John Zimmers might be a workaholic. But so what?

We released our May cover story via our website, Facebook and Twitter — “Embracing the Challenge: For 17 years, John Zimmers has endured the most demanding membership in golf at Oakmont Country Club and welcomed it” — and we received much response, especially when it came to opinions regarding how many hours Zimmers works in a week.

For 17 years, Zimmers has been the superintendent at Oakmont, site of the U.S. Open next month. He took the job knowing he would be dealing with members who expect daily conditions that resemble those at a U.S. Open, including screamin’-fast greens. That’s pressure. That’s having to be on site babysitting the greens at all hours of the day.

Zimmers admitted to working up to 100 hours a week at Oakmont. Some of his peers were taken aback by this, citing that working so many hours is a bad thing for any superintendent’s work and life balance. Others insinuated that Zimmers had to be crazy to work so many hours.

I do understand where these superintendents are coming from, but I don’t think any of them have any right to judge Zimmers for the amount of hours he works in a week. The guy loves his job. Let him work, and let him enjoy it. If he wants to work 168 hours — the number of hours in a week — more power to him.

They also shouldn’t say that Zimmers needs better work-life balance. First, Zimmers and his wife of 25 years, Tracey, have no children. They are happily married. They also decided not to have any children due to the demands of Zimmers’ profession, especially at Oakmont. Zimmers says he wouldn’t be the father he would want to be by working so many hours. I, for one, admire him for that.

If people think it’s foolish that Zimmers let his job dictate whether or not he and wife would have children, they are wrong. It’s not their business.

Zimmers works 100 hours a week because he is at Oakmont, a rare breed of golf courses. But even if Zimmers was working 100 hours at Joe’s Golf Course & Ice Cream Stand, so be it.

To each his own.

Read more: Oakmont’s a Brute


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