Have you ever thought about the similarities that building officials share with golfers? Some may think it’s absurd, but there is justification to support this idea.
In the daily role of the building official you must consider the many codes that need to be applied to certain construction dilemmas. What type of construction do you have? Is the building sprinklered? The golfer must make decisions on what club to use…long yardage that requires a driver or using a wedge to reach the green? If the building official has to consider the condition of an existing building, will the renovation be smooth or will it require great effort and patience to get through the project? Just like the golfer standing on the tee box, will there be a long flawless drive or will the ball land in clumps of clover that the course maintenance worker did not mow?
Building officials work diligently to help each other, sharing knowledge, and lending a helping hand even when they go for a golf outing. Everyone is playing their game and enjoying the outdoors. Then the cart lady drives by, smiling, encouraging everyone to stop for a drink or snack. Bob drives by, watching her, passing her, still watching her, still watching her, then all of a sudden he has driven off into the lake. All of the golfers begin rushing to his aid. It was, of course, a natural disaster.
The code hearings are the platform for which building officials come from all across the United States. There are speakers that propose a change. Every code item is considered for change and voted upon. Every vote counts. It is also a place where friends are made and re-united. Golf tournaments bring together golfers and friends from all over as well. Every stroke counts. Sometimes a tournament is a scramble. Every person counts. One person may be known for his long ball and another for his awesome chip and sink. It takes everyone to make it work.
Building officials are looking for ways to mentor newer members of our profession. Bringing new faces and new hope continues to improve our trade, our buildings that we live in and work in. We know that mentoring helps for our future, our children’s futures, and our grandchildren’s. Golfers do this with the “The First Tee” mentoring program – a noble cause for our children.
So, it may seem that there is quite a bit in common between building officials and golfers. Who would have thought?
Penny Petterson, CBO, City of North Richland Hills