The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association has created a segment to help the turf industry stay connected. With many events postponed due to current challenges, the opportunity to meet new and catch up with familiar friends and peers across the turf industry is limited, so we’re keeping connected and to ensure that turf managers can get to know members from other areas of the industry, other States and other countries, to help promote the professionals and the hard work put into the industry.
Today we spend 5 minutes with... Dave Cassidy (CSTM), Course Superintendent, The Cut, Western Australia.
2020 has been one out of the box especially in light of the global pandemic – how have your operations had to change and adapt from past years and what has been the most challenging aspect for your as a superintendent/sports turf manager?
When the pandemic hit and started to affect the club, I had to let majority of the staff go and it was myself and one other staff member for about a month, maintaining the course, while the course and club were closed. Some of the staff came into volunteer to keep on top of the maintenance at the time, which was a great help. After a month the crew came back on for 30 hour weeks for a few months and then onto full working weeks. Thanks to job keeper. Around the shed staff have been on the front foot with hygiene, there were some procedures which we put in place around the shed and throughout the club.
Probably the most difficult issues were managing staff hours and juggling task and achieving work in a smaller amount of time. Continually not sure of the unknown regarding work at different times was extremely difficult, however we always stayed positive.
I have to be honest it has been great in Western Australia with restrictions slightly at ease than most places.
Best piece of advice you have received about the turf management profession and who gave it to you?
Most advice I have taken is more on a management roll as with turf management it is always evolving and each site has always been different. One thing which I was told was to take up opportunities when offered or invited as you never know what doors they may open. This was from Jimmy Kidd at Gleneagles director of agronomy. Be thorough in planning and communicating also came from Jimmy as well.
Talk about a recent or current project you have undertaken at your facility and what it means for the club.
I am involved with Australian Golf Sustainability Project through the GEO foundation and AGCSA. This is a custom built program for sustainable golf facilities. The club is right behind this, showing that we are reducing our carbon footprint, receiving recognition for sustainability in golf and it is a strong statement conserving nature and resources. I am also completing a Waterwise program to show the local community that golf courses are not water wasters and we are here to improve our major resource in water. This program offers watering strategies and helps get support from the community.
Tell us one thing about yourself that your fellow turf practitioners might now know about you (eg: hobbies/achievements in sport etc.).
I got to play in the inaugural Qatar AFL team playing in the Middle East. I have to say though I am more into my rugby league.
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Be patient and very observant.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I have 4 kids so I am on the road a lot with kids sports, which I do love to be involved in. Otherwise it is watching the mighty Canberra Raiders in the NRL
Thanks for taking 5 minutes to answer some questions with us Dave. We look forward to hearing more from others in the industry.