As part of the preparation to open a new golf course at SunRidge Canyon, I had to train all the employees. One of the important tasks was learning to use a $3000 precision reel mower they walk behind to mow greens and tees. When the new employees were familiar with the machine, I took them to the nursery for practice mowing a uniform surface so golfer’s balls will roll true. They learned to make the turns needed to keep their lines straight.
I was so pleased with their progress. Everyone was comfortable handling the mower, and they were doing a great job of mowing straight lines. The day they were assigned to mow greens my chest puffed out and I knew the boss would be impressed with their work. I was so proud.
Then I got a call on the radio. “Don, have you seen #1 green yet?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Well, why don’t you meet me up here?”
Something was wrong, or he wouldn’t want to meet me there. Did they forget to mow the green, or damage it?
When I met Ron he had smirk on his face, which made me uncomfortable. “Don, do you see anything unusual about this green?”
I didn’t see damage. There was no debris on the green. Then I noticed the problem, and immediately felt so stupid. I never told them to take the flag pole out before mowing. When these new employees came to the flag pole they couldn’t mow a straight line, so they mowed around it, from each direction.
“Yes, Ron, I see the problem. I’m sorry.”
“I think it’s kinda funny. After all my years in the business I’ve never imagined this could happen. You’d better catch them quick and get this straightened out before golfers complain to the golf pro. I’ll bet half the course looks like this by now.”