Most people get up in the morning and go to a typical 8-to-5 job. Others are retired and perhaps hit the golf course first thing in the morning. That means there is a group of people who have to make sure that the golf course is ready to go when you are done putting around and are ready to hit the links. No one enjoys mowing a lawn. Now imagine if your yard was an 18-hole golf course with plenty of grass that someone needs to maintain. That is what Greg Cross and his team have to do at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course every day. “We start out on the mowers about quarter to seven in the morning. We start mowing greens, tees, fairways, change the holes on the greens, move tee markers, empty trash cans,” said Cross, head groundskeeper. Since the golfers tee off at 7:00 a.m., the grounds keeping crew has to hit the green before those early birdies, trying to stay one step ahead of the golfers as they make their way from hole to hole. Cross said, “We have to be here first thing in the morning because by 10:30 in the morning we have somebody on every hole in the golf course. We get ahead of them, trying to get it all done before they get out there. Like I said, we don't want to bother them too much.” On some days, the course requires more than just a mow. “We're spraying the greens this morning with some liquid fertilizer. We fertilize fairways about every month to 6 weeks, do greens about every week to two weeks. The next couple of weeks we are planting about 20,000 pounds of rye grass,” added Cross. Cross has been doing this job for 30 years. Since he works at the golf course from 6:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon, on most days, you would think his spare time would be spent far away from the links. “Today I'm supposed to go play golf at Oak Island Golf Course,” said Cross. So you never get tired of being on a golf course? “I get tired of this one,” laughed Cross. Which in this business may be par for the course.
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