NAME | Rick Fletcher
TITLE | Technical Manager, Nufarm
HOMETOWN | Cherry Hill, New Jersey
What’s a day in the life for you in your job? First, I’m blessed in the sense that I’ve been doing this for 35 years in this industry. If I’m not on the road, I’m on the phone. I perform a lot of internal and external customer service. Internally, questions from our field people. Externally, questions from superintendents and landscape applicators.
What should golf course superintendents know about your organization that they don’t already know? I would remind them that Nufarm has made significant strides to change itself through acquisitions and product development. That has led to a refocusing on the importance of what Nufarm is, what its brands are and how it services the industry. That’s in comparison to the generic model that Nufarm adopted eight years ago. We don’t see generics going away, but we do see a need for new molecules because of resistance issues, continued environmental awareness and regulatory pressures. We’ve made great strides moving forward to access and develop new molecules.
When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered? As a willing participant and as someone who was curious. I’m blessed to be able to enjoy the relationships I’ve had and been able to develop.
If you were born 100 years ago, what would you do for a living? I imagine I would still be involved in agriculture and agronomy and still be very inquisitive. I would still want to know how things work.
Who is your hero? My parents because of their work attitude and their drive. They made sure I had opportunities in life.
What’s the best thing about the golf industry? That it’s not afraid to recreate itself. I see golf courses that are more flexible when it comes to whom they invite to play. I see the business willing to reinvest in younger golfers.
What’s the worst thing about the golf industry? That the industry thinks its bulletproof. The industry has thought that if you build it, they will come. But just because you build a nice golf course around a housing development doesn’t mean that people are going to come to it.
What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why? I’d love to walk some of the famous Scottish courses.
Describe golf course superintendents in one word? Driven.
Who would you rather play golf with –– Arnie or Jack? Why? Arnie. Only because I’m laid back, and I think Arnie is a little more laid back than Jack is.
If you were a super hero, who would you be and why? Someone like Superman who wants to do the right thing but not be noticed.
What do you like to do away from your job? Spend time with my family. Be outdoors — I love to fish, boat and kayak.
What is your all-time favorite song? “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. There’s a message in the song about recognizing oppression and reacting to it. It warns us not to get complacent.
What’s your favorite movie and why? “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which is really a predictor of where we are today.
Speaking of movies, who’s your favorite character from “Caddyshack”? I like Sandy, the Scottish superintendent.