The heat has arrived. We are 11 days into the “90 Days of Hell” that is the Turf life. We are already praying for rain, and are in a stretch of 90 degree weather.
It’s hot and it’s hard. Let me be clear- the “season” is way longer than 90 days, and seems to stretch longer every year, but the approximate 90 days that comprise June, July and August are often the hardest.
My husband is a golf course superintendent and, while it’s hard to convey how hard his work is, there is one line that seems to do it justice in my mind- the grass never gets a day off.
The grass is getting exposed to the humidity, the heat, the bugs, the foot traffic and cart traffic of golfers, etc. every day- on weekends, on holidays, on special occasions, and all days in between.
The heat of the day doesn’t go away at 5 o’clock, and the sun doesn’t set when it’s time to “clock out”. This makes for long hours, and nonstop working (7 days a week), until the cooler fall weather sets in and allows the grass (and my husband) to take a breath.
The days are long for my husband (3am to sunset). At home, we often find ourselves eating dinner without Daddy, and the weekends are just another long day for us. No breaks.
The season is hard for my husband and me in very different ways, but we do our best to stay focused and positive through it all.
Really I should say, I do my best… my husband seems to never complain, and never let the season get to him.
He has a bit of a love hate relationship with the season. I know he hates the hours, and missing family time, but he is also so passionate about what he does and he lives for the thrill of it and to see his success.
He’s amazing at what he does.
This industry is tough. I equate it to being a coach. If you have one bad season, you are often fired.
The turn around is so scary, and so many wives tell stories of being displaced yet again and having to find another job, and move to another state.
We’ve been so lucky in finding such amazing courses to settle in at. The courses my husband has worked for have all been so family oriented, that I’ve never once worried about him losing his job.
The superintendents he’s worked for have all been amazing men, amazing fathers, amazing workers. They are all people that we keep in touch with and will for the rest of our lives.
His current course is, of course, his first job as the superintendent. The management staff is comprised of yet again, two amazingly wonderful men.
They have a working knowledge of the day to day of my husband’s job, which seems to be a rarity in this industry, yet a gem for us.
Often, the management staff has no idea what goes into keeping the golf course in tip top shape, and thus superintendents seem to get fired at the drop of a hat.
I had no idea how often this really happened, until joining the Wives of Turf group on Facebook (yes there’s a group for us LOL).
The course Joe is at now, is like our second home. We feel comfortable visiting at any time, and I am so very thankful for this. We plan on sticking around for a very long time to come.
In the summer, we visit as often as we can. Yesterday Caroline and I joined Daddy as he watered greens. He literally has to stay until the sun and the heat break, and hand water the greens.
We ride along in the cart for a couple of hours, holding on as my husband drives as fast as he safely can to get to every inch of his course as quickly as possible.
We “help” by staying out of the way, and just giving him company. We bring dinner when we can. We support him however we can.
Honestly, I wish we lived closer so we could do this daily and help him more.
Caroline has been coming out to the course since she was a newborn, but now that she’s 2.5 years old, she’s starting to take more of an interest.
She wants to walk around with Daddy and do what he’s doing. Luckily, she also listens when we ask her at times to let him work!
She looks at the root samples he takes from the greens, and tries to punch some out herself. She walks around with me at times to pick up sticks and rocks.
She’s noticing details on the course such as the collars around the greens, the tees, etc. She really enjoys going for rides, and spending time with Daddy.
As the summer ramps up, we cherish every single second we get with Daddy, and I remain so thankful that he works at this current course.
I’ll probably never get used to his hours, or the fact that I can never include him in plans (since his plan during this season is just do what he needs to do as long as it takes). I’ll probably never get used to not knowing when he’ll be home, or no weekends.
But, we make it work, and I know how to get through these tough turf days now.
We are so lucky to have Baby V #2 with a due date in the winter this year, as well!
If pregnancies and due dates could be planned out perfectly for golf course superintendents, they’d be the November and December dates that we got lucky with! There’s no better time in our world!
More Turf Life Posts:
I Fall In Love With My Husband More Every Day
When Summer “Break” Is Hardly a Break At All- How to Get By
A Day in Our House- Mama and 2 Year Old