Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
finishing up the repairs to the collar after excavating out all the heavy clay last fall. All the sod will be complete and in place before the end of today. And this, the 7th green also taken photo taken at 1:30pm.
th green. Although this picture is not from today. It was taken on Wednesday. Ya, I know, the lines look a little squiggly, but that's just because we are training new staff to mow greens.
th, you only have 11 golfing days in April. TRUST ME!! Don't wait to see it for yourself! Book your tee time now and WOW your guests with your course conditions this spring. And if there is a chance you have a friend who was thinking about joining, but thought they should wait until the end of May or early June for the course to come around.......phone them NOW................and tell them to call Alex before word gets out and prices jump - because the will! DON'T SAY I DIDN'T TELL YOU!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Arrived thinking what a great job this is going to be hanging around outdoors, getting fresh air, and working on my tan. Superintendent Blair Rennie welcomed the new hires, congratulated us on being selected to join the team and told us that the six of us were selected out of over 100 applicants. (Really? Over 100? Kind of hard to believe, but then he shows us the pile of resumes. Wow, feeling kind of special.) Then he informs us there are high expectations for all of us. We will be expected to work safely, while attaining adequate productivity with the highest quality in everything we do. What? So now I’m expected to actually work? At this point we were matched up with an experienced team member and sent out to different assignments. On the way onto the course I’m shocked at what I see. I thought this was a private club with high quality. Everywhere I look there are branches down, sand and gravel all over the driveway, as well as the parking lots and paths. Leaves and pine cones are scattered everywhere. I spent the rest of the day picking debris out of bunkers. Pine cones, stones, leaves, sticks, garbage. At one point we were sent back to a bunker that had a few small stones we missed. “NOT GOOD ENOUGH” barks Rennie; it all has to be removed! After about an hour and a half, I suggest to the person I’m working with, “let’s go get a coffee”. He looks at me for a brief moment and starts laughing. “Coffee?” he chuckles, “You ain’t worked long or hard enuff to deserve a break” While working and moving from trap to trap I was able to get these photos.
Day 2 through 5
I pass by a big loud machine grinding stumps into saw dust. A small crew follows behind, picking up the spilled debris and adding soil into the hole. At other times I can hear the buzz of a chainsaw. Another man is repairing a broken fence post. Range mats are being pressure washed, and another is painting some wood slats. (Which I find out later are something called “hazard stakes”) Talking to Kyle at lunch I’m shocked to find out that this crew has about 130 acres of golf course, parking areas, driveways, driving range and so on to clean up and prep for opening day. Think I’m starting to have a little more appreciation to the task at hand.
Date, unknown, sometime in the second week.
One day just flows into the next, with seemingly no off time between days. My back hurts, I have blisters on hands and feet which are constantly throbbing. My feet are wet, and I have sand in my mouth and eyes. I hear rumours the opening date is now official. Wednesday April 20th. Unless “Large Marge” says differently mumbles Rennie. Who the heck is Large Marge I ask one of the other rookies? He shrugs his shoulders and gives a little whimper of pain, “Maybe its Rennie’s wife.” We arrive back to the lunch room at the end of the day and on the large white board that dons the wall, we find “T minus 8 days” written on it. “Is there a space shuttle launch?” is all my brain can think, later realizing that meant 8 days left before opening day. Starting to wonder how all this work is going to get completed. Other things I’m witnessing, tarps that were neatly folded up beside some of the greens are being brought in. Water coolers are being scrubbed with soap and water. Delivery trucks are in and out all day, although I have no idea what they may be dropping off. Ball washers are being dismantled, cleaned, some parts are being replaced and rebuilt.
Later on in week #2
Can’t get onto the course because of frost. Awesome, I’m a little tired, can handle playing some euchre, drinking some coffee with the crew. As I make my way to the coffee station I hear Mickey (Mickey has been at Whitevale as long as anyone I assume) “Hugh, lets go”. Lets go? I was planning on putting my feet up and having a coffer. Before I know it I’m out in the cold morning air, cleaning up sand and gravel on the paved roads, parking lots and cart paths. Well at least I’m not back in one of those bloody bunkers. The next morning the frost stopped us once again from getting on the course. So Kyle said there would be training for all staff on WHMIS. Well I know what that is, it stands for Workplace Hazardous Material Information System. I did my WHMIS training only 3 months ago. So I approached Kyle to tell him I didn’t need this training. Sorry he says. Just because you were trained by another employer does not mean it counts here. By law we must train all staff, and redo the training each year for all returning employees. Ahhhh really – that seems like a silly law.
Later, after the frost is up and we are done the training, I see the irrigation system running. Now its clear to me Rennie has no clue what he’s doing. We had rain only two days ago, he tells us every morning how much damage can be done if we don’t drive on paths because it’s so wet, and now he’s running irrigation on an already saturated golf course! How did this guy get this job?
The next morning as I go by the same area and as if magic the pipe is all repaired, I never saw anyone there, yet it’s all back together.