Thursday, July 31, 2014

Do work and family always have to conflict?

I am often asked what I miss about being a superintendent. Involving my family in the sport is usually my first response. I always enjoyed the time spent on my course with my children and wife. I miss playing two or three holes (small children) or an impromptu lunch visit followed by one staying with me for hot afternoon syringe duty. Do work and family always have to conflict? Can they coexist?  Those are two questions that many facilities, chapters and even your national association are often faced with. Superintendents seem to have become more active in family events that it is harder to chisel out time to participate in industry-related events outside of the typical work hours. Many chapters work to bring the two together as well. Here are some of the many ways in which members are no longer forced to choose:


The chapter picnic is a popular one. Several chapters make the opportunity available during summer months. Often a low-key fun event striving for social time and family involvement, many take place at a local park. One such event is described by the chapter as “A great event to spend some fun quality time with your family, friends and fellow members. Please come and join us for a fun ball game, a swim in the pool, jumping in the bouncy castle and a delicious BBQ.” While shop talk often takes place, it is not always the superintendents leading the charge in this department. The significant others can get comfort from those with whom they can relate. Relax, unwind, and spend time with the family at a chapter picnic.

Sports event:

Here in the Northeast we are lucky to have some great, family friendly and affordable sports options. Whether it is minor league baseball or hockey, chapters have included these opportunities into their meeting schedule. Sports are another great avenue for social interaction with peers, and entertainment for the family as well. Hockey in golf’s offseason has become a successful staple of some chapter offerings. 

Parent/child golf event:

The Metropolitan GCSA hosts a parent/child golf event at where they also award and recognize the recipients of the chapter scholarships. It is a nine-hole scramble after working hours, at a child-friendly location with a simple meal to follow. The scholarships are presented, and the best part, those awarded are often playing in the event or have in the past.  Because of a limited field, this event often fills up quickly. What better way to promote the scholarship benefit than to involve the children in the event long before they are even eligible. It is also a great way to get on the course with family!

Amusement park:

The Connecticut AGCS hosts a day at a local amusement park. With ticket prices skyrocketing, a group event that includes an all you can eat buffet and parking for nearly half the price is a steal! In addition, an entire amusement park at the children’s disposal means entertainment for the family is guaranteed. I’ve done the amusement park thing with my family recently, and the children aren’t the only ones going to have a good night sleep. More importantly, time with the family is added to the CAGCS calendar, and the attendance continues to show the value the members see in the event.

It is often hard to make decisions to attend chapter meetings or events, and often family commitments are the reason. Perhaps there is a way family and chapter events can coexist after all?

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