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Randy Wilson: Here at the 'Rock

Cosmic Payback or Fudgie Will Get You

Posted in Storytime 25 May 2018 · 132 views

What follows is a classic tale of Cosmic Payback, visited upon the truly deserving.  Because my readers are highly educated, I am using the term, Cosmic Payback.  If I was writing for golfers, I would use the easier to understand, "Fudgie will get you."


Our story begins with a golfer who was mysteriously inflicted with a demonic obsession to bedevil Winston, a Golf Course Superintendent.


Winston is one of the great ones, a hard working, drive-on kind of fellow achieving legendary status in golf, but somehow . . . he ran afoul of a "golfer".


The "golfer" was not the common garden variety whiner or a 23 handicapper educated by the internet in all aspects of golf, but the worst possible bedeviler of Golf Course Superintendents:  The Best Good Player in the club, or BGP.  (See your Mystic Order of Greenkeepers handbook for details.)


The BGP often acquires deity status through low scores, which magically imbues the player with a supernatural grasp of agronomy, course setup, architecture and even which piece of turf equipment is either vital or totally unnecessary.

. . . delivered a fiery and emotional Elmer Gantry golf sermon . . .

When the BGP speaks, lesser humans are compelled to listen, awestruck, in submissive respect.


The BGP in our story--clearly infected with A.N. Syndrome and unaware of the existence of Fudgie--delivered a fiery and emotional Elmer Gantry golf sermon in the parking lot, from the hood of his 1975 Datsun B-210.  "Friends . . . I come to you today, having just experienced the saintly Greener Pastures Social Country Club, where their fairways are perfect and pure in heart, while ours . . . ours are thin and of an ordinary green color."


During the Inquisition that followed, Winston calmly testified, "Greener Pastures Social spent a million dollars on a new turf.  It's unfair to compare their fairways to our 419.  Also, we didn't spend a million dollars."


BGP countered with putting surface comparison, a favorite strategy among GCS bedevilers intent on GCS impeachment.  "Greener Pastures Social has heavenly greens!  And isn't it true, Winston, that they have the same Ultra-Dwarf that we do?  And isn't it true that we have algae spots on the practice green?  Remember, you're under oath!"


Winston wanted to say, "Instead of taking advantage of our nearly free monthly rates, perhaps you should just pay Greener Pastures Social the billion dollars initiation fee and take your contagious negative energy over there."


But he didn't say that.


Instead, Winston said, "Yes, it is true we have the same UD, but when they converted, they had six months of grow-in before they allowed play.  We had only 20% of that time to open and combined with the coldest winter since '77, the wettest spring in my memory and very little sunlight, we are doing pretty well."


Not discouraged in the least, BGP waited for the right moment to strike again.  During a club event, he pounced upon what he perceived to be Winston's worst mistake ever:  A cup placement not moved far enough from the previous spot!


(Never mind the spot had been anointed for use by the tournament setup committee and selected due to their awareness of the effect excessive tournament speed has on greens with lots of architectural movement.)


Grabbing his camera, BGP raced to gather evidence before the wily Winston could contaminate the crime scene; while shooting forensic photos, BGP loudly proclaimed Winston and his crew to be "worthless, lazy bastards".


At that point, Fudgie intervened and a golf ball cold-cocked BGP in the head.


There was lots of blood and screaming.  Most of the screaming was from other competitors demanding a quick ruling, as the unconscious body was obstructing a birdie putt.


The moral of the story?  If you are a bedeviled GCS, just be patient, for Fudgie and the Cosmic Payback are out there somewhere, waiting to make things right.  


Make no mistake, Fudgie will get you.


Fawlty Meadows Golf Centre

Posted in Greenkeeper Tales 17 May 2018 · 2,600 views

For those too elegant, sophisticated and erudite for Rockbottum CC, we offer "Fawlty Meadows Golf Centre".


Starring Basil and Manuel  Randy and Buddy.


Decomplexification: A Skeletal Golf Theory Film

Posted in Skeletal Golf 05 May 2018 · 2,461 views

It's growing season and everyone has the throttle rammed to the wall.  This is usually when we produce short goofy films with subliminal messages . . . because there is little time for jocularity.


But, as of now, time is critical.  This film, "Decomplexification" is too important to hold until the first hard freeze. 


*WARNING!  This film contains CLASSIFIED golf operations material.  Do NOT allow members, clubhouse personnel or architecture forum posters access to this film.


Larry Nelson won the '87 PGA because of... me

Posted in Storytime 29 April 2018 · 1,435 views

It's Storytime.  


My personal record for running off golf pros is 13, if you count my getting Dad fired twice.  The first time was an accident, but the second time was more Dad's fault.  He should have run a background check on me.  I hit a real winning streak in my forties, with seven pros abdicating their crown during a ten year period.


The one pro I wanted to stay, however, was Larry Nelson and I think he left because of me.  (Actually, Larry was a Pro Golfer, not a golf pro.)  I had great respect for Larry, and not just because of his three Major titles or going 4-0 against Seve Ballesteros in Ryder Cup play.  There was also the fact that Larry had served in the infantry in Viet Nam.  When he took over a golf course that we had been trying to resurrect, we enthusiastically followed his lead.


Larry instantly became a major influence on my philosophy of golf architecture and maintenance.  His strategy was not at all what we expected of a tour pro.  Right from the start, Larry instructed us to make the course less penal.  It was a long, narrow hallway of a course with a few too many trees.  (About 20,000 too many.)  He also told us to abandon the platinum bleached blond bunker sand and replace it with a more natural brunette sand.


Next, Larry ordered the downsizing of a couple of unnecessarily giant greenside bunkers and to reconstruct two high-flashed bunkers that had been carefully designed to wash out in a heavy fog and top-dress the fairway.  One penal monster became a grass bunker and a particularly obnoxious twit of a septic sand pit turned into what we would later term "an inverted bunker" or "mound".


We dropped 7,000 trees, widened fairways, reduced rough and generally dried out the course...


We dropped 7,000 trees, widened fairways, reduced rough and generally dried out the course.  (Wasn't that difficult in the middle of a three year drought and an irrigation system originally installed by Sumerians.)


Play increased substantially, at least until the acting GM guy pushed through his brilliant plan to double the green fees, en route to going "private" in an area not shown to be successful in that business model.  *Note:  Acting GM guy was the patient who inspired the original medical diagnosis, "Augusta Syndrome".


Larry Nelson probably thought he would relax from the stress and tension of playing tour golf and run a quiet, calm little golf course.  He did not realize he would encounter oddballs like me, always cranking up the stress with comments like "You know, Boss, we don't have a spray rig . . . or a fairway mower.  Probably gonna need that stuff."


Things always went sideways whenever Larry went off to play a tournament.  Acting GM guy would immediately countermand Larry's orders.  "Put that sand trap back like it was or--your little dog gets it!"  Operating under those conditions was kind of like getting a substitute teacher with no experience in the subject . . . or teaching.


In addition to Larry and that guy, our chain of command was fortified with a Japanese golf management company.  Although it was my first encounter with a golf corporation, it wasn't a problem, as my last employer had been pretty corporate, too.  Not long after the corporate folks arrived, I was given the assignment of training a young fellow from Tokyo in the mystical art of golf maintenance.  His name was Hiro and we all liked him right away, especially when he confessed his dream was to wear a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and drive an American pickup truck.


Hiro was doing great until the day a triplex sprung a hydraulic leak and heat-striped a bent green.  Panic-stricken, Hiro locked himself in the tool room and refused to come out, shouting things like, "I am shamed! Golf course work is too hard!  And Mike will kill me!"


Well, Hiro was right.  Golf course work was pretty hard, especially that one . . . and my brother Mike, fresh back from four years in the Ranger Battalion, might have given folks the impression that damaging a green could be uncomfortable.


Hiro escaped and went straight to Larry.  The next time we saw Hiro, he was on TV, toting Larry's bag.  I was furious.  Not because Hiro ran off, but because I should have thought of the caddie angle first.


Without Larry Nelson, there would be no Rockbottum Country Club, no Skeletal Golf Theory . . .


Sadly, we were not prepared when Larry won the '87 PGA.  I had never seen him practice, and with his reputation as a range fiend, I just assumed he was easing into retirement.  Later on, I realized Larry must have been secretly practicing, in order to get away from running a golf course with a curse on it, the constant bickering between us and the substitute teacher and . . . putting up with me.


The moral of this story?  There isn't one, but I can tell you this:  Without Larry Nelson, there would be no Rockbottum Country Club, no Skeletal Golf Theory, no cast of goofball characters dwelling deep within the TurfNet Zone . . . and instead of being an international playboy film producer, Ludell would still be just a Night Waterman, howling at the moon.

Rockbottum Analytica... and a recon to that new pinball golf place

Posted in Storytime, Rockbottum Radio 17 April 2018 · 2,278 views

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, live from somewhere in the TurfNet Zone, the Gang makes a field trip to one of those newfangled bowling alley honky-tonk disco pinball golf places, while attempting to answer the question of how much PGR is required to shrink a green chairman's ego.


After a lesson in General George S. Patton tactics, and an interruption from the seniors group playing 2-Man Worst Ball, and before announcing the winner of the Turpentine Corncob Award, the topic of how wrestling fans infested golf galleries is pondered.


Rockbottum Analytica, the common sense golf data mining sector of Rockbottum Country Club, finally settles the bentgrass vs 'muda debate before tackling digitoxicity in kids.


In Storytime, Randy tells the long suppressed family story of Uncle Jelsik, the first Wilson to work in golf, Stoddard, his talking dog, Broderick the mule, Moby the hog and several other embarrassing moments.



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