Imagine there are many jobs out there where it is very easy to walk out the door at the end of the day and instantly forget about work. Professions where you will not trouble your mind about problems and issues at work until you walk back through that door the next morning, or the Monday following the weekend.

But then there are other jobs-the ones where it’s not so easy to “leave work at work.” Jobs that don’t magically and instantly leave your mind when you head home.

These chosen professions probably include (among others) doctors, lawyers, engineers, paramedics and even teachers.

And then there is the job of golf course superintendent. Where do we fall?

I have more than a sneaking suspicion that those of us in the golf course management profession fall into this second category as well. We are the ones who are simply not able to turn it off immediately when we pull away from the golf course.

In fact, we might not be able to turn it completely off ever. There’s always a little part of ourselves back at the golf course.

Now, if you happen to be questioning this theory of mine, and you don’t agree that superintendents can’t leave work at work, then take the time to answer a few of the following questions. See if you really truly turn it off when you leave the course.

Some of these questions have to do with directly thinking of work when you aren’t there (“Did I turn the irrigation on?”). The other questions concern things that instantly pull you back into superintendent mode when you see them while not on the course (like weeds in your backyard).

As you answer, please be honest. We won’t tell.

  • Do you ever lie wide awake in bed in the middle of the night (even though you have to get up at 4:30) worrying about something course-related? Disease? Irri – gation? If you have enough workers for the morning?
  • Do you ever find yourself at the course at three in the morning (perhaps following the lying awake from the previous bullet) because you just can’t wait to start the day? Or, more to the point, because you just can’t stop worrying about the course.
  • Do you occasionally find your family staring at you strangely at the dinner table because someone just asked you something, but you didn’t hear them because you were staring intently at your grilled chicken while thinking to yourself, “Should I add a wetting agent to tomorrow’s tee spray?”
  • Do you find yourself hand watering your lawn in the evenings, even though you have perfectly functioning sprinklers?
  • When you pull up to school to pick up your kid, do you catch yourself critically eying the weeds in the landscape bed out front of the school? And do you have the urge (as you’re waiting for the bell to ring and the kids to come spilling out), to slip quietly out of your car and start pulling those weeds?
  • When watching a golf tournament on television, can you actually enjoy the golf, or are you being critical of every little detail you notice that you think you probably would have done differently (and better)?
  • On days off do you find yourself exchanging way too many texts with your assistant? “How are the greens?” “Did the fertilizer come in?” “Is the fairway mower cutting better?” “Why are you texting me and not working?”

Let’s face it, the gist here is that the job of golf course superintendent can be a stressful one. (Of course we all knew that already!) I think the job of superintendent has that natural stressful nature to it that simply comes with the position.

But it’s kind of a good stress, if you think about it. It keeps us involved and on our toes.

The thing is, if we accept that we can’t turn it off completely-that somewhere in the back of our minds we’re still at the golf course-try to at least turn it down to a trickle so you can enjoy your life away from work as well.


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