Friday, January 5, 2018

Where Does the Time Go

It just occurred to me that I'm starting my 12th season as the golf course superintendent at Bailey Ranch Golf Club!  Where does the time go?  Winter is often a time for reflection.  How well did we do last year?  Were there things we didn't do as well as we would have liked?  What can we improve upon for the next year?  But as I sit here thinking about the last 11 years, I cant help but think about all the progress we've made in this department.  Progress, despite challenges that seemed overwhelming at times.  Ice storms, historic droughts, winterkill on fairways, vandalism, equipment breakdowns, constant irrigation system failures, greens renovations, cart path repairs, bunker conversions and renovations, and bridge renovations were just a few of the challenges we faced with minimal staffing and limited resources.  This was just within the first 4 years!  
Thinking back upon all these challenges brings to mind all the people that have helped make it possible.  Over the past 11 years, we've had various full-time staff come and go, and over 100 part-time and seasonal staff members come through and leave their mark on this place.  The support of our Director of Golf, Corey Burd, and the Golf Shop, lead by our Head Professional Jeff Moore, has been invaluable and we have always felt like a team.  Even through all the stress, there never was a time when it felt like we didn't have their support. Not to mention the unwavering support from the other departments within the City of Owasso.  There is such a wealth of expertise at the City and they have helped us in numerous ways: project design assistance from the engineering department, construction equipment from public works, irrigation and drainage assistance from public works, loaner tractors from the Parks department, and countless other opportunities.  There can be no doubt we wouldn't be where we are without their support!

Facing these challenges head on was daunting at times, and often seemed to be too much, but we put out heads down and got through it together.  When I first got to Bailey Ranch, the golf course had been neglected for quite a while and therefore the condition of the golf course was volatile.  Conditions were good when the weather cooperated and bad when it didn't.  Anyone who has lived in this area for any length of time knows the weather is very unpredictable, and due to this, we struggled to be consistent the first few years I was here.  Now, I can honestly say we have come out the other side with a much more sustainable golf course.  We aren't as prone to the whims of nature, and we have created a product that is much more consistent throughout the year.  This has been my greatest pleasure, to create a product that our members and guests can enjoy, and be proud of.  At the beginning of each year, I get excited for what the new year will bring, and this year is no exception.  I am excited for the chance to make Bailey Ranch even better in 2018 than it was in 2017!

As always, see you on the course!


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