President's Message - May 2019

06 May 2019 2:08 PM | Brian Laurent (Administrator)


Well, Tiger did it again! Me personally, I do not remember being that excited about watching a golf event. Lets face it, Tiger Woods is golf....not because he brought me back to a four day stretch of appointment television, because since his departure; Rory, Dustin, Jordan, Brooks, Justin T., Ricky or Justin R. have not moved the needle like Tiger.

Thank you, Tiger. We certainly are seeing an increase in spring rounds vs. last doubt, directly related. The buzz is up around here. Now all we need is to get the golf course in shape!

The season isn't really even in full swing yet and most of us are still feeling the crunch of declining or stagnant operating budgets and capital budgets. Throw in an unemployment rate under at 3% and a difficult labor market too. Talking with a few folks in the area, finding qualified, or any labor for that matter, continues to be a challenge. Thinking outside the box for employee recruitment as well as retention is the new norm.

For us at Sycamore, the past few seasons were particularly difficult to fill a staff. It has culminated this year. I have literally hired every individual who has interviewed with us. As of the first full week of May, we only have four hourly employees...budgeted for 10. We do have a few interviews scheduled, hoping something pans out.

I hate to say it, but hope is all I have at the moment. We are in regular communication with the Miami Valley Career Technology Center and the Warren County Career Center. Trying to tap into this market has helped us build a relationship, but not provided any potential employees yet.

This is where the importance of our turf community and association involvement has value to me. Whether it's getting a direct message on Twitter from a Superintendent across town talking about employee staffing services, or a text message from a peer discussing how incorporating plant growth regulators in his rough grass program has helped combat their labor shortage. It has been said before...this is what makes our community special!

Even though we're all seemingly fighting for the same limited number of golfers in the area, it does not stop us from sharing ideas and communicating some of the best practices that could potentially help a peer through a tough agronomic or operational issue. I encourage you to reach out, offer help or guidance to someone on your staff or in the area. It works. 

Brian Burke
President, Miami Valley GCSA
Superintendent, Sycamore Creek Country Club

Miami Valley GCSA
PO Box 422
Powell, Ohio 43065

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