Some superintendents have considered themselves the “outsider” department head, both figuratively and literally. This often leads to less of a “Team Concept” and less global vision of the club. How can we better help embrace one of, or for that matter all of, the team members?

Some simple strategies can include:

  • Lunch with the general manager and other department heads on a regular basis, resulting in an informal mini-staff meeting.
  • Provide cross-departmental exposure, by periodically, having the superintendent spend a half day with each department head to better understand each role in the club and have each department head spend a half day with the superintendent.
  • Plan retreats for department heads They can be more than “feel good” exercises. Department heads can spend a day off campus and have a chance to focus on team and club issues without the on-site daily pressures.
  • Invite the superintendent to observe house, golf, etc., committee meetings. As an observer, the superintendent will better understand what other department heads are dealing with and have each department head attend a Green Committee meeting to better understand the golf course maintenance issues.

There are many more ways to help improve the department heads’ understanding of the challenges that each department has. The more each department head understands others’ departments, the more you can improve that “Team Approach” and present a more cohesive and unified team, that ultimately results in improved club operations and member satisfaction.

Armen Suny
Armen has been in the industry for 35 years, most of that time at Top 100 facilities. He has been a General Manager, Golf Course Superintendent, Golf Course Designer, and Tournament Director, and he has overseen Major Championships and PGA Tour events.