Technology – Friend or Foe?
I have been on this planet long enough to see how technology has changed the world; and it is an amazing change indeed! In my early years in the golf maintenance industry we used our eyes, training and experience to keep the turf playable. Now, we have software programs and phone applications for every major procedure on the golf course from fertilization apps to weather stations and irrigation systems you can run on your hand phone. Technology allows the golf course maintenance team to be more precise in their actions creating better playing conditions with reduced budgets. This is why the golf course superintendent and his team must continue their education otherwise you will be left behind.
I am Still Learning!
Being in the industry nearly 40 years I am still learning things I did not know before and there have been things I know that were always met with resistance. For example, I have recently began using and selling the POGO Turf Pro. This tool provides the most precise data on the turf’s salinity, moisture and temperature!
I have always known that this is a volatile combination that can be very deceiving, meaning, just because it just rained 30 mm on Friday doesn’t mean you are good to go for the weekend! I know this because of my education and experience but trying to get others to spot water after a rain was always met with resistance. Now, I use the POGO to monitor moisture and I can show the staff right there on the spot where a green is dry. I have played golf in this scenario on Sunday afternoon and watched greens burn up with 36 degree heat and intense sunshine. Knowing that on Monday the superintendent will be in shock!
Never Stop Learning –
Continue your education with the many seminars now being offered in the U.S. and Asia. Read, use the internet and by all means find out what technology is available that can offer the golf course superintendent a better way manage his facility. Look for Facebook groups that share knowledge and experience of your peers and more experienced in our industry.
As with the rest of the world our industry changes, advances can make our jobs easier but it is up to us to stay updated. This is how we can bring more value to the clubs we work with. I know I will never stop learning and I hope you will do the same.