For parts of four decades, Ralph Kepple has been the caretaker for the historic home course of the late Bobby Jones. A graduate of Ohio State, Kepple was named superintendent at East Lake Golf Club in 1992 and since 2018 has been the club’s director of agronomy. During that time, East Lake has been synonymous with the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship for 21 years.
In this episode of All Stars of Turf, Kepple talks about the keys to career longevity and some of the changes that hav
My name is Patrick Andrews, and I graduated earlier this month from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in turfgrass science. Before that, I earned an associate degree at Ohio State ATI in horticulture in 2020.
During the past four years, I have been able to build a large professional network. In 2019, I worked at Bob O’Link Golf Club in Highland Park, Illinois with director of agronomy Scott Pavalko. My 2020 internship was at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylva
In this episode of Me Maintenance, Peter McCormick chats with Steve Cook, CGCS MG, Director of Grounds at Medinah Country Club, about his life-changing experience climbing Ama Dablam, a 22,000' Himalayan peak in Nepal in 2016. Integral to the project was a fund-raising effort for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for which Steve raised $35,000.
From the three years of mental preparation and physical training to the month-long trek and ascent itself, Steve recounts his motivations, personal desire
Imagine for a moment your life as a Superintendent without the idea of intention. Think of all the cultural practices, data collection and measurements. Think of crew management and leadership development. Think of all the things that we accomplish during the course of the season that require vision, discipline and intention. If our daily processes are not rooted in our core values; and they are not the soil from which everything else grows, the season can be long indeed.
Goals and discipli
In this episode, RW and the Gang reveal how to get nitrogen, along with a short demonstration of the perfect job interview and included is an extremely in-depth segment of Unfiltered News. Storytime is a conflagration of Homeowners hit by Balls and if you stay to the very end, you will be rewarded with information that might save your turf from thinning like my hair.
Occasionally one finds glimmers of light and hope amidst a train wreck, including the one cast upon us by Covid, the ongoing political circlejerks here and in many other countries, and now the strongarm antics of the madman across the water (no offense to Elton John) in Russia.
A somewhat convoluted happenstance when researching our weekly Turf Blog & Social Aggregator a few months ago led me to contact Stuart Butler, senior greenkeeper at Royal St. Georges Golf Club in southeastern En
Tyler Bloom, former golf course superintendent and current golf course labor specialist/entrepreneur, offers his insight into how the golf course industry, chapters, clubs and superintendents can best navigate the current shortage of assistant superintendent candidates.
For more than 15 years, Mark Hoban has built a career of promoting a sustainable and minimalist approach of managing golf course turf at Rivermont Golf Club in Johns Creek, Georgia. At age 67, he insists he is only getting started.
Hoban, who prepped under Palmer Maples at the nearby Standard Club, uses biologicals, homemade compost tea and other organic nutrients to promote healthy turf and soils that require very little fungicides and are naturally resistant to disease pressure.
In this rather insensitive film, Momma crashes her bike, Buddy reveals his true name and the secret of his success, Tiffany tells a horror story, Bodell and Jimmy Cole explain why they jumped off the assistant superintendent ladder and Willy details how the Wilsons survived decades of pressure golf through existential mountain biking.
Learn how you too can ride the mountain bike to attain improved mental stability, physical wonderfulness and at the same time, attract assistant superintenden
Jess Atmore, golf course superintendent at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, grew up on a golf course but took a non-traditional route to becoming a superintendent. With a recent need to fill an assistant position, he took another non-traditional route to hiring one. In yet another departure from the norm, he manages his staff like a hockey team.
Tyler Guy, golf course superintendent at Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club near Chattanooga, TN, joins Peter McCormick to add his take on "Work/Life Balance" to the ongoing "Assistant Situation" conversation. After speaking in generalities for about half an hour, Tyler went on a tear so we cut right to that.
Jaime Matthews spent 13 years as an assistant superintendent before burnout and family responsibilities dictated a career move. Two years ago he took a position with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates the training, feels valued by a family business (albeit a large one), and is very happy with the change.
He has no complaints about how he was treated at the golf course, maintains friendships in the turf industry and works with several local golf courses in the Hilton Head area. "We use a
The Assistant Situation conversation moves toward the "fixing" stage with "three old bald guys", Kevin Ross, Rick Tegtmeier and (almost bald) Peter McCormick. Both career superintendents and industry veterans, Kevin and Rick discuss points made in previous roundtables and add their own from their experience climbing the career ladder and managing staffs and budgets.
Mindful Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. The ability of an object to spring back into shape; elasticity. (Oxford Dictionary)
So much of our job as Superintendents depends on our ability to build resilience into our systems. We focus a great deal of time and energy on building the ability for our turf to recover quickly from inevitable hardship. The full range of our cultural practices, from nutrition, to hydration, air movement and proper light levels are all
In my work I come across the term landscape restoration on a regular basis. Not every day, but frequently enough, and it usually comes from a stakeholder with an environmental agenda. I think this is a great thing. First because I love to hear from any of my stakeholders, but also because I think having an environmentally sound landscape is a very good thing. But what even is landscape restoration? Like many of our landscape management approaches, this phrase means something different to everyon
The second "Assistant Situation" roundtable discussion held on Monday, March 14 hosted by Peter McCormick. Participants included Ryan Segrue (Shorehaven GC, Connecticut), Tony Nysse (Mountain Lake GC, Florida), Richard Brown (Orangeburg CC, South Carolina) and John Emerson (University of Delaware).
Condensed (30:00) and full (1:22) versions of the first "Assistant Situation" roundtable discussion held on Sunday, March 13, hosted by Peter McCormick.
To say Nate McKinniss is on the career fast track would be an understatement of almost immeasurable proportions.
McKinniss, 27, is the golf course superintendent at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, where Job 1 is keeping the course what he called “Golden Bear ready.” That's a nod to Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course, has a home there and is the host of its biggest event, the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament. McKinniss has worked at the club in suburban Columbus since he gradu
Steve Cook has had a career laced with high profile tournaments, including two U.S. Amateurs, a Ryder Cup, and a PGA Championship while at Oakland Hills, and a BMW Championship in 2019 at Medinah Country Club. Yet to him, a career should be more about contribution than achievement.
He has mentored and graduated many assistants onto their own successful superintendent careers, and takes great pride and satisfaction in the ongoing relationships with them. His primary criterion for hiring an a
At Rockbottum CC, we have been hopelessly addicted to opiates of the endorphin variety for decades. * See the Rockbottum Blog post "Exercise, Brain Function and Depression" column and attached films dated August of 2019 for actual science talk.
Endorphins, generated by the brain, are the safest, most effective mood enhancement drugs available, although there are certain corporations that would prefer you did not know that. In the past, these companies were successful at suppressing the use