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TurfNet 2019 Ireland trip arrival. Who invited Lorenzo?

TurfNet 2019 Ireland trip arrival. Who invited Lorenzo?

A few members of the trip group arrived on Friday on the heels of Hurricane Lorenzo. While the hurricane did not amount to what was projected, it did bring its share of rain and wind from the southwest up through Dublin. Three of us (myself, John Brauer and Mike Rowe) opted to play Corballis Golf Club, which is very close to The Island Golf Club in Donabate, near Dublin. The rain was steady for nine of the 12 holes we played. John Brauer and Mike Rowe during a rainy preview

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Aren’t We Supposed to Be Working?

Aren’t We Supposed to Be Working?

While working as branch manager for a large landscape contracting company one of the maxims I heard was “re-work kills us”.  I agree with this completely, but also know there are other production related issues that kill (diminish) my team’s ability to successfully complete our work. For this blog post I am not focusing on equipment failures, budgetary shortfalls, non-professional meddling, or even the weather. I want to start a discussion around how my team stops itself. For some actions, or la

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

UFOs Linked To Golf Courses?

UFOs Linked To Golf Courses?

Now that the US Government has admitted UFOs are real, (See The Youtube, F-18 gun camera) I feel safe in pursuing the link between UFOs and golf.  The photo below, taken two years ago on a golf course in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, by Rockbottum Dave, is unretouched.  Dave was doing his Irrigation Tech thing, when he accidentally captured a shot of a UFO.  (Is it “a” UFO or “an” UFO?)  We featured this photo in a short film, but viewers assumed it was just more of our filmic trickery and ignored it. 

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done: Being Alive

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done: Being Alive

I walked into the Lobby of the Embassy Suites with my heart racing. I was meeting with Ron Whitten, the author of a bunch of great golf books and all the architecture stuff for Golf Digest. Ron had asked me to meet him and tell the deepest personal story I have. And while I have told bits and pieces of it here on TurfNet, this is another level of exposure. And I wanted to run. Away. Far. "You are a fucking disaster, Wilber", my head screamed. Loudly. Three hours later, I emerged from R

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Natasha Repinskaja, Greenkeeper, St Andrews Links

Natasha Repinskaja, Greenkeeper, St Andrews Links

Rather than a conscious decision to pursue a career in turf management, for Natasha Repinskaja it was luck that landed her from her native Estonia onto the hallowed turf of the Home of Golf: St Andrews Links. One can almost hear the collective sigh of the golf world: “If only I could be so lucky…” “It wasn't my decision. It basically was luck,” she said in a Skype interview recently.  After finishing secondary schooling in Estonia, in 2006 Natasha applied for a visa to work out of the

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Rockbottum Radio: Who is poaching our assistants?

Rockbottum Radio: Who is poaching our assistants?

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW reveals who is poaching our assistants, equipment techs and crew members, while explaining how to defeat the Mole People with careful use of the TurfNet Jobs board.  In "Storytime" he tells about the time the Mole People almost got him. Also, Boof gets into it with Aint Feemy about her yoga pants, the gang provides a few tips to help determine whether your course is operating under Skeletal parameters or has just hit Rockbottum, and the Anti-Golf

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Tracey Maddison:  BIGGA and The R&A Promoting Women in Golf

Tracey Maddison: BIGGA and The R&A Promoting Women in Golf

Women are receiving a concerted push from BIGGA and the R&A to boost the numbers of women working in golf in the UK and Ireland, Europe and beyond. According to Tracey Maddison, head of membership at BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association), it's an uphill battle of long-ingrained culture. "There are massive challenges over here," she said recently in an interview for this article and a podcast (player below). "A lot of members' clubs tend to be run by the older m

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

The Morton Arboretum: World Class

The Morton Arboretum: World Class

Chicago, IL is fabulous city. Because my home in Springfield, MO is relatively close (8 hours drive, which in the Midwest US may as well be next door) and because I have a sister who lives there, I make the trip 2-3 times a year. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the city is the architecture, including that of the landscape. One of my favorite classic landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmsted, practiced there, and work of one of my favorite current garden designers, Piet Oudolf can be seen there (

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Exercise, Brain Function and Depression

Exercise, Brain Function and Depression

Not long ago, a group of some of the smartest folks in golf maintenance approached a powerful entity about presenting a class or a panel or a Ned Talk dealing with the mental pressures faced by the modern turf pro.  I don’t know the backstory on this, but from what I surmised from a few tweets, it was received with a negative vibe.  However, I do know that in Rockbottum CC Philosophy 201, a basic tenet states:  “Insecure folks, when presented with a great idea, will often suppress it until they

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Sherri Brogan, CGCS, Champions GC, Columbus, OH

Sherri Brogan, CGCS, Champions GC, Columbus, OH

When her playing days at Ohio State were over more than 30 years ago, Sherri Brogan left the Columbus campus with dreams of becoming a professional golfer, but things did not work out that way. In this Women in Turf video segment, Brogan, superintendent at Champions Golf Course in Columbus, talks about her career path and how she ended up on the golf course instead of inside golf shop. As a woman in turf, she also talks about how her career path has been both challenging and rewarding.

John Reitman

John Reitman

Parker Stancil: Kerteminde Kin

Parker Stancil: Kerteminde Kin

As some of you may know, in addition to blogging for TurfNet this summer at Portmarnock Golf Club, I did the same last year from Kerteminde, Denmark at a newly opened Nicklaus designed course called Great Northern. Check out that blog here. My summer at Great Northern last year was much more enjoyable than I had expected. The course provided housing for international greenkeepers who had come to work from several different countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, B
Lianne Larson: 2+ Decades in Eastern Massachusetts

Lianne Larson: 2+ Decades in Eastern Massachusetts

Lianne Larson has been superintendent at White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts for 23 years. In this first podcast episode for Women in Turf, she talks about her career change from financial services to the golf business, how she got started and who helped her develop her career along the way. Lianne also discusses what the business was like for women more than two decades ago and how it has changed during that time. Finally, she offers advice for other women in the industry

John Reitman

John Reitman

Gnomicus:  Curative or Preventative?

Gnomicus: Curative or Preventative?

And so it was, that in the last days of August, as the members became even more snippity and finicky and fickle, Rockbottum CC came to the rescue like . . .  Batman.  (1965 Batman, not the current Dark Knight--he's too much like a board member.) Because our mission, as it has always been, is to lighten it up and keep you from shoving a golfer’s head through the new sheetrock in the restroom on #4.    

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Joy of Greenkeeping

The Joy of Greenkeeping

A few weeks back a good friend, Michael Vessely (Culver Academy) reminded me of someone special who has had a profound effect on my life. He was not someone I ever met in person, but nonetheless always felt a deep connection with. This person had that kind of effect on all those he touched, met, and taught. I’m speaking of cultural icon, instructional painter, and humanitarian, Mr. Bob Ross - creator and host of The Joy of Painting television show that aired for many years on PBS. You
Jennifer Torres: Not your typical career path to turf

Jennifer Torres: Not your typical career path to turf

Not only is Jennifer Torres unusual in being a female golf course superintendent in an overly male industry, but chances are she stands alone as having pursued her current career after a post-high school stint in the US Army and GI Bill-funded enrollment in the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management certificate program... while also a 30-something mother of three at the time. It was hardly a passion for golf or turf management that led Torres to her position as superintendent at Makefiel

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Rockbottum Radio: How to Get the Big Money

Rockbottum Radio: How to Get the Big Money

Rockbottum Radio is back from summer hiatus with a primer on how to get the big money as a big-time superintendent (and all the stress and pressure that goes with it). Be careful what you wish for! Randy waxes nostalgic about the days when golf course maintenance was relaxed, laid back and without the negative energy prevalent today. And in Storytime, Dad made the big time and what they learned during the short time they were there.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Taking a Side is Agronomic Quicksand...

Taking a Side is Agronomic Quicksand...

I've always been baffled by the human condition that causes people to take one side or position, non-negotiable, unbudging. I am especially baffled by a stubbornness of opinion so great that it causes someone to crash, all the while thinking they are "on the right side", their only side. I'm reminded of a story I heard once where an airplane pilot who was "not a GPS guy" flew a plane equipped with GPS mapping into the side of a mountain. He spent three days crawling with two broken legs before h

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Parker Stancil: Learning the mechanic side of things

Parker Stancil: Learning the mechanic side of things

This past week I’ve been assigned by Gary Johnstone, Portmarnock Links manager, to work in the greenkeeping shop in the afternoons with our course mechanic, Iacob Spermezan. Yep, that's an I, not a J, as he's from Romania. His name is pronounced like Yock'-obe, and is the Romanian form of Jacob or James. Iacob removing the bedknife from a cutting unit. Most of the mowers here are Jacobsen. Gary must’ve gotten tired of me bugging him about working in the s
Frutchey has been defying stereotypes for more than 30 years

Frutchey has been defying stereotypes for more than 30 years

Not all teachers are found in classrooms, and not all classrooms have four walls. When Laurie Frutchey attended Florida State University in the 1980s, the Tallahassee institution was known primarily for producing teachers - more specifically, female teachers. At the same time, the golf industry, specifically the turf maintenance side of the business, was dominated by men. It didn't take Frutchey long to knock down stereotypes in both fields. A native of Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, Fr

John Reitman

John Reitman

Scenes From A Field Day At Rivermont

Scenes From A Field Day At Rivermont

Mark Hoban, aided by Dr. Derek Settle, organized another Rivermont Field Day to update the golf world on his Low Input, Future of Golf Research.  Lots of important forward thinkers showed up, along with a couple of backward thinkers from Rockbottum Films. The rain, dark skies and humidity running at 113% prevented us from capturing the entire event, but we managed to grab a few scenes.    

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Parker Stancil: Special Visitors and Malahide Castle

Parker Stancil: Special Visitors and Malahide Castle

My mother and stepfather, Tracy and Ashley Wilkinson, paid me a visit in Ireland as part of celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. Their original plans included playing golf in California and staying at Pebble Beach for a week, but the flight, hotel, and other travel costs were cheaper to come here! I guess you could say I’m a mama’s boy, and mama was having a hard time with not seeing me all summer, so with short notice, they were eastbound and down to Dublin. Cheese!
Wow, You’ve Done A Lot Here...

Wow, You’ve Done A Lot Here...

Groundskeeping is a challenging profession. We are impacted and affected by horticultural limitations, weather and environment, organizational imperatives, laws and regulations, budgetary constraints, seasonal influences, etc. We are in a constant battle of managing inputs, stressors and outcomes. In all of this grind, we must occasionally factor in a crisis of the now, where we focus on where our operation currently is and what lay immediately before us. Recently I had an opportunity to st

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

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