When the Pandemic first started, most businesses, including golf courses, were negatively impacted. But two months in, golf courses across the nation experienced a surge in business, and most finished 2020 profitably. Players flocked to golf courses for a safe place to get some much-needed ‘socially distanced exercise.’ Plus, since many workers were not commuting, they had more time and flexibility in their schedules. And to top it off, the game also attracted many new players as well. It’s safe to say that in the year-plus of Covid, golf courses were busy!
More golfers on fairways and in sandtraps equate to more daily maintenance tasks on the course. As the trend continued into 2021, Eric Ferrier, Head Pro at Avalon Golf Links, found himself needing help. With this need in mind, Eric reached out to Chinook’s Community Employment Services team.
The perfect subtitle for this story could easily be, ‘The year of the pivot creates two jobs filling divots,’ because after meeting with Danielle Graber, Chinook’s Community Employment Specialist, Eric realized that a ‘Divot Filler’ was what he needed.
For those unfamiliar with golf, a divot is when a golfer takes a swing with a club, and the club’s bottom scoops up some grass along with the ball, leaving an unsightly bald spot on the green. The faster the divot is replaced with sand and grass seed, the sooner grass will grow back to fill in the bald spot—the busier the golf course, the more divots, the more divots, the more maintenance required. You get the picture.
Eric calculated that if he could hire someone to fill divots, existing staff could manage the rest of the maintenance. From Chinook’s point of view, creating a customized task-oriented position is nothing new. The process is one that Chinook has perfected with over 40 years of experience; referred to as ‘Customized Employment.’ In essence, figuring out what task can be ‘carved out’ of a job description or ‘customized’ and given to a new employee. Customizing a position often creates a quarter-time or part-time job for someone else, which meets the new employee’s needs perfectly. It also frees the full-time employee to focus more energy on other tasks.
But where does one hire a ‘Divot Filler’? As it turned out, Danielle knew two perfect candidates, which resulted in two part-time job opportunities for two hard-working men: Matt and Terry.
Danielle recalls Matt and Terry’s interview, “They both knocked it out of the park! Eric hired them on the spot.” Matt and Terry started at their new positions in May of this year. They both enjoy their jobs as well as helping Avalon live up to its reputation as an exceptional golf experience. They have quickly become valued members of Avalon’s maintenance team.
“Partnering with Chinook Enterprises has become one of the best and most rewarding business decisions I have made on behalf of Avalon Golf Links this year. Matt and Terry are the perfect people to round out our maintenance team.”
About Avalon Golf Links
Avalon is a premier 27-hole golf course located in Burlington, Washington. The five-star golf course boasts three exceptional 9-hole layouts and one of Washington’s finest golf experiences. Click here to learn more.