Over the next few months, I will be doing a series of blog posts that I am calling EMPLOYEE PROFILE. In these blog posts, I will be introducing some of the employees of the Jimmie Austin Golf Club Turf Care Facility and what their job function and responsibilities are within the club.
In this inaugural blog entry, I will introduce Rex Schad - Equipment Manager. Rex Schad has over 20+ years working as an Equipment Technician and Equipment Manager in the Golf Course Maintenance Industry. He is a member of the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMA) and is working on becoming a Certified Golf Course Equipment Manager thru the IGCEMA.
The Equipment Manager is responsible for the entire fleet of turf maintenance equipment. Jimmie Austin Golf Club Turf Care Facility has 75 individual pieces of equipment that the Equipment Manager is responsible for the maintenance and repair of. He oversees a comprehensive preventive maintenance program. This program includes the repair of failing equipment, keeping records of parts and labor needed to maintain each piece of equipment, and placing orders for parts and supplies needed for equipment or service. He is responsible for properly communicating any needs or problems relating to the maintenance or repair of equipment to the superintendent and/or the assistant superintendent, and schedule and direct the work assignments of the assistant equipment manager. He is to place safety as a top priority and is responsible for maintaining a clean service area and maintenance building.
One of the most important aspects of the Equipment Manager's responsibilities is referred to as "Reel Science". "Reel Science" is the proper maintenance, adjustments and set-up of reel mowing equipment to provide an exceptional quality of cut. Over time and after repetitive use, the reels on our mowing equipment will dull and they will need to be sharpened. A method called back-lapping can be utilized in between reel-grinding to keep the mowers sharp. Back-lapping is done by applying a gritty compound called lapping compound to the blade while it is running in reverse. This gritty compound will sharpen the reel against the bed-knife. However, back-lapping can only be done so many times to sharpen the blade. To keep the reel and bedknife sharp and adjusted correctly, it is necessary to grind them periodically. To correctly grind the reel and/or bedknife, it is placed on the respective grinder, set-up and adjusted accordingly to the manufacturers recommended settings and then Spun and Relief Ground. Rex has 50 reels and bedknives that he is responsible for keeping in exceptional cutting condition at all times. Reel mowing equipment is used to maintain the greens, tees, collars, approaches, fairways, intermediate rough and courtesy paths, while, rotary mowing equipment is utilized on all of the lawn areas, rough and native areas.
Rex has done a wonderful job of maintaining our fleet of turf maintenance equipment. Many times the Golf Course Superintendent, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent or Turf Care Facility employees are stopped by golfers and told "how great the golf course is" or "how great of a job they are doing". While these compliments are always nice to hear, I have never had anyone stop and tell me "how great the quality of cut is today" or "how well the equipment is running". Most of our patrons have never seen or met Rex, and, have no idea just how important his job duties are to the overall maintenance of the golf course. That is why this series of blog entries is so important. I want our patrons to know who these thank-less individuals are, that they may or may not have seen on a daily basis. I want people to know what these individual's job functions are, and, what important role they play in the operation and maintenance of this great facility.
As always any questions, comments or concerns are always welcome.
We'll see you out there!