The primary focus of the golf course maintenance team is ensuring quality performance and appearance of fairways and greens. However, IGM professionals know an often overlooked component of success is maintaining organized, neat, efficiently run, and clean maintenance facilities.
IGM Vice President of Operations Steve Gano points out the golf course maintenance building also serves as the crew’s office space and meeting area.
“The course superintendent and crew meet there to start the day with assignments and gathering equipment. An organized work space is a sign of our professional standards and expectations for the work they do on the course,” says Gano.
Typical golf course maintenance facilities comprise several distinct areas and functions:
The course superintendent should have a private office space for computers, files, and meetings. An organized work space enhances the superintendent’s efficiency and easy access to records, as well as reflects professionalism. Along with adequate space for team meetings and vendor reception, a conference room and staff areas should be located in this section of the building. A sanitary lunch area and restrooms are important to employee satisfaction. Cleanliness hints:
- Set expectations for employees on cleaning refrigerators, microwaves, sinks, and tables.
- Ensure computers have adequate lighting and are removed from areas that will attract excessive dust.
- If you provide vending machines, have them checked on a regular schedule and easily accessible to the vendors.
Costly maintenance equipment for turfgrass and landscaping should ideally be housed inside the building, with an asphalt or concrete floor. Not only does this reduce dust and weathering, which reduce equipment lifespan, but it also helps prevent vandalism and theft. If tractors and front-end loaders don’t fit, they can be stored outdoors under a pole barn or covered area. A couple of pro tips:
- Epoxy floor sealant makes floors easier to clean and oil leaks are identified more quickly.
- Painted or taped lines on the floor create individual parking spaces for vehicles.
- A designated area for hand tools will keep them neat and less cluttered.
- All tools used should be cleaned and properly stored every day.
All maintenance equipment eventually needs service or repair. This section of the maintenance shop is where technicians will retrieve parts and work on vehicles and tools. Remember, this area also needs internet access to search for up-to-date parts manuals or safety guidelines. Thought to the area’s design and tidiness are vital for employee safety:
- Grinding reels and air compressors are noisy, so they should be kept in isolated sections to reduce noise distractions. Headphones will protect workers’ hearing.
- Use cushioned floor mats where employees spend a lot of time standing or kneeling. This will help prevent wear and tear on their joints and potentially reduce injuries.
- Make allowances for convenient work flow, as equipment will be brought in and taken out throughout the day.
Equipment wash station
Clean mowers and other large equipment help keep maintenance facilities tidy, as well as reducing common odors. Good practices include:
- Cleaning and refueling equipment before putting it in storage each day.
- Removing turf clippings from mowers before parking them overnight.
- Blowing clippings and other debris prior to entering the wash area every day.
Agronomic products represent a huge investment. Maintenance facilities will need a separate, dry area to store bulk amounts of turfgrass, soil, sand, mulch, fertilizers, and chemicals. Fuel and chemical storage are subject to local codes and all other applicable regulations.
- Secure storage will help reduce the chance of theft and risk from spills.
- Pallets and shelving will keep products organized and easy to reach.
- Good ventilation is necessary for employee safety in fueling and painting areas.
“At IGM, we take pride in the high-quality care of the golf courses we serve, but we also strive to take care of our employees,” says Gano. “Having orderly, professional maintenance shops serves the needs and safety of staff, which is another top priority. Employers are happier and it makes our work flow more efficient and productive.”
IGM is a leading contractor for comprehensive golf course maintenance and management, known for environmental stewardship and agronomic expertise. For more information on IGM and the professional golf course services offered, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.