The British Columbia Golf Superintendents Association is a society to promote and support the Golf Course Management profession in British Columbia
President's Message - Fall, 2017
Returning to the roots…
The Fall equinox is almost here and personally for me, the crispness in the air and changing winds offer a freshness to each morning, that inspires both introspection and resilience. There is something about the fall-lighting and the angle of the sun that highlights the intricacies of shapes, colors, and textures of our golf course landscapes.
Fall is a beautiful metaphor for transition. As we move from one season to the next, from one place to another, or even one moment to the next. Slowing down, staying present and open instead of habitually reacting on autopilot opens us up to possibilities that we could not otherwise have imagined. When we get fixated on our expectations or stuck on old habits, we rob ourselves of creative potential. There is a famous quote that I have used for over 30 years of karate training: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few” (Gichin Funakoshi’s the Warriors Way). To me this is a critical philosophical reminder for our careers and occupation.
First, we have all achieved a significant level of expertise making us predisposed to a closed mind. I try every conceivable way to fight this phenomenon. I completely change maintenance programs, I often try new or different maintenance tasks, I do course tours with different people, drive the course in reverse, I talk to anyone and everyone that has an opinion on the product and services we provide.
Second, develop the “optional philosophy”. Somatic philosopher Moshie Feldenkrais encouraged his students to develop at least three ways of doing anything. If you only have one way, you are stuck. If you have two options, you have a dilemma. But if you have three options, you have choice and real freedom. Now apply this to our field of practice and expertise. There is that word again expertise – “a proficiency in a narrow band of skills”. Instead, develop as many skills as possible. Develop different techniques and utilize innovation to increase efficiency, efficacy and provide options. As you shift to this mind-set, you will see more and more opportunities, while simultaneously developing the depth and breadth of skills to handle your greatest challenges.
Third, take this time of introspection to critically examine the successes and failures and commit to change. We are fortunate to have careers where change or opportunity is around every corner. You just have to commit that 2018 will be the year of change and opportunities will appear:
- Change - attend an education event and apply one new idea.
o Opportunity - BCGSA MS education, WCTA conference, hang out at VGC for a few days.
- Change - one or more cultural programs and evaluate.
o Opportunity – try a new product or program, create a trials, use MLSN.
- Change - adapt or adopt a new technology.
o Opportunity - Apply turf metric – “to measure is to know”, create new and exciting ways of doing daily activities.
I realize this is not the typical presidential report but instead follows my philosophy of change. For more information about past, current and future events enjoy reading through this copy of the DogWood.
I hope you had a great season and look forward to seeing you at our 2017 BCGSA MS education days.
J. Paul Robertson
President - BCGSA