Did you know there is a National Handwriting Day? Neither did I, until I saw it on a calendar my wife has hanging in our kitchen. January 23rd is National Handwriting Day. If I had known, I would have written this column for January; maybe by hand. Nonetheless, this year I have made a real effort towards increasing my frequency of handwritten notes.
We live in a different world, than we did five, ten, twenty years ago. Our world is always changing and we as superintendents must adapt to that change to keep ourselves relevant. However, there are certain staples of business that we must never forget, no matter how much the world around us changes. Communication in today’s world is easier than ever. We can literally send messages instantly to someone on the other side of the world, and that doesn’t even factor the various type of video conferencing platforms. As fast and easy as communication is today; the slowest and most simple form, the handwritten note, remains the most powerful.
I have always been a believer in hand written note as a thank you, but until this year my note writing was far too infrequent. This changed when I came to Hazeltine and met our new Head Golf Professional, Chandler Withington. Chandler came to Hazeltine from Merion Golf Club and was already a well practiced note writer. Early in the season Chandler handed me a stack of personalized stationery and my note writing shifted to a new gear. I have recently adapted the policy of writing “A Note A Day” (not quite one a day, but it sounds good). My desk has a note writing station and I keep a running list of people to whom I want to write a note. Each day, when I get to work, the first thing I do is select a name from my list and write them a note. Writing one each day keeps me from getting away from what I believe is an important and rewarding exercise.
- Choose deserving recipients and write something meaningful
- Order thank you cards with your club’s logo, or better yet personalized stationery. If you don’t want to spend the money, it is easy to create your own using MS Word. The stationery I use is executive size (7.25”x10.5”). Include your club’s logo, name, title and contact info.
- Use nice paper- a heavy resume type paper is a good choice.
- Use a nice pen-I have settled on the Sharpie pen, which delivers a crisp line and important for me as a left-hander, dries super fast and does not smear.
- Whether you use a script, or you print, make sure you writing is neat and legible. I print, because honestly, I have never developed a proper script.
I have yet to find a person in any walk of life who does not appreciate a nice hand-written note. In this day and age of digital communication, a handwritten note stands out because it takes more time and preparation. In a world that values time like few other things, using it to send a note makes a special statement to the recipient.
As superintendents, we are always looking to present ourselves in the most professional manner possible. A handwritten note, is a professional and thoughtful way to make a statement.
Chris Tritabaugh is Golf Course Superintendent of Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
His blog can be found at