Atlanta

Change SOMETHING!

Twenty seven years ago, a group of Theta Chi fraternity brothers from my Alma Mater, Presbyterian College, decided to go golfing for a weekend in Waynesville, NC. There were six of them, all in their twenties. That tradition continues today. Last weekend, we celebrated the 27th event. That’s a long time to keep anything going. There have been a number of new and different faces over the years, and a few changes. One of those faces has been the organizer of both the logistics (dates, hotel rooms) and the fun money for 20+ years.

Burned Out

He would be the first to tell you – in fact he did tell us – that he was really tired of organizing all the stuff and working through all the contests and money pool. It’s a thankless job, but somebody’s gotta do it, so two of us volunteered to take over one task each.

Side note: isn’t that always the case?? Someone in every organization is doing a job that really should be divided up into two tasks for two different people.

Change Something

We did. We always stayed in “the cabins”, which are really old kind of motel like rooms. Their great, and since we’re on the golf course the entire weekend except when we’re showering or sleeping, we don’t care what the rooms are like, as long as the A/C works. This year, we stayed in the newest addition to the Waynesville Inn, the “Brookside” building. That worked out well, because we were all on the first floor of the walk-up building and we could easily exit our rooms and all meet up and hang out at the picnic tables right outside.

We also changed up the golfing format and rules. No, we didn’t change the rules of golf. We added some stuff that might make it even more fun, because 36 holes on a hot Saturday can really wear you down. Here’s what we did.

Saturday Morning 18: Two man teams, best ball / captain’s choice

  • 2 mulligans per team per 18 holes
  • Two Portuguese Caddies for use on the fairways only – kick the ball as far as you can, but you gotta play it where it stops, added to previous shot.
  • Each team gets 20 feet (ish) of string for use on greens only, added to previous shot.
  • The team with the most string remaining after 18 holes gets a 2 shot bonus subtracted from final score.

Saturday Afternoon 18: Three man teams, best ball / captain’s choice

  • Each team of 3 gets a 4th shot (ghost) on every shot (whoever is feelin’ it)
  • Three Portuguese Caddies per team per 18 holes for use on fairways only – kick the ball as far as you can, but you gotta play it where it stops, added to previous shot.
  • Each team gets 20 feet (ish) of string for use on greens only, added to previous shot.
  • Most string remaining after 18 holes gets a 2 shot bonus subtracted from their final score.

Did it work?

Generally, these changes were very successful. However, not everything worked, just like not everything’s gonna work when you change up something in your organization. The progressive changes from singles on Friday to two-man to three-man teams was great. The additions of the Portuguese Caddies and the string really made a huge difference, as evidenced by the scorecard you see at the top of this post. That alone will lead to future changes.

Keep Changing

Next year, we’ll change it up some more. We’ll keep the progressive teaming, the string, and something like the Portuguese Caddie. But, we probably won’t do the Portuguese Caddie again. Who knew kicking a golf ball could be so very hard?!? Everybody kept pointing to me, saying, “You played soccer! Kick it in the hole!” Let me tell ya, kicking a golf ball from the rough and getting it anywhere near the hole is darn near impossible.

The other change we’ll definitely be making is the tee box. We played from the white tees all weekend. Next year, for the two- and three-man (or four-man, depending on how many people we have) teams will be playing from at least the blues.

Lessons Learned

Our brother who ran everything for 20+ years was clearly burned out on it. When he finally said that, we all listened, and changed things up. Problem solved. But two things have to happen:

  • Whoever is feeling the pain has to speak up
  • Others on the team have to pick up the slack
  • Everyone has to change and give feedback on the changes

When this happens, in any organization, there is relief for those who are burned out, and new (fun) tasks for those who are capable. Everyone benefits. When things are in burnout mode, change something.

What do you think about that?