Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Nowadays, business is all about productivity - and our folks produce." - North Dakota U.S. Senator John Hoeven

North Dakota's Junior U.S. Senator, John Hoeven, was the governor of North Dakota from 2000 through 2010.  During his time as governor of the Peace Garden State he helped usher in an era of economic and social service expansion unique among the other 49 states.  Thanks in large part to a boom in energy production in his state North Dakota ranks at the top in fiscal responsibility and economic security.  I wish we could say the same for Illinois but that's not why I bring up Sen. Hoeven's quote.  I wanted to talk about the productivity our team brings out on the golf course and hotel grounds.

 Escobar, Rivera, Santiago and Chily hittin' the sticks
They really do deserve a bit of golf after a hard day's work, I think.  Our team starts at 5:00 in the morning.  Escobar, as an example, starts his day cleaning the driving range tees of debris (divots, tees, garbage, etc) and then transitions into hose dragging fairways for dew removal.  After he finishes that he will then spend the rest of the day fixing ballmarks, filling tee divots, straightening/moving ropes and stakes or a variety of other tasks.  PRODUCTIVITY.  That's what I call productive.

 Chily displays his homemade weed eating protective gear
Chily will begin his day mowing fairways, mowing tees, collars, or raking bunkers.  He'll move on to string trimming around ponds, trimming trees or mulching beds at the hotel.  This guy produces, let me tell you.  To look at him I'd say he appears to be in his early 20's but he's actually 42.  Go figure.
 Standing water on 3 Island green after THREE MINUTES of irrigation!
 Barrett, Ernesto and Dale sod cutting the damaged turf
 Barrett and Dale backfill the excavation with sand
 A close up view of the soil here.  Challenging to say the least
 A long view of the finished product
Ernesto, Barrett and Dale did a fine job of addressing one of our biggest challenges on the Island course last week.  Three minutes of irrigation represents roughly .05" of precipitation given our irrigation system's design.  If you have that much standing water on a putting surface after that little amount of precipitation, imagine what it would be like if you had roughly 9" of rainfall from July 22nd until August 15th.  This area is especially sensitive given it is at the front of the green where every golfer will basically walk right over this exact same spot over and over again for days on end.  This is merely one step in a long term solution.  All of our greens need internal drainage installed but this is the most pressing and we will find a solution to the standing water problem one way or another.  The sod job is only a band aid until the water can be moved off the putting surface reliably.  You can see more of spots like this on a much smaller scale on 1, 4, 5, 6, and 9 on the Island course as well.

It's important to note that Barrett, Ernesto and Dale only spent half a day on this project.  Their earlier assignments include course set-up, mowing collars and intermediate rough as well as chemical applications. 

 Grass clumps
 Grass Clumps.....again....
Grass clumps.....some more....sigh....
I would imagine that some of you at home are having a hard time keeping up with the mowing requirement for your lawn.  Now imagine your lawn is 300 acres.  It's no different for us.  The beautiful weather we've been having (low nighttime and daytime temperatures with a little rainfall) has produced some lush, green turf but it grows LIKE CRAZY!  Just in case you were wondering, no, we don't fertilize our rough.  It just GROWS!  Dennis, Chongo, Jimenez, Rivera, and Santiago spend the early part of the morning mowing or blowing greens.  They spend the mornings cleaning hotel trash, cleaning the patio and the tents or prepping the golf course for early morning outings.  Once that is complete and things have dried out a bit later in the morning they'll spend much of the day trying to keep up with the seemingly endless mowing requirement.  They are great examples of how we can be productive.  These guys work hard, lemme tell ya!
Angel and Anthony preparing to get after some string trimming at the hotel
 This is another good example of teamwork.  After a particularly busy day for Angel and Anthony mowing fairways (46 Acres of fairway, to be exact) they had an hour or so left in the day.  That left enough time to help out Engineering extraordinaire Dan Ayres by clearing a nice swath along the golf course side of the hotel so the Engineering team could repair some foundation leaks for the conference rooms.  We have a good team and I am always short on words for how to thank them for their efforts but here we go: Thank you, all of you, for the effort and hard work you bring each day.
My daughter, Molly, is 9 months now.  Time flies when you're having fun!
Tom, now 3 1/2, dancing his heart out at Pritzker Pavilion in June
I am a firm believer in being a cheap date.  There's too much to do that doesn't cost money in our part of the world not to take advantage of it.  The above photo was taken during a Justin Townes Earle free concert in Chicago Memorial Day weekend.  You can catch "Million Dollar Quartet" at the Pritzker Pavilion for free next week.  That's something you don't want to miss.  If you look hard enough the world is at your fingertips.  My wife, Tina, deserves all the credit for finding all this stuff out.  Have a great weekend.