Well, clearly there could be many terms and I suspect the most quoted will be Brexit (but let’s not go there) and related terms, but we are looking at those specific to turf management, so here’s my top 3:
1. Fit for Purpose
Something which is well-suited for the required purpose. The focus in turf management should be on which product will best meet the needs of the customer and their specific requirements; this will clearly include cost but also the actual quality of the required surface and expectations from the surface.
For example, there is little point spending limited funds on top of the range materials when the labour and machinery inputs are insufficient to get the most from a product – a basic and cheaper product will actually be more appropriate than being sold a product which potentially produces something which cannot be achieved or maintained with available resources.
With the extensive range of materials, equipment and machinery available in the turf care industry it is important that turf managers purchase products which best meet their needs, rather than being limited to products available from a few selected suppliers they may regularly purchase from. There is a wealth of products available, so researching what is fit for purpose is of paramount importance if there is a need to spend finances wisely (and who doesn’t).
2. Back to Basics
A refreshing of knowledge which does away with complicated and often confusing, contradictory and convoluted theories and ideas. It emphasises the basic foundations of how, when and why maintenance activities are carried out, being based on sound principles. Back to basics will involve questioning the need and validity of carrying out tasks and for the use of specific applied materials.
3. Over Engineering
A reference to modern groundsmanship or greenkeeping practices that typically have high or unnecessary, inputs of resources.
A focus of over engineering is often on a single issue or multiple single issues rather than taking a holistic approach to turf management. The apparent addressing of the issue at hand seems quite plausible yet is often based on a suggestion through word of mouth, social media, or advertisement, which is occasionally spurious or disingenuous and which doesn’t focus on emphasizing the need to ensure any actions undertaken are actually fit for purpose for the situation, or customer. This implies that unnecessary tinkering with maintenance inputs results in inefficient use of resources to achieve a desired outcome. Over engineering is a questionable practice which contrasts with a sustainable approach to turf management.
All these 3 terms are connected and I think that if they are reflected on by anyone involved with looking after a turf grass surface then they will be better prepared for those unscrupulous sales people and will be better able to more positively engage with the more respectable and ethical sales people.
Chris Gray, 9th January 2019