When your followers mention or share your brand online, engaging with them poses an excellent opportunity to encourage them to refer their friends to you. Your interaction can appear on their friends’ feeds and build your reach! 

Many of your followers on social media are already fans of your brand! They are the Cheerleaders you always wanted but didn’t know you had.

Those unofficial brand ambassadors are your key to winning online.  Personal invitations from your Golfers to their social circle is key!  Try Hosting Monthly New Member/Golfer receptions or free clinics to help them promote you to their friends!

Cypress Golf Course Service (CGCS) is very aware of being sensitive to the environment. With the attention that fertilizers and pesticides golf courses use to maintain them under constant scrutiny, having a committed environmental plan by the maintenance department is essential. While there are several ways to approach the maintenance of a golf course, taking additional steps to ensure the health of the environment and the surrounding area is a practinot all management companies subscribe to.

As a partner of the Audubon Sanctuary for Golf Courses, our commitment to the environment is something that we take seriously. 

What are My Course’s Environmental Opportunities and how can CGCS help?

·    Preserve natural areas within urban environments

·    Provide needed wildlife sanctuaries

·    Support plants and wildlife native to the area

·    Protect water resources

·    Filter stormwater runoff through golf course wetlands and turfgrass

·    Rehabilitate degraded landscapes

·    Educate golfers and the general public about the nature of the game and promote environmentally-sound management

Golf Courses offer numerous opportunities to not only provide pleasant places to play, but also to protect drinking water, improve the water quality of our lakes, streams, and rivers, support a variety of plants and wildlife, and protect our environment for future generations.

If you have any questions, comments, article ideas or would like to discuss the services CGCS provides please do not hesitate to email me at scott.zakany@cgcs.com or call (941) 747-5059

Surveys conducted* by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) reveal that labor accounts for 52 percent to 65 percent of a course operation’s total budget. The surveys only generalize the relative size of this budget line item but do not reveal the challenges of the tasks themselves: the course design requirements and the relative handwork necessary to achieve them. Typically, labor costs are the primary focus for immediate cost constrictions without consideration given to the ramifications of such reductions.

The only reliable method to determine the cost of labor is to examine the tasks required of the human capital employed to execute them, individually and dynamically. Employee productivity, time and motion studies, manpower estimates: they all refer to studying tasks and the cost of labor required to complete them. 

The goal of these studies is to determine how many full-time employees (FTE) are necessary to complete all the tasks required to maintain the course objectives and benchmark standards. An FTE is defined as one person working 40 hours per week for 52 weeks for a total of 2,080 hours.  

Evaluated tasks: Actual hours
Task
Hours
Frequency
Per
Total Time per week












Task A
.75
2
week

2.25

Task B
1.25
1
day

8.75

Task C
.5
1
day

3.5

Task D
.75
2
day

10.5

Task E
.5
3
week

1.5

Task F
32
5
week

160

Task G
16
8
week

128

Task H
7
12
Day

588

Total hours per week







902.5

Total hours per year







46,930

FTE (      2080)







22.5625

When the total number of FTEs is defined for existing tasks, it should be compared to the proposed benchmarks to determine what efficiencies are lost or gained applying alternate maintenance practices and procedures. Labor costs are then assigned, per employee, to actual hours and required hours to determine where changes in the operation should be initiated and how those changes will affect labor cost projections. 

As always, maintaining the benchmark standards is the focus of all labor cost evaluations. It is important to be cognizant of manpower reductions and changes that could have a long-term negative impact on the course conditions and playability. Staff required for each task or project is frequently misrepresented because the exact time requirements are estimated or unknown. Staff is often expected to do more, with fewer resources, or experiences idleness as a result of undefined expectations.

Labor cost is a significant portion of any club’s budget, and course maintenance accounts for the majority of that cost. Course maintenance is also the most visible and impactful for membership, both in terms of aesthetics and enjoyment. Additionally, what works for one club may not work for another, even clubs that are similar in geography or player demographics; no two clubs can compare or duplicate labor utilization and cost.

The principles at CGCS have the expertise to complete a proper labor analysis, having personally owned, operated, and managed course operations. We provide the solutions you need to manage maintenance operations as a business within your business. If you would like more information about this type of analysis, or any other service that will allow your club to run more efficiently and more profitably, call us at (813) 645-9111 or send an email from our contact page.

Cypress Golf Management’s course maintenance subsidiary Cypress Golf Course Services (CGCS) signs another deal in the wonderful state of Georgia. Dekalb County GA and CGCS have signed a 5 year deal to oversee the renovation and ongoing maintenance of the Sugar Creek Golf Course located in Panthersville, Georgia. The facility consists of an 18 hole golf course, clubhouse, driving range and tennis courts.

The course was built in 1976 and has been closed for almost two years and will be undergoing many improvements to include renovating greens and bunkers, driving range, tree work, replacing and repairing bridges around the course and cart path repairs. Cypress will oversee the renovations and manage the course when it is ready to be opened to the public.

“Scott Zakany head of CGCS and Cypress President John Fogel worked for over a year on this contract and are happy to see the details finally falling into place. The Dekalb County staff has been very diligent and great to work with. We look forward to making Sugar Creek a gem for Dekalb county and their citizen to play” said Cypress CEO Bill Stine.  Renovations on the property are set to begin soon.

Golf Course Maintenance Costs

Over the past 5 years I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by a club official, “how can I lower my expenses at my club without sacrificing quality”? More often times than not, my response to that question is “are you efficient in all aspects of your operation and is that communicated that to you by your golf course superintendent”?

While I know that this is answering a question with another question, it makes the club official realize that they may not have all the answers.

I came across an interesting article a while back called “Is it time to Re-think Maintenance Budgets”? What I can tell you about that article is that it touches on many areas of a maintenance operation, of which, the most significant area that states: “So, what can a golf course Owner/Manager or Board of Directors do to control costs?” Read more

In most areas that we are working in, we have been experiencing a dryer than average year and increased needs for irrigation. Whether your course is getting natural occurring irrigation (rain water) or having to supplement the rainfall with irrigation, applying the correct amount of irrigation is one of the toughest jobs that a superintendent has to face.
Overwatering occurs for many reasons but one of the biggest is the fear of getting too dry and the tendency is to keep it wet. A great water source and well-drained soils can usually tolerate this a lot more than a course with poor water quality such as a secondary treatment facility or well water that is high in salt. The down side is that nothing good comes out of overwatering golf courses, especially the putting surfaces. Read more

Golf Course Maintenance

(AUGUSTA,GA) Member Tim Martin has played at the Patch for years, he says the course is now on a roll.

“This course is in the best shape that it’s ever been in the greens keeper and his staff have just done a tremendous job,” said Martin. Golf Course Maintenance

Martin isn’t alone in praising The Patch, (AKA) The Augusta Municipal Golf Course.

“We probably have the best green right now short of the masters and it’s improved a tremendous amount,” said Earnest Workman walking to the 10th green.

But golfers are starting to notice all the trees that are tied with orange ribbon. Read more

Golf Course Agronomic Consulting

Flipping through a red photo album, John Fogel’s chuckle grew louder each time he turned a page. Inside the book were before-and-after photos of the greens at Augusta Municipal Golf Course, starting in early-2014 and going through the present.

Golfers make putts on the practice green at the Augusta Municipal Golf Course. The course has 82 members. MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFFMICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Golfers make putts on the practice green at the Augusta Municipal Golf Course. The course has 82 members.

“You can’t help but laugh a little about how far this place has come since 2014,” said Fogel, president of Cypress Golf Management, which was put in charge of improving the course on July 1, 2014. “It’s remarkable. The Augusta community has really embraced what we’ve done and it’s amazing to see how proud people have become of this course. Many people have golfed here for years, and hearing their compliments is what makes everything worthwhile.” Read more

Cutting Golf Course Maintenance Costs

“Golf course maintenance, including associated labor, is almost universally the largest single line expense item on a golf course’s operating budget.”

One thing that I get asked all the time in this day and age is “how can I cut my maintenance costs without sacrificing the quality of the product”?

While this is a broad based question, I felt that some ideas that I have seen work over the years may answer this question or at least get everyone thinking of various ways to possibly do that. There are several good articles out there from the GCSAA, the USGA and others that may answer this but here is the skinny:

First it is important to understand what you are asking for and if there is a way to distinguish between the terms cost savings and cost cutting. Usually, cost savings is defined as spending less for a product or service without drastically changing the quality of the course. In golf course maintenance, this can mean that the standard (for the most part) is the same, but a more cost effective way has been found to achieve the result. Cost cutting is usually defined as spending less for a specific product or service that most of the time, reduces the standard. In golf maintenance, this means that the standard could be lowered and less is spent to achieve the new lower standard.

Golf course maintenance, including associated labor, is almost universally the largest single line expense item on a golf course’s operating budget. This is especially true in public sector golf operations, when employee wage and benefit costs are often significantly higher than in the private sector. Therefore, golf course maintenance typically offers public sector golf course owners the greatest potential for savings and increased efficiency.

The only way to truly understand if a club has achieved it full reduction strategy is to perform a labor audit or a time andmotionstudybasedonthenewlevelofstandardthatisplacedonthatareaoftheclub. Therearemanyareasof a golf course that are being maintained that may not be necessary when new standards are being implemented, however each club would need to develop their own levels to see how much of this cost cutting measure it can withstand.

Areas to look at in each portion of the golf course could help better address this situation is as follows:

PUTTING GREENS

• Change holes less frequently, or have the employee change the hole and mows the green. If a triplex is used, it may be necessary to mount the hole changer on the mower.
• Increase mowing heights to reduce stress, limit fungicide and pesticide use, and leave a margin for unusual environmental/weather extremes.
• Alternate mowing and rolling.
• Eliminate or reduce double mowing and use a triplex mower more often and rotate that with rolling operations

TEES and FAIRWAYS

• Eliminate use of walk-behind mowers on tees and increase gang or pull behind units on fairways.
• Move tee markers less frequently.
• Reduce fertility (if applicable.)
• Mow less frequently and incorporate growth regulators (chemicals are cheaper than the fuel and labor associated with mowing.)
• Eliminate over seeding Bermuda grass tees and fairways in winter.
• Don’t collect clippings.
• Use generic herbicides and decrease herbicide applications (establish a new threshold.)

BUNKERS

• Reduce raking frequency and increase the use of touch-up or spot raking.
• Eliminate excessive or unnecessary bunkers and install mounding or depressions instead. Initially requires investment in time and resources.
• Treat perimeters and banks with growth regulators to reduce edging/mowing frequency.

IRRIGATION

• Reduce irrigated areas.
• Understand how the electric utility charges for power and then operate the pumps in the most efficient way.
• Reduce the total amount of water applied. There is a partial kilowatt-hour behind every drop of water applied and having an understanding if savings can be incurred for better optimization.

Keep the focus on the middle of the course. Commit to having fantastic tees, fairways, and greens, even if it means lowering standards in the roughs, woods, and bunkers. While these are just a few to look at initially, it would be up to each golf course superintendent to address his/her clubs opportunities for reduction.

Labor Analysis

The simplest way to do this is to take every task (mowing, cup changing, bunker raking, edging, trimming, etc) and assign a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly number to the labor hours. Once every task is covered and the new standards are in place, add up the total hours and divide by 2080 hours (result is full time equivalent). This will give your club a bench mark as to how the labor (over 50% of most maintenance budgets) stacks up against the demand of services (tasks).

If you can effectively manage labor you most likely will have better cost controls of your golf course maintenance budget. Simple changes in scheduling labor can be very effective in business cost control in most cases and can save 15-20% of your current labor budget.

Now that you know how your labor stacks up, it is time to get started in some other key areas of the maintenance department. These are:

 Purchasing programs- are national accounts being used and or generic products available?
 Equipment purchases- have you considered re-manufactured or quality used equipment?
 Are you paying replacement values for your labor or are your wages higher than your competitors?  Are you working flex hours and utilizing part time employees?

If you reduced your acreages of fairways, etc., do you now have a better handle on the costs of products?

Over the years, many courses have been working on established budgets and management from a distance. When was the last time a zero based budget was initiated? Are there opportunities at your club to save money?

These are just a few examples to show the many opportunities to trim expenses without sacrificing quality in an operation. Many companies have been doing this type of exercise for years. Before demanding cuts, challenge your golf course superintendent to see areas where he/she can reduce some expenses and to be creative in the process.

If you have any questions, comments, article ideas or would like to discuss the services CGCS provides please do not hesitate to email me at scott.zakany@cgcs.com or call 813-645-9111.

Sincerely,
Scott Zakany, President Cypress Golf Course Services