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The Vandals Are Coming

When the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Huns, and Norsemen invaded, they typically came during the day.  But the Golf Vandals are an entirely different bunch.  A cowardly, mindless tribe, the Golf Vandals favor the cover of night.   Agitated by their ever present hand-screens, they can quickly become hysterical when faced with reality. You can use techno-wizardry to neutralize the GV, but remember:  While they are easily frightened, they will return in greater numbers. NOTE:  The counter-measu

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Rockbottum Philosophy

All Good Things Come to an End...

Just like that, my time at Adare Manor has ended. And I am beyond grateful to the team for making it an unforgettable internship for me. There were many aspects to this internship that made it successful. The onsite housing was only a short 3-minute walk to work and a 10-minute walk off-site to the store, pubs, and bus stop. Adare Manor also allows staff to utilize some of the amenities they provide to the members, like yoga on Fridays and Sundays, access to the paddle courts on Tuesdays, a

Zach Bauer: Finding respite in a trout stream

In this episode of Me Maintenance, Peter McCormick chats with Zach Bauer, golf course superintendent at the Valley Country Club in Centennial, Colorado, just southeast of Denver. Zach had gone into this year on the heels of myriad construction/renovation projects (both golf course and clubhouse) with depleted groundwater, very dry soils and dessicated turf. Coupled with the short staffing and increased play prevalent within the industry, he started waving the white flag of desperation on Twitter

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in Wellness

Thursday kicked off right and ended almost dark...

Before the start of my daily shift, I always eat a bowl of cereal from the canteen at Adare Manor, the best lunchroom I have ever seen. Morning options include cereal, bread, meats to make a sandwich, and fruit. There's coffee and an espresso machine if one is so inclined. Although many varieties of cereal are on offer, I always stick with Coco Puffs. A power breakfast to begin a great day. A stomach full of cereal and perfect dew coverage m

Return of The Brass Monkey

One of the most brilliant Rockbottum films ever produced was "The Brass Monkey Alert", shot somewhere around 13 years ago.  Suppressed by powerful forces in golf, the film was banished to the cold darkness of the censored TN film vault, along with that film we made about a magazine. But now, emboldened by modern times and a crusty "I don't care anymore" attitude that comes from hitting a certain age, we are unleashing The Brass Monkey once again.  Watch to the end to learn some important ti

Stu Butler. loving work again: "The job I said I'd never want..."

In this episode of Me Maintenance, Peter McCormick chats with Stuart Butler, host of HWOM the Podcast and newly minted Head Greenkeeper at Westgate and Birchington Golf Club on the southeast coast of England. Leaving a 20-odd year stint as a senior greenkeeper at Royal St. Georges Golf Club and with it the type of work/life balance that many in the industry crave, Stu took over a job that until recently he thought he'd never want. Just six weeks in, Stu says it’s the best decision he has ev

Bees and Honey at Adare

I used to keep honey bees at home and always found them fascinating to own and handle. The bees I owned were called Italian bees. They were bright yellow and very gentle. When I found out Adare holds bees, I asked to see their hives. This week I was invited to harvest the honey. My Italian bees and the queen with a white dot to make her easier to find. The honey bees on the Adare site are called Northern dark bees and are native to Ireland. These bees are much darker than

How Can You Win When There Is No Finish Line?

It is student move-in time here at the University of Kansas... a great time for our Grounds Crew and for the university community overall. 5,000 students returning to campus is a big deal.  Our team begins focusing on residential areas in the weeks preceding in order to put our best foot forward. Making the campus landscape look good is a labor of love benefitting our campus community, but also benefiting our team. Finding satisfaction in these moments can provide a deep sense of accomplishment

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Teamwork

Weekends: Time to travel...

The weekends for me are the times I travel. I can do this because I either have the full days off or I work in the mornings and leave around 11 am after finishing my morning assignments.  On Saturday, August 27th I headed to Dublin after completing the morning assignments. I got on a Dublin Coach bus for the three-hour bus ride north. to meet up with Jon Kiger, who had scored tickets for the Nebraska vs. Northwestern college football game in the Aviva Stadium. The Aviva normally hosts socce

Adare mechanics keep 43 reel mowers sharp and organized

During my time in Ireland I’ve tried to observe and understand the things that are done similarly and differently to what I’ve seen and done in the States. The maintenance of the equipment seems very similar to what I’ve experienced back home. Like most courses, the mechanics are a vital part of the Adare Greenkeeping Team. Jonathan "Jonny" Coleman is the head mechanic and has been a mechanic for 20 years. Tom Normoyle started in 2003, and Maurice Hennessy began in January of 2022. Tyler Mc

David Fruchte, Pine Needles and Mid Pines Resorts

For more than 30 years, David Fruchte has been superintendent at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the site of this year's U.S. Women's Open, which once was owned by LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell. A graduate of the turfgrass program at Purdue, Fruchte learned the trade from the legendary David Stone at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since 1990, Pine Needles has become the epitome of resort golf in the highly competitive North Carolina Sandhills regio

Backyard Bentgrass

In the "And Now For Something Completely Different" category--because it's unhealthy to obsess on the digital hysteria currently being poured into our skulls--here is some comedy.  We went deep into the Rockbottum Vault and extracted a film that we've kept hidden for many years.  If you are unable to laugh at this, you don't need a doctor, just delete Tikkity-Tok, Space-Book, Tweety, and stop carrying that phone around like it's some kind of life support system.    

Aeration Week

Aeration week is here, with the course closed from Tuesday until Saturday. The crew from Siems Turfgrass/DryJect UK arrived at Adare on Tuesday afternoon and we got to work by running two DryJect machines that day and three on Wednesday and Thursday. Each machine required 4-5 greenkeepers loading the sand into it.  DryJect was chosen for the greens for the near-instant playability and to not interfere with the busy season. We also did not need to pull cores at the moment because organ

Mindful Resilience: Letting Go...

If you live in the northeastern part of the US or in eastern Canada as I do, you are very likely smack dab in the midst of what can be termed the burn out season. You spent the spring preparing your facility for the onslaught of golfers and now with the excitement of opening day a distant memory, both you and your team are most likely suffering from the cumulative effects of the grind.  The feeling of fatigue which supers and their employees experience at this stage of the season can be ove

Nathan Jordan, NTJ Turf, LLC

Nate Jordan first came on our radar as an active user of the TurfNet Forum during his first gig as head superintendent, then at Saratoga Lake Golf Club in upstate New York. He created a stir when pondering whether his resume and career trajectory would be enhanced by stepping back into an assistant role at a Top 100 club, which he did for a year before finding that not completely suited to his personality and demeanor. He then went on to five years as superintendent at Mount Hawley CC in Peoria,

Exploring Ireland Via Walking Tours

A great way to explore Ireland and learn about its incredible history is to take walking tours, and I did exactly that. I was recently in Kinsale and Waterford with Jon Kiger, who set me up with two unique tours. Dermot Ryan was our tour guide in Kinsale, down on the southern coast of Ireland and home of the famed Old Head Golf Links. Our Waterford tour was led by Jack Burtchaell. What was nice about both tours was that all you had to do was call in advance, and they would give a location to mee

A Day at Croke Park

Eighty-two thousand fans packed Croke Park in Dublin for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final between Limerick and Kilkenny on Sunday the 17th of July. The atmosphere alone was insane, but made more intense from a heatwave of temperatures as high as 84 F that day. The sport of hurling has been played in some form in Ireland for hundreds of years. The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) was established to formalize the game in 1884. To this day it remains an amateur sport. The players an

Raising Mowing Height Makes Sustainability Sense

Grounds management in any organization is a complex undertaking requiring the performance of myriad tasks necessary to fulfill the desired strategic objectives. For many, if not most of our grounds crews, sustainability is one of those strategic objectives. While sustainability is a moving target based on one’s definition, sustainability for me means decreasing resource consumption while increasing resource service. Too often pursuing sustainability is a complex undertaking resulting in difficul

JP McManus Pro-Am: What People Can Do When They Act Together...

“This event brings the community together to see what people can do when they act together.” — J.P. McManus, owner of the Adare Manor resort, after the Pro-Am held July 4/5. The gallery starting to gather for the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor. The JP McManus Pro-Am charity event, held every five years, has helped raise over $140 million for McManus's home city of Limerick and helped bring the community together. Ten of the top eleven players in the world played in this

Mental Toughness in the Heat

Every few years, it gets hot.  This thrills the mass media because it allows them to pound the fear drums and increase their ratings.  So, whenever it gets warm outside, we release a training film full of helpful tips designed to strengthen mental toughness in the heat.  As a bonus, here is a column from ten years ago, explaining our most valuable strategy for dealing with the heat: The 100 Days of Hell Actually, it's more like 120 days for those of us trapped on a bentgrass plantation

St. Andrews during Open Week: Off my bucket list

“EVERYTHING HAS LED TO THIS”  is printed in bold letters on the signs strategically placed around the grounds of St. Andrews Old Course to welcome the start of The 150th Open. For years, I have been wanting to visit St. Andrews and even put it on my bucket list after learning more about the course’s history in Dr. Danneberger’s class back at Ohio State. This week, I had the incredible opportunity to check it off my list. I visited St. Andrews with Jon Kiger of TurfNet on Monday and Tuesday

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