Superintendent Evaluate Different

GPS does have some real potential in an area that could help significantly reduce maintenance costs. That is in the area of GPS Mapping and its relationship to Time Study procedures mentioned in the 1983 and 1988 articles noted above. TOURGRAPHICS of Seattle, WA is probably the best known company doing GPS Golf Course Mapping. There are others as well. Any golf course wishing to do an in-depth analysis of its maintenance expenses would be well advised to look into this process. This process is relatively expensive to have done accurately, but can ultimately lead to a much better definition of maintenance costs in terms of actual green square footage, tee-space area, fairway/rough acreage and bunker area. This will allow a superintendent to calculate Time Study data that can be used for setting and measuring employee performance standards. This will also help the superintendent evaluate different equipment options and their relationship to man/hours needed to perform various tasks.

So, what can a golf course Owner/Manager or Board of Directors do to control costs?

* One major step would be to become more knowledgeable about basic maintenance practices. Without some basic information, it is very difficult to ask the right questions of the superintendent.
*Ask for alternatives. There are usually more than one method or piece of equipment for specific tasks.
*Demand Time Study information.

I once had a superintendent request a third fairway mower so that he could get the fairways done faster. My first naïve reaction was that the acquisition would save money since it would get the fairway mowing done faster. In some cases, some superintendents would accept the naïve conclusion and get the mower. In this case, the superintendent was honest and answered that it would only make the course ready earlier or allow his crew to get on to other tasks sooner. When I talked to the superintendent about the $8,000 annual cost of acquiring the new fairway mower (plus the labor to operate it), we compromised on getting him some more part-time help to mow fairways in the evening with one of our existing units at a cost of about $4,000.