can show you that even the most simple subjects can be talked about clearly and with passion. 2. Write Every Day. I sit down every day and I write something. Anything. I use my words and a document or talk to myself about something. Most of it never sees the light of day. Sometimes, it's a twitter post. Other times, it's what I write here. Mostly, it's email, keeping up with whatever is going on with work and it still counts. Write something every day. 3. Read What You Write Aloud. Here's where it gets good and where the change can come. Read your writing out loud. Do it. Do this so it sounds like you. If it doesn't sound like you talk, then fix it. You have a physical voice. Now you are connecting your physical voice to your writing. This is an amazingly powerful way to get communication up to speed, quickly. So very often, people who struggle with their written words, are very good talkers. I once had a client who I was helping with their resume and cover letter read their cover letter to me over the phone. And when they finished, I asked the question, "did that sound like you". And the answer was a resounding no. There it is. That's the disconnect. In time, you will start to see that your voices in writing and speaking will line up and this is the way to do it. 4. Forget Outlines. Very few great writers can successfully use outlines and translate that robotic form into great communications. Make notes, sure. Or maybe even a list of key words or ideas that you want to get across. But stop with formal outlines as they were taught in school. It's a waste of time and detracts from the flow of words. 5. Get Some Grammar Software. Currently I use Grammerly. It works as a plug-in for my Chrome browser and I can turn it on and off and set how deep it reads my stuff. It's my editor on the desktop. The first benefit is spelling. We all need help with spelling and its not a bad thing. World class writers are notorious bad spellers and bad typists. And in my experience I need just a notch above the standard spell check. The grammar part of this is really helpful in developing that muscle. It will tell you when your sentences are too long or your word usage is out of whack. And you don't have to do what it says. But the suggestions and the learning that come with it are spot on. 6. Slow Down. It's 3pm. The green committee meeting is at 5 pm, you are in the office and trying to make sense of tomorrow's work schedule and coach an assistant about a spray tank mix and, and, and and.... a recipe for a badly written green committee report is in the works. Don't do this. Same goes with that email that you just need to get to your boss because he wants info and you sit down and hammer out a POS. Don't. Slow down. Get ahead of this. Just as in every other part of your operation. Write the first draft of your committee report a few days before. Let it marinate. Come back to it. Fix it. Example, some of my blog posts that have gotten the most views were written on my iphone on the side of the road. And they just came together. This one, however, needed some care and feeding and I left it alone for a week and came back to it. Now it makes sense and hopefully, the re-write is on point. Yes, often there are hard deadlines, but that means that you have to practice some time management and give yourself time to slow down. 7. Relax And Be Real. Bad business writing is often so completely complicated that it becomes constipated and in turn loses its humanity. We all need to be more formal in our too relaxed society, but formality can't lose reality. Words are idea vehicles. And they are very real. And when they stop being real, they lose their idea potential and communication ends. Here's an example: I asked an assistant of mine to write up an employee discipline issue. He handed me a paper that tried to read like some kind of weird police report. It was awkward and while filled with facts, it lacked any way to understand what really happened. So, we had a lesson in being real. I asked my assistant super what the biggest thing that went wrong actually was. The answer was that the employee had been late for two weekend shifts. Ok. Write that. Then I asked when it happened. Then I asked what the employee said about the situation. Then I asked what our policy is on being late. Then the question was, what did he think we should do as corrective action. Simple. Take those answers and write it. The end result wasn't a mess of too many words. It was reality and it was to the point. 8. Be Brave. Good words mean that one must be courageous. When I write, I am thinking all the time of using my best ideas. It's kind of like going to the butcher shop and finding out what the best cut of meat is for sale. I need to be brave enough to use my words to make my point. If I am pissed off, I have to carry that emotion. If I don't care, then it can be communicated. It's OK to show emotion in writing. It's OK to use language that doesn't leave the reader with any doubt as to where you stand on an issue. You can and should put people to a decision when they read your words. If you are always going for everyone to agree with every word, sorry, that's weak sauce. Here's an example: Anthony Bourdain. How did a cook, who didn't have much career fame, author best selling books and before his passing, become one of TV's most watched travel, food and world politics expert? He was completely brave with his words. He didn't shy away from saying his truth. Same goes with golf course architect Tom Doak. Tom wrote his original Confidential Guide as a 40-page copy machine guide to what he saw was right and what was wrong in the golf courses he went to see in his studies. It was raw. And it was spellbound in it's courage of speaking his truth. A super once sent me his justification for a new maintenance facility. And I read it and called him and said that if his current shop was this good, I can't imagine them building him a new one. He blew his lid, falling into a tirade of that an utter garbage dump his shop had become. He even used those words. And I told him that he just wrote the lead paragraph to his new report version. "Our Current Maintenance Facility is an Unsafe Garbage Dump" ended up being the lead line to version number two of his report and the problem was recognized and solved. Words are powerful in their use. And they are powerless when you don't use them. The older I get and the longer I am involved in our business, I am more and more certain that communication is the key skill that everyone needs and is lacking in. As I have taught workshops on this for Turfgrass Professionals, I see that somehow this skill has been pushed aside and yet, those same people wonder why they are often misunderstood. I think working out these muscles can lead to some of the best and most productive times in a career. I think that left to atrophy, not being able to write, leads to so many dark paths and places. Some of you reading this have heard me say that I suffer from a condition called Dyslexia which is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. I wasn't formally diagnosed with this until I was 19 years old. And until then, I just kind of got by. Some days, words and numbers made sense to my brain. Some days, they did not. When tired, angry, depressed or sick, the condition is worse. And I can't control when it comes and goes. Makes for some interesting times, like recently, I couldn't read the documents I was signing for a car purchase. A very good teacher helped me become a writer, by helping me apply the points I shared above, even though, I told her over and over again that my handicap would keep me from being any good. I do fine. More than fine, considering. Am I Kerouac or Bourdain? No. I have to work at it really hard. So If I can. you can too. And If you'd like help...reach out.
  12. Dave Wilber

    Hero’s Journey...

    What a beautiful and brave journey. I can relate on so many levels.
  13. In my last post I talked about my preparation for a speaking gig to The Mile High Club Managers Chapter. And it created some good discussion and allowed me to enhance my talk, based on the input of my peers and fellow Turfheads. And if you haven't read that post, you probably should to get proper perspective. I don't always like linear history blogging, but in this case, I think it's worth an update. I really didn't know what to expect the morning I walked into Cherry Hills CC with my laptop containing a Keynote presentation. It seemed like I was prepared, but I am an over-prepper, so my perspective is a little skewed. As per usual, I'd been up half the night before practicing my brand of pre-game mental yoga, also known as torture. But again, that's my creative process and it's an old friend. The CMAA group was well prepared. About 60 in attendance. Mark Condon, GM at The Ranch CC is the education chair and he had a great group of speakers lined up. I really liked how he broke up the morning with a well done panel discussion with PGA Pros from Denver CC, Frost Creek CC and Cherry Hills. I don't always like panel discussions, but this one was really great and that had to do do with Mark doing his homework as the MC and asking good questions. It also had to do with great questions coming from the floor. I was last. Batting clean up after the Golf Pros and Ed Mate from the Colorado Golf Association. I had heard about Ed. But it was great to see him in person. His passion for the game is incredible and him being a former Evans Scholarship winner doesn't hurt. So in the last spot before lunch, the grass guy comes up. And as I hook up my laptop, the familiar feeling of peace after a week of torturing myself preparing for this is a welcome feeling. Again, this feeling is also an old friend and it tells me that there is nothing to do but be Dave Wilber and deliver the goods. A couple of small jokes and other stupid speaker tricks and I feel like I own the room and its time to rock and roll. My Powerpoint and Keynote skills are on point. My visuals are good. The room, like most country club settings is too bright, but I expected that and have visuals that will work. Throttles to the firewall. Forty-five min later, I was at the end of the presentation. And during the talk and then again at the end, this group had some good questions. I don't remember them all. When I'm in the flow, I don't often have recall. I own cameras and recorders and you would think I would set one or two up and capture the moment, but I just don't think that way. I need to travel with my Tech Monkey. But I do remember the discussions and questions that were most powerful. College Graduation Numbers: I fielded several questions based on my comments about not being able to fill the multitude of assistant and second assistant jobs out there. As well as the changing job of equipment technician. It was clear to me that there was much concern in the room that we may not be graduating and training qualified candidates to fill all the positions out there. And one of the Head Pro's in the room was very quick to talk about the fact he has the same issue. Lots of open slots in the Assistant Pro ranks. For me, I always want to be clear that when we are in a shrinking environment of golf courses closing, we cant expect the same number of Superintendent jobs to exist. There's nothing wrong with being an assistant Super. There's nothing wrong with doing that for a long time, perhaps as a career. But for sure, the way we pay our long time support crew is wrong. And everyone in that room understands that. Is All This New Tech Too Expensive?: I didn't spend long on this. Because to me, calculating ROI is easy. And if we can't do that or cant show returns on investing anything, then we are just getting stuff and doing stuff just because. Which doesn't pay. Bunkers: There was a lot of head nodding about cost of bunker maintenance and construction and that maybe we have lost the plot as it came to a bunker being a hazard. Ed Mate, a rules expert, was quick on the draw from the floor to refute that calling a bunker a "penalty area" is wrong. It's a bunker. The Environment: The CMAA Chapter is really excited about working with the Colorado Golf Association in regards to Economic and Environmental Impact of golf. That's good. I think we all want that. And I will be sure that those who need to know hear that Turfgrass side of the golf world has a lot of data and a lot to say in this area. So, did I deliver an Anthony Bourdain style ass whipping to them? Not really. Thats not me. Well, it can be. But this wasn't the time or the place. However, I'm sure there was some eye opening things that this group heard. I was super happy to hear the PGA Pros being really strong about the fact that while they know they want to get golfers to the game, the idea of keeping them there was much more on their mind. I think one of their stories about the club's most popular event being a Night Golf event was telling in the fact that there is nothing traditional in that, but it was all about the fun. Fun. What a thing. Golf really can be fun. As far as anything I said that drew the biggest reaction, someone in the audience decided to pontificate a non-question question about the number of courses, golfers and handicaps. He wasn't making any sense when he got to the slope rating part and before Ed Mate could jump in, I simply said that I don't have a handicap. Don't care about having one. Refuse to play stroke play when I play and that match play with my friends is my favorite thing. And I even went on to say that I prefer that to be with Hickory clubs and demand to be walking. Yeah. You can imagine the chuckles that got. But it did get the Pope in the back of the room to be quiet. Is The Golf dying? No, don't be silly. Is it going to be what it was? No, don't be silly. It's always evolved. Should every 18-hole course that has had any economic trouble turn itself into Top Golf. No. That's absurd. Should we be worried? Hell yes! Falling asleep at the wheel didn't and never will do anyone any good. Should we, as Turfheads be carrying a better message of Econ and Enviro? If you aren't you will definitely be a statistic. Definitely. But carrying is one thing, living it is even more important.
  14. Dave Wilber

    Is Evolution a Thing in Turfgrass?

    You are more than right.
  15. Dave Wilber

    Is Evolution a Thing in Turfgrass?

    Awesome, Mike. Thanks!
×