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My Experience of 2010

December 31, 2010

Our final article of the year comes to us from Damian Richardson. Damian contributed a series of interesting articles this season about his "Overseas Adventure". Damian is now back in the States and working full time at The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Florida.

As many of the readers on iaTURF may know, I recently spent 6 months in Hong Kong working at the Hong Kong Golf Club. For my final article regarding my time in Hong Kong, I decided that I would share a few things I learned from my experience.

Before I set off for Hong Kong, I stopped in Marcus Jones’s office to learn how to set up a blog and discuss his philosophy on blogging. Marcus is a great blogger and I really learned a lot from him. Blogging was going to save me from having to write multiple e-mails to family and friends. I also wanted to write for the iaTURF blog because I figured that many Iowa (and other) superintendents may find some of my experiences interesting.

I found writing for the iaTURF blog challenging because it made me think about my job and identify topics that were interesting to others. Through this experience, I think that in the future I will be able to write articles that other turf managers, club members, or anybody interested in turf may find interesting and educational.

While in Hong Kong, and during my college career I tried to build a network of friends and business professionals in the turf industry. As the network has grown I have come to fully appreciate how important networking is and have begun to see how valuable it is to have a network.

In my personal blog called Damian Richardson’s Hong Kong Adventure, I wrote about many of the unique friends and colleagues I met while in South East Asia. I also discovered that I like meeting new people whether they are in my line of work or not. Meeting a new person with new and different interests can open one’s mind to a whole new world.

Applying Knowledge
I’ll have to admit that I am not the world’s greatest mathematician, more precisely and candidly: I stink at algebra. I remember suffering through high school algebra, banging my head on my desk, wondering why or how in the world I could ever use matrices. To this day, I still have no idea how I would use a matrix, but I found it very rewarding when I could finally begin to really use what I learned in school.

One of my favorite parts about my internships was being able to apply what I have learned in school and use it in ‘the real world.’ I even wrote about the excitement and satisfaction I got from being able to use math in my job.

Discovering myself
While in Hong Kong, I was really able to learn a lot about myself and who I was. Personal reflection is a very important tool that we all can use in various aspects in our life. As the year is coming to an end, we may want to reflect on the most recent golf season and think if there is any way that you could have made it better, or to identify maintenance changes that could be implemented in to next year’s program.

Personal reflection can also be a great tool for managers and leaders. Was there recently a situation at work that you wish you had handled better or didn’t turn out the way you thought it should? While searching for more information about personal reflections, I found this great article.

Goal setting and planning
I have never been a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but instead I like to set long term, short term and weekly goals. While in Hong Kong, I was able to really see how important it is to set goals. I believe that without goals and a form of measuring the success of reaching goals true success can never be reached.