Amanda is no stranger to working closely with Michael. “We have always had a professional and an at-home relationship; he coached me playing sports growing up and he couldn’t favor me more than the others then, either. If anything, he holds me to a higher standard and expects more from me than anyone, which makes me put in more effort and pushes me to be better.” She describes their work relationship at The Ledges as “a flip of the switch.” At work, he is Michael, and they talk about fertilizer and turf. She doesn’t see him often because he is in the Clubhouse, and she makes appointments when she needs to meet with him.
Amanda started her new role in January 2021 amid the Massachusetts winter. In those first months, she had to repair her fair share of breaks in the irrigation system. “There were only two of us working then, so I was part irrigation tech, part mechanic, and part superintendent.” She adds there’s been a lot of mowing and debris clean up to be done, because of the drastic temperature highs and lows. “We have a strong chemical program to counteract that, but there’s a lot to be done this time of year.” Amanda happily notes she has already received positive comments from club members about the overall appearance of the golf course and landscaping.
Minamyer is extremely pleased with Amanda’s performance. “She’s done a good job of adding key players to her team. She has strong agronomic skills and administrative skills. She’s detail-oriented but also looks at the big picture and what she wants to achieve. We hired Amanda on her merits, and she performs every day according to IGM’s standards.”
Looking forward, Amanda is excited about a couple of upcoming tournaments and seeing how the course looks and performs when she has a full crew working for the peak season. She’s doing a lot of seasonal training and follow up with her maintenance team to ensure things are being done the way they need to be. “I want to build trust that I know what I’m doing.”
Amanda acknowledges some challenges in being a young, female superintendent, but she takes a no-nonsense approach to leadership. “It’s not appropriate for a crew member to call me ‘sweetie,’ and I tell them to knock it off. Younger guys aren’t bothered so much about working for a younger woman.”
And like others in the Women in Turfgrass Management group, Amanda admits club members also must adapt to a woman in charge. “Even if I’m driving a cart with a bunch of shovels in the back, some golfers still mistake me for the beverage cart. I’ve learned to ignore it.” The women’s forums are helpful for mentoring and creating a voice for women in the industry.
“There’s always more to learn, like dealing with problem employees or diversifying what I know,” notes Amanda. “I feel supported by the IGM leadership and my crew.”
“Amanda is smart, well-spoken, and conscientious, a terrific ambassador of The Ledges and of IGM’s brand,” adds Minamyer. “IGM is proud to offer opportunities to all qualified individuals. It’s especially gratifying to watch employees climb the ranks within our organization.”
IGM provides complete golf course maintenance services in markets across the U.S. The company is committed to agronomic excellence and environmentally conscious methods and products. To request a consult, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.