MANAGE JOB STRESS: TRADE FRUSTRATION FOR RESULTS
Frederick S. Biggers, CGCS
Greenville Country Club
Greenville, South Carolina
Today's modern golf course superintendent has truly be-
come a professional in every sense of the word. Many of
his increased responsibilities have brought him more ad-
ministrative duties, a higher salary, increased recogni-
tion and more job stress.
In order to learn how to effectively manage our job
stress we first must learn what constitutes job stress
for the golf course superintendent.
Job stress usually starts gradually, almost without no-
tice for most superintendents. Stress can peak at many
different times of the year depending on a multitude of
factors such as: unusual weather conditions; major
construction/reconstruction projects; golf course
grow-in; and personal or communication problems with em-
ployees or club officials.
One important factor in handling one's stress is how to
first recognize the symptoms. Job stress symptoms can
include general fatigue, irritability, loss of perspec-
tive, lack of concern for other's feelings and depres-
sion. If these conditions exist among golf course su-
perintendents how and why did they develop?
Golfers and club members think that golf course superin-
tendents have a great, plush job. After all, they get
to work outside and play golf, etc. Yet, golf course
superintendents are no different than other business
professionals. They too face stressful situations in
Today's superintendents are under stress because:
- of the high expectations of modern players who expect
and demand more from their golf courses. (And, there is
no apparent end in sight. The general golfing popula-
tion of the 1990's and beyond will be a population which
will take its recreation very seriously indeed.)
- today's economic investment in golf is tremendous.
Superintendents are managing investments in land and re-
sources totaling into the millions.
- superintendents, in effect, can have hundreds of
"bosses" who can all have individual ideas on how some-
thing should be done.
Now that we have defined job stress, as it relates to
the golf course superintendent, we can address how this
stress can be effectively managed.
Several effective ways a golf course superintendent can
manage stress is to:
* More closely define one's purpose in life, set goals
and align priorities.
* Work at changing one's day-to-day work patterns to
* Learn how to more effectively delegate authority to
* Place a greater emphasis on one's family life and
outside interests (e.g., hobbies, community work and
* Change one's life-style and exercise patterns to build
a healthier mind and body.
Although it will not be easy, or an overnight process,
for most superintendents to reduce their levels of job
stress, all of us can start working towards implementing
stress relievers into our lives on a daily basis. If we
can be effective in our fight to reduce our job stress
we can become much more effective in our jobs and more
importantly, happier and more fulfilled in our personal