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Fine fescue greens management at Tara Iti...

There are 32 greens totaling 6.4 acres at Tara Iti, all comprised of fine fescue grasses. As mentioned in my previous blogs, working with all fine fescue is new to me. The fescue greens provide excellent playing conditions for the membership and guests. Even after aerification, Brian likes to say, "It won't win any beauty competition, but it sure plays well.” Texture of fescue greens after overseeding. The greens are sculpted from the native dune sand from around the prope

Rockbottum Predicted The "Reset"?

In this short film — originally produced six years ago — Rockbottum CC predicted "The Reset", long before Klaus and his cronies went public with their version. In Part One of Skeletal Golf Theory 101, we took a hard look at the "business" of golf.  We did not rely on data, just anecdotal analysis gathered over 50+ years in all facets of the industry. As our economy reacts to the latest spending spree carried out by politicians, perhaps it's time to study SGT 101. You just never know.

No trees, storm cleanup a breeze...

This week we received about six inches of rain, four inches of that coming within a few hours on Friday. Monday started the week off being dry and windy. When using a moisture meter, the greens were reading 4-5% after the weekend. It would be scary if they were bentgrass greens, but since we have fescue, they have good tolerance to heat and lack of moisture at the top three inches but there is plenty of moisture below that. With the dry and windy weather, the sand from the bunkers was

Patience pays off for newly-minted superintendent: J. Richard Brown, Florence CC:

Our latest Rising Star of Turf is J. Richard Brown, newly minted golf course superintendent at Florence (SC) Country Club. Richard got the nod for the Florence job after ten years "apprenticeship" in the South Carolina golf market, starting with five years at various courses in Myrtle Beach before becoming the senior assistant at Orangeburg Country Club, where he remained for the ensuing five years. Richard participated in one of our Assistant Situation roundtable conversations earlier this

Hiking and Caving on Rare Weekdays Off

Spring aerification is finished and I had Monday and Tuesday off , allowing me to explore New Zealand. Typically I would not have  weekdays off, but I swapped a weekend. Our crew is split into three teams to work alternating weekends. On Monday, I went north to the Waipoua Forest to visit the largest known living kauri (Agathis australis) tree, named Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). Standing about 150' high and with a girth of about 50', it is named for Tāne, the Māori god of forests and b

John Carlone, CGCS: Surviving and Thriving in a Tough Market

Some career superintendents make their marks by hosting major tournaments or pushing the agronomic envelope. Others quietly go about their business of growing great grass while also navigating the potholes and pitfalls that invariably spring up in private clubs over time. John Carlone, CGCS, has done that over 37 years as a golf course superintendent at two clubs in one of the toughest markets in the industry: Long Island, NY. Fresh out of the University of Rhode Island (where he had a nota

Hitting the ground running at Tara Iti...

With it being only the second week here at Tara Iti many things were going on, including reshaping and seeding a private green and aerification throughout the course.  Me with assistant Hayden Stuthridge, assistant Dylan Griffin, and Hamish Harding. Angela Moser, who works with Renaissance Golf, shaped the private green a while back. I did not see the green shaping, but I added some final touches: leveling out sand-blown areas and picking up rocks. With all debris cleaned

Tara Iti, half a world away from Ireland...

After finishing up my internship at Adare Manor in Ireland, I started my new adventure at Tara Iti Golf Club in Mangawhai, New Zealand a week ago. It still amazes me that I was in Ireland a week and a half ago, and now I'm now a half a world away in New Zealand. Since Adare Manor is a parkland course, Tara Iti is the first links course I have ever worked at. there are many new things for me that I will introduce through the upcoming blogs. Tara Iti is the first links course I've

Sean Tully: Meadow Club, Fairfax, California

Sean Tully of the Meadow Club in Fairfax, California, has made a name for himself as a fan and ultimately an expert on classic-era golf course architecture, particularly Alister MacKenzie designs.   The Meadow Club, where Tully is director of grounds maintenance, is in fact the first course in North America designed by MacKenzie and one of several in Northern California. Tully's expertise in the field has resulted in many opportunities to speak at other golf courses in the region, often to e

Finishing up: Road trip with family...

Going on a week-long road trip is a great way to wind up my stay in Ireland. After finishing up my internship at Adare Manor last week, I spent this week traveling around the Wild Atlantic Way with my parents and brother. I was able to get my parents an overnight stay at the Manor. We then made our way to Dick Mack's pub, where I got a photo with Finn MacDonnell, a cousin of Alan MacDonnell, the superintendent at Adare Manor Resort. Before I left Adare

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

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.    

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