XGD/TDIGolf, A Capsule In Time
Ahh, the good old days, or as today’s “yutes” use the term “back in the day”. I often reminisce about the early days of “Turf Drain Inc.” That concept was born over twenty years ago, albeit with a smart, fresh business plan by the company founders.
During”the good old days” we would pound the pavement in the off season to knock on doors, telling all of the virtues of Turf Drain Inc. The new,updated version of that company http://www.tdigolf.com/ rarely does that kind of cold calling anymore, but XGD Systems http://www.greensdrainage.com/ is a much smaller outfit,still trying to break in to new markets. I still do a little bit of that type of sales work with mixed results. But there is satisfaction in the days when you do stumble upon that elusive lead. I was recently on a trip like that investigating a new market. On these types of trips I am usually met with countless”salesmen by appointment only” signs. Refreshingly, not so much in this part of the world, as I didn’t see one of those dreaded signs, and some of the people I did meet actually made a little time in their day for me. It is too early to tell the success of that sales trip, but the attitudes of all the people I encountered were truly genuine and happy. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t selling welding rods,was a factor too?
Turf Drain Inc. was only 2-3 years in to business when we were asked about greens drainage. From there, we spent some more of our off season time researching ways to actually pull off”greens drainage”. After completing our first few greens we were off,so to speak. So was I in a way, off to do other things. As Turf Drain was becoming very busy in the golf course construction market, and we began a journey in to America. Once again, a lot of pavement pounding was needed to develop this potentially huge market. So, I left the green drainage operation in the hands of Papa Rick Cimerman. A certainly capable foreman, with an extreme eye for detail. “Eye for detail” is somewhat overused in the golf industry, but when you are relaying greens sod with variables in mowing height at + or – a hundredth of an inch, an eye for detail is almost the only trait required for the position. As Turf Drain spread its wings in the U.S., as did the greens drainage operation. Moving about the country like gypsies, in a professional sort of way, Papa Rick and his crew developed a broad customer base, in the northeastern and mid western states. While Rick was nurturing the greens drainage process, I moved in to project management with TDIGolf.
After several years on the long and winding road, Papa Rick decided on a career change,and he left TDI for other endeavours. This action left a huge hole in the greens drainage operation, and it suffered for several months, until the idea was broached to me to take over the reins again. I will always remember sage advice from “back in the day”, during some of our earlier meetings at Turf Drain Inc. on future growth. “In order to stay at a company a long time,you may need to reinvent yourself a few times”. Not completely understanding what this meant at the time, of course it didn’t really sink in, but I did recall it when I was asked to run the greens drainage operation again by then TDIGolf President, John Anderson. It didn’t take me long to decide on this and enter the next phase of my career at Turf Drain Inc.
I keep referring to XGD(Existing Greens Drainage) as the greens drainage operation because the term XGD was in its infancy, as it wasn’t until August 04, that XGD was born. Operating under “TDI International Builders of Golf”s umbrella(yes, yet another name for Turf Drain Inc.), XGD benefited from having someone oversee the operation adhering to a “slow growth” mantra. Papa Rick’s perennial issue was servicing XGD customers in a timely fashion. Forward to today, and we feel that shortcoming has been corrected.
So, the names have changed, but both companies are thriving. TDIGolf is a major force in the golf renovation market across North America, as evidenced by recently completed 08 major renovations at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth,TX http://www.keithfosterdesign.com/ , and Cherry Hills Country Club in CO with Renaissance Golf Design Inc. http://www.doakgolf.com/ . While XGD Systems has completed over 3000 greens over the years at several clubs in the top 100 ranking, placing it well ahead of any competition.
As I finish this post, TDIGolf is currently breaking ground on another major reno at Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land,TX, with http://www.jeffreydblume.com/ , while XGD will begin installations again in the mid Atlantic region later this month. Many of the projects XGD has undertaken will be reviewed in some upcoming posts.Several of these new projects are groundbreaking in their uniqueness. Also revealed, will be some new green construction techniques being undertaken jointly by XGD and TDI.
Cheers for now, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer