Expert say on everyday issues

With this month’s column, I’m banking strongly on the fact that my wife, Nikki, rarely reads it anymore. I think in the beginning she was a regular follower of Turf Talk, but let’s be honest here, golf course management articles don’t quite hold her interest.

I think she misses more than she hits these days.

Therefore, most likely I should be safe. But if by chance you are reading this honey, please don’t take it personally. It’s all in good fun. Right?

So here’s the thing. Nikki has what have affectionately come to be known in our house (by me and our two daughters) as “Mom’s Red Sweater Days.”

What is a red sweater day? Well, it’s just that. She’s got this raggedy, old red sweater that probably should have been given to Goodwill several years ago, and she wears it on certain days, i.e., red sweater days.

Red sweater days are days she doesn’t leave the house.

Now, I’m not saying she lies around all day in the red sweater eating bonbons and watching talk shows. No, I am not saying that. I don’t have a death wish. What she does is get things done around the house: laundry, cleaning, some work on her computer (she has an online store). She’s busy, but it’s just a day that she has no intention whatsoever of leaving the house.

That is what a red sweater day is. In fact, she has a brown sweater that is getting to be in similar condition that she has started to wear as well. When she wears the brown sweater instead of the red sweater, it’s still a red sweater day.

So, you’re probably wondering by now what the heck the point of me talking about my wife’s red sweater days is, right? How on earth is he going to transition from the red sweater into golf course management and turf talk?

Don’t worry, I’ve got this.

Superintendents and their crews should also have red sweater days. Days when they devote time and effort into work in and around the maintenance shop.

I’m a very organized person. Some (the lady who wears the red sweater for one) would even say I’m a bit compulsive. I have to have things a certain way. But even with that compulsion, I tend to let the maintenance shop go sometimes. I direct my compulsions out onto the golf course. Let’s be honest, superintendents aren’t getting paid to have the nicest, neatest maintenance shop in town. What we’re expected to do is provide a spectacular golf course.

However, there is a certain argument that could be made that a clean, tidy and organized shop is the first step in providing a clean and tidy golf course and an organized maintenance plan.

We all judge people without realizing that we’re judging them. If you drive past a yard with old cars and junk piled as far as the eye can see, you are more than likely going to formulate a subconscious opinion of the people that live there.

Same thing probably happens when someone stops by the maintenance shop. It could be the greens chairman or club manager, or it could be the owner.

A safe way to determine if your shop is presentable is to imagine each and every day that the most important person at your facility is going to stop by. Are you ready for them?

I’m not saying sacrifice course conditions to have a spotless shop, but I am saying to make sure to set aside some time to make it presentable.

Don’t let your yard turn into a junkyard. If you have old equipment, sell it, scrap it, or tear it down and neatly store the parts. Have a place for everything. Wash all equipment daily. Sweep the shop out weekly. Clean the bathrooms and the break room regularly. Have a mudroom. Does the inside of your shop need fresh paint? How about the outside? Maybe a cleaning with a pressure washer?

Rainy or snowy days are a great time to get some of these things done. But don’t forget in the middle of the season when it hasn’t rained for three weeks to take a look around the shop. Is it time to make your own rainy day and give the shop some overdue TLC?

Is it time to put on the old red sweater?