Preparing for Fall
As much as we look forward to fall’s arrival, it doesn’t always come without stress. Shorter days, reduced staff, member expectations, leaf removal, agronomic programs, course projects, budgeting, and early order programs are all headed on a collision course over the next three to four months. How well you prepare for all of these issues now can have a profound impact on your results. This blog post will outline steps you can take to ensure you are maximizing your fall production.
Prioritize and Plan
Prioritize your workload to determine which items on your list are the most important to you and your golfers. Delineate between your wants and needs early in the process, and discuss what is the most impactful. Prioritize between agronomics and projects specifically. Once you have prioritized your list, begin to organize your plan to execute your priorities.
Prioritization and planning go hand in hand, so plan accordingly. Map out your expectations for each of your items. Plan for weather delays, as fall weather will inevitably throw a wrench into every well-designed plan. If you are giving completion times or dates for your plan, be sure to plan for times that weather will delay your progress. If you do have weather delays, have a list prepared of other items that you may be able to complete during these delays. Plan for the unexpected as best you can, especially during projects or renovations. It may be unexpected, but it will be helpful if you plan for a “what if” scenario.
Discuss financial costs and implications. Prepare for the unexpected here as well, and build in a buffer when planning.
Stick to your plan once it is outlined. Try not to deviate. Once your list is finished, complete one task at a time. Resist the urge to start multiple items at once. (Remember, the weather and the unexpected won’t be your friend at some point).
Don’t be swayed by the opinions of those who weren’t involved in your plan. Too often, those not involved in your original process become vocal after the fact.
Manage expectations. Most fall plans will require different staffing allocations. When completing a fall task outside of normal maintenance, be sure to detail that something else may not be completed. Manage the progress of each task closely.
Be sure to communicate all of the above items clearly and often. Many times the success or failure of fall work is determined by the communication (or lack thereof) during these time frames. Communicate successes, failures, delays, budget overages, and the unexpected alike. Keep everyone abreast of where the projects are and explain the hows and whys.
We all look forward to fall and what it brings in the golf course industry. However, it can also be very overwhelming at times. Often the success of fall projects simply relies on the proper planning, execution, and communication that need to come along during the process. Don’t let the focus on agronomics and construction get in the way of proper planning to complete it. Hopefully, these few simple tips will help you through what may end up being your most stressful time of the golf season.
Enjoy your fall!