Update As You Go – Golf Course Industry

For the Director of Grounds of the Patterson Club (Connecticut) Jason Meersmana budget is not just an annual or monthly task, but a weekly task.

“It’s something I like to keep open on my computer almost all year round,” he says. “During the year, if I find something that works better or that I didn’t need, I jump in and react to the budget right away so it doesn’t get lost when I go wrong. sit down and do it at the end of the year.”

One such factor he frequently focuses on and reacts to is employee payroll. “I like finding part-timers to take a lot of the work off our core team,” Meersman says.

Using part-time employees also allowed Meersman to avoid going over budget with overtime. “I can’t say enough about the part-time team we have,” he adds. “Building a really big part-time team has proven to be the way to go these days – at least for us.”

The Meersman crew uses OnLink, a software company that comes with the course’s John Deere equipment package. The program allows Meersman to set an estimate of the time needed to complete certain tasks, which then allows him to assign those tasks to the crew and automatically calculate their compensation. Meersman always checks and edits timed tasks to be perfectly accurate.

“Payroll is everything, he says. “Everything we do takes hands. And without hands, we don’t have much luck. There are always different ways of doing things, but at the same time, the more hands you have, the better you will look.

The Patterson Club includes an 18-hole golf course, tennis and paddle courts, a swimming pool and a large clubhouse. Meersman manages two other department budgets in addition to the course’s operational finances. “It’s hard because the experience people expect and the budget you have to provide…it’s hard to align the two,” he says.

Surpluses sometimes occur, especially in the current economic environment, and Meersman has taken this into account this year with weather-appropriate maintenance practices. “We were lucky with the cold spring, so I didn’t use as much finishing sand,” he says. “We didn’t do any cart path repairs, then just cut here and there, and luckily a lot of people didn’t notice.”

For any budget, balance is essential.

“The first thing I learned was just to follow the evolution,” says Meersman. “You want to be able to track it every week. If you’re too far below, people are going to say, “Oh, you don’t need it then. And if you go too far you can really put yourself and your club in a tight spot, so keeping track of everything throughout the year is really important, keep that in mind.

Cassidy Gladieux is a senior at Kent State University and a regular contributor to the golf course industry.

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