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Rockbottum Radio: Rivermont - not the ABCDEFGs - is the Future...

Rockbottum Radio: Rivermont - not the ABCDEFGs - is the Future...

In this October episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW explains why Rivermont Golf Club is the Model for the future of golf... Ludell recalls the worst GCS tyrant ever... and the gang discusses what makes the best face masks. Before he takes us along for a trip to the dermatologist, RW tells how to be a legendary golf architect. Also, just before heading out to early vote, the pro shop tunes into a mysterious broadcast from RW's long forgotten Altered Ego, Ydnar, who offers a solution to the chaos

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Texture...

Texture...

It never ceases to amaze me how many layers and textures slowly appear over the course of a given season. Whether it’s the stages of the melt over winter, the new buds and shoots of the spring or the ever-changing bursts of wildflowers over the summer months giving way to the burnished coppers of autumn, living mindfully encourages us to lend our awareness to this bounty constantly.  But, as we are all aware, the demands of our jobs and our lives can make that difficult by times. It can be a tal

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

It’s 2020. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we?

It’s 2020. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we?

I tend to like even numbers for whatever reason, and look ahead more optimistically at even-numbered years than odd. But this one, 2020, has thrown that out the window. Man, did I ever get this one wrong. We seem to hit new lows almost every day. The silver lining of the recent coronavirus "pause" in our daily routines has been for me more opportunity to step back, observe, reflect and think about where I — and we — fit in the new jigsaw puzzle that is life from 2020 onward. Coronaviru
Showdown At Ballhawk Creek

Showdown At Ballhawk Creek

What follows is a recently declassified story that was not included in "The Greens of Wrath".  Because it's nearly peak ballhawk season, the tale of Ballhawk Creek seems an appropriate selection for this week, and I will include a few tips to help you commit optimum ballhawkery. I have reason to believe this will be the greatest ballhawk season since Lee Trevino won the US Open in '68.  The aftermath of that event triggered a massive surge of rabid golf newbies who covered the roughs and fo

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Getting Back In The Saddle...

Getting Back In The Saddle...

Parting ways with a job is something that will happen to nearly everyone over the arc of a career. Sometimes this occurs in some predictable or desirable way such as promotion, relocation, or retirement. In these cases, parting is usually manageable and follows a transition by both the employee and employer (notice period, job posting, training a replacement, etc.). But in other situations, the severing is a surprise and does not allow for transition planning. One or the other parties is prepare

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Roadie Tales...

Roadie Tales...

This summer I was afforded a unique opportunity. Our son Lucas (17) plays guitar in a band and they were lucky enough to land a regular outdoor gig playing jazz in downtown Charlottetown five evenings a week all summer. Only glitch with this plan was that last November Lucas developed a hernia and has been waiting on surgery ever since. This precluded him from carrying any of the gear both to and from the summer shows. Hence, I became the band’s default roadie for most of the summer, and I have

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

When Fudgie Got Mr. Riffington

When Fudgie Got Mr. Riffington

In 1959, while still a toddler, I was forcibly indoctrinated into the cult of golf.  Handed a plastic 3-wood, I was taught a series of carved-in-stone golf truths that had to be committed to memory and recited like the multiplication tables.  First, was Play Fast!  Next, I was to always stay out of the backswing zone of big women, because they could knock your teeth out.  (Learned that one the hard way.)  I also learned that a plastic 3-wood was particularly suited to killing chickens. In a

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Rockbottum Radio: News, Tips & Analysis for August,2020

Rockbottum Radio: News, Tips & Analysis for August,2020

In this episode, RW and gang deal with "News Depression" and how to fix it, as well as "Skin Cancer and The GCS"... and our solution.  Rockbottum tackles questionable turf lab results and the best way to cure them, and studies an important survey that affects the golf course crew. Also, they discuss spoiled tour players, the impact of social media on our jobs, and then go in-depth on the current golf boom and how to sustain it. Presented by DryJect.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

When job loss hits home...

When job loss hits home...

This week I lost my job as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. It was not directly due to the disease (no one in my family/acquaintance circle has tested positive) but because like many others, the education sector has been severely affected by the Coronavirus. Clearly the COVID19 pandemic is still with us. Reports of the devastation take many different tragic forms and continue every day. For me, these stories were always somewhat removed. I knew they were real, and I sympathized in my mind,

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Golf . . . Re-imagined

Golf . . . Re-imagined

And now, the latest short film from Rockbottum CC . . . and also, a quote from the greatest writer in the history of the US: "I have been called a curmudgeon, which my obsolescent dictionary defines as a 'surly, ill-mannered, bad-tempered fellow'.  Nowadays, curmudgeon is likely to refer to anyone who hates hypocrisy, cant, sham, dogmatic ideologies, and has the nerve to point out unpleasant facts and takes the trouble to impale these sins on the skewer of humor and roast them over the fire

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Rockbottum Radio: Facing A Renovation? One Thing You Need To Know...

Rockbottum Radio: Facing A Renovation? One Thing You Need To Know...

In this more serious episode from Rockbottum Country Club, we share our experience in golf course renovations and resurrections. In Storytime, we tell about one of our most successful reno projects ever. Cletus solves the coronavirus mask shortage problem; visiting "Science Boy, Ph.D." tests a new technique for killing sting 'todes, and Willy gets thrown in timeout for fighting amongst himself. Presented by DryJect.
Cracks in the Paint...

Cracks in the Paint...

As superintendents, we are well acquainted with the personal vulnerability we feel when our workplaces are in need of repair. Whether it's structural decline, damage from a weather event, personnel issues, or simply wear and tear from the passage of time, we usually have two choices when it comes to facing difficulties within our operations. We can pretend they are not really a problem and continue with business as usual, or we can tackle the issues head on with clarity, moving towards a meaning
Yes, I Hear Voices

Yes, I Hear Voices

Lately, it's gotten more difficult to write humor.  We start out funny and then for some reason, everything gets serious.  To make things worse, Buddy's wife, Esmarelda, won't let him get within six feet of me or Ludell and that makes it hard to shoot film.  But Buddy also says she won't let him within six feet of her, either. So after writing and tossing out a number of columns, radio shows and films, we were kind of discouraged . . . until Momma suggested we go into the film vault and fin
Organizational Value is the Key to Sustainability

Organizational Value is the Key to Sustainability

Sustainability has always seemed to me like something an operation must work toward. Meaning sustainability requires actions or steps that must be invested in, or operational adaptations that require the addition of some step, or equipment, or something. For a long time, I pursued sustainability by adhering to this approach of altering my operation to achieve sustainability objectives. I am now coming to believe that sustainability is more about a dynamic atmosphere surrounding and pervading the
Rockbottum Radio: Why Can't We Be Friends?

Rockbottum Radio: Why Can't We Be Friends?

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW changes things up and leads off with Storytime, telling about the time he led a protest movement to overthrow a high school cafeteria. Then, as Anti-Golf occupies Rockbottum CC, turning it into a free "People's Park", chaos is averted as Ludell defuses the situation with a brilliant strategy that involves golf, mushrooms and common sense. RW explains his solution for fixin' all this turmoil, in the midst of a big manhunt for Cletus, who supposedl
Racism in Golf Turf Management

Racism in Golf Turf Management

Racism in the golf turf industry? Say what? Yagottabekiddinme. Of course I jest. There is no racism in golf turf. That’s because, for all intents and purposes, there is only one race in golf turf management. In salaried positions (superintendents and assistants, and we might as well include suppliers, academics and the media as well), we are 99% white... and 99% male. Those figures are my guesstimates, but if these things are tracked somewhere — and what isn’t — I doubt I'd be more tha
We Can Be Superheroes

We Can Be Superheroes

A couple of years back I saw an animated short on Youtube (below) narrated by author, ABC news personality, and podcast host Dan Harris. In the video Harris likened the practice of mindfulness to being an actual superpower. Our ability to choose to respond wisely rather than be carried off by our habitual reactions is on par with x-ray vision or shooting webs from your wrists.  The interesting thing about most super heroes is that they aren’t just one-trick ponies. Even though the
Rockbottum Radio: Positive Energy Defeats Negative Vibes

Rockbottum Radio: Positive Energy Defeats Negative Vibes

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, direct from deep in the TurfNet Zone, Willy preaches the power of positive energy in the face of the negative vibrations emanating from... well, just about everywhere these days. Multi-tasking while preaching, Willy also must deal with troublesome golfers, weakening infrastructure, another Mushroom Burger Day, and allegations of poison on the Food and Beer cart. Boof whips up an Ipecac martini to silence an uppity golfer. During the hallucinogenic b
From Concrete to Conservation: Difficulties in Landscape (Soils) Restoration

From Concrete to Conservation: Difficulties in Landscape (Soils) Restoration

Landscape restoration is a situation us Groundskeepers regularly find ourselves in. While some may hear this term and think native prairie or landfill recovery, it also applies to much of our everyday work too. Landscape restoration is about big ticket projects, but it is also about fostering the multitude of natural processes that take place in the living environments we manage every day. For the last 18 months I have been participating in two restoration projects. One is seeking to transform a
Lessons from Dave...

Lessons from Dave...

Seems like I'm stuck in a pattern here of writing about people who we've recently lost. A month ago Walter Montross, then Ken Melrose, and now Dave Heegard. The hits just keep coming. If you're among the hundreds (if not thousands) of turf guys who swung through Farmlinks during the Pursell days in the early 2000s, no doubt you met Dave Heegard. I had been to Sylacauga twice, once prior to the golf course and lodge being built, and of course the second after.  The latter visit was when I me
For Ken Melrose, Personal Wealth Was Seed and Fertilizer

For Ken Melrose, Personal Wealth Was Seed and Fertilizer

I was saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of Ken Melrose, past president/CEO/chairman ("executive emeritus", if there were such a thing) of the Toro Company. I write this not as a factual obituary (I'll leave that to John Reitman), eulogy or even memorial, as I did not know him beyond several casual handshakes back in the late '80s/early '90s when I was in the peripheral Toro family. It's mostly a recollection of observations made as I watched him from afar. Ken Melrose did well for h
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