• carl billberg

18 university students working with his permanent crew, Pymble Golf Club Superintendent, David Stone

An innovative solution to workforce planning at Pymble Golf Club.

David what led you to review how you were doing things resourcing wise?

“When I arrived, overtime costs were high. You had two opportunities a week here, Monday and Thursday to get some mowing done. With a three tee start, you were really busy in the morning to get work done out in front of the golfers, and then had to wait until the golfers passed and then only after that could you get more work done.

We had a budget of 14 staff when I arrived but, however we were down on that number so we looked at how we could do it better knowing it would be difficult to fill those permanent roles .”

How did you come up with the idea, this approach?

‘I had two university students down at Bayview, they would come in four mornings a week on cut walkers, so I knew that it could work. When I arrived at Pymble Golf Club, we were short by a couple in headcount, and being in the middle of Covid the club didn’t want to employ anyone permanently. We discussed how we might get some casuals if things deteriorated. I suggested that we give using university students a try and it just snowballed. We had one working as a casual, doing three shifts a week, he had a couple of friends and they had friends and it grew from there. Within a month, we had 18 on the books. The first few weeks were challenging, but after that they picked it up and they are all working out great.’

How is it working?

“We have anywhere from 5 to 8 university students every morning on cut walk behinds and rake bunkers, they clear leaves off greens and we have them on the drag behind blowers. Those are the three main things they are do