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Building a Real World 'Employee of the Month' Program

Everyone knows that having a skilled, productive, and engaged team is a critical aspect to a successful operation. For this to occur, the hiring and retaining of good workers is essential. Given the current hiring/retention environment, if you are able to onboard an employee, keeping them is another significant issue requiring sound management and smart retention policy. Employees will stay on a job if they feel the compensation they receive is fair exchange for their efforts. Of course money is

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Motivation

The Positive/Negative GCS Ratio

The owner of Rockbottum CC, Ludella Hogwaller, AKA "Momma",  is always stressing the importance of a positive attitude, a positive work environment and presenting the golfer with a positive golf course.  She even has algae-rhythm formulas to determine if the staff is positive or negative. Momma says two negatives can make a positive.  She proved this by changing Ben, our mean and surly golf course dog, from a negative ratio into a positive.  Momma had Ben's two negatives removed and he beca

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Rockbottum Philosophy

Easing In...

If you were to poll most superintendents and ask how they’ve fared over the last couple of years in this profession, no doubt the responses would be as varied as the different grasses we all manage. It’s been a mixed bag of never ending issues and demands, many of which are brand new to us. It would be safe to say that most have dealt with one or more (or all) of the following:  Furloughs and temporary closures  Deep labor issues (related to and independent of the first point)

The Gatorade Ice Dump and the Pivot of 2021...

One of my favorite metaphors in life is "adjustment of the rudder", making small but continual changes to keep one on course to reach a desired destination or goal rather than miss wide of the mark. Normally — and I hesitate to use that word as it’s rapidly becoming meaningless — small tweaks in a good management plan have usually been sufficient. But there are occasions when a hard pull on the tiller — a pivot in today's business-speak — is required to avoid impending disaster, particularly whe

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in business

What Am I Missing?

I don’t want to wait any longer. I have long contemplated a sustainable landscape that that is acceptable to my organization, achievable by my team and profession, and importantly, beneficial to the environment/ecosystem. But year after year I dance around this subject making gains here, losing ground there, and never really getting down the road to something that answers all of these hugely diverse and sometimes antagonistic objectives. The sad truth is I really cannot say what I am after. What

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

Nature vs Nurture...

From time to time our turf systems meet with varying degrees of stress. These events can generally range from a mild annoyance to full blown catastrophe. The road to recovery can vary depending on the situation and the approach to healing depends on many factors. How we as superintendents respond to these stressors and subsequently guide recovery usually says a great deal about how successful we will be during our careers. Often times the stressor is fairly repetitive and benign (think traf

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in health

Campfire Coffee and American Cupcakes

In this short film, RW explains how not to make an American cupcake and offers up a recitation from Old Uncle Lladnar.   As weakness continues to spread across the land,  we hold to our position of strength, remaining firmly grounded in our Rockbottum Philosophy, "Read a book, not a screen." If you don't have an actual book at hand, we suggest visiting Rockbottumfilms at the link to the right.  Our current best seller is  "Lost Hound of Raven Gap" an adventure set in the mountains of N

The Four Horses' Posteriors

It's Storytime.  Once upon a time, long ago, a country club way out in the boonies--where Dad was the Pro/Supt/GM--held a combined Halloween golf tournament/debutante ball and squirrel cookout.  As Dad was usually reluctant to attend such glitzy affairs, I was instructed to represent him.  Since I wasn't old enough to drive yet, Dad left me behind to close up the pro shop and the maintenance barn--it was an actual barn--plug in the carts, clean the pool and keep an eye on things.  His exact inst

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Checking All the Boxes – The 3-P Approach

This past month I was fortunate to assume the Landscape Manager position at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. I say I was fortunate because I really enjoyed my job at Mississippi State and wasn’t looking to change roles or location. The job at KU however would be a return to the Head Groundskeeper role and also a return to the Midwest. So I applied and after a visit, an interview, and a first candidate dropping out, I was informed I was getting the nod. In my mind this is the career

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Teamwork

Who’s on First?

At some point in your career you have probably had this question arise. It starts off in the shadows of your awareness and can sometimes grow into a full-blown sense of terror. It usually shows up when things are shifting, something new and challenging is on the horizon, or even when the grind of the season catches up with you. It may be a simple phrase or question… but no matter the form, it can contain a multitude of fear and judgement. And ironically, because this conversation usually occurs

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Rockbottum Radio: Skeletal Secrets for Great Greens... and other Turf Blasphemy

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW finally reveals all of his Skeletal Golf secrets for great greens (Bent or UD) along with the backstory explaining why they were kept secret. The Mad Golf Prophet offers up his Last Prediction ever and confesses how he knew this supply line dislocation was coming. Finally, a Halloween tale for Storytime that is too spooky, even for Rockbottum.

Buddy's Mask Experiment

In this time of turmoil and division, we offer something to bring us together:  Rockbottum Storytime. Thirty years ago, Buddy began to wonder which mask was more effective.  Was it the common dust mask?  The surgical mask?  Or perhaps the trusty bandanna?  It had nothing to do with spraying or virus prevention or looking cool, it was entirely due to Buddy's office trouble.  Located next to the crew restroom, Buddy's office was plagued with sudden waves of a malodorous stench capable of pene

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

The “F Word”...

As I was scrolling through Twitter the other day I stumbled across this quote. I read it through and thought, hmmm, that makes sense. Then I foolishly realized that I had said it during an interview with my esteemed colleague and friend Frank Rossi earlier in the week. I don’t relay this to sound uppity or anything, just to make the point that even when one knows something to be so, they don’t always recognize it, even when it comes from their own mouth.  Frank and I were discussing a few d

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Invasive Species

In this cerebral film on Skeletal Golf Theory, Dave Wilson reveals a new way to recruit the next wave of golfers, while other Rockbottum CC inmates pile on with their wisdoms, tips and helpful hints. Momma demonstrates her highly efficient, low cost, environmentally friendly method for dealing with Invasive Species.  

Is Your Crew Sustainable?

Based on the title of this blog you may be thinking how your team works with native plants, resource conservation, or uses alternative fuel. I am thinking of sustainability from a different vantage point. Crew sustainability asks 'can your team survive?' Put another way, this blog asks can you survive AND be successful over the long term? The landscapes we manage are constantly changing. Most often our responsibilities are increasing while the resources we are provided by our parent organization

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Teamwork

Rockbottum Radio: A Failure of Leadership...

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW reveals an important secret to leadership success, while Jelsik gets a rough mower stuck in the lake and Boof loses his radio. Cletus is forced to put those nasty water jugs back out, Ludell makes his illegal mushroom burgers again and the beer cart driver quits. Momma inspects the bunkhouse and the winner of The Turpentine Corncob is announced.  Just a normal day at Rockbottum CC. Presented by DryJect.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Podcast

Easy Street...

“Superintendents are their own worst enemies.” — Anonymous Greenkeeper Many of us know this to be true and can think of a time in our careers when we made things more difficult than they needed to be. Perhaps we suffered through expectations that simply weren’t realistic, constantly aimed for perfection, or tried to do it all on our own. Our jobs are demanding enough to begin with, but by times we layer more on and suffer because of it.  I revisited this notion recently as I made my wa

Buddy and Randy Retire From Golf

On this episode of Rockbottum CC, (the longest running webisode on the whole dang internet) a mysterious leak at Jelsik Muldoon's GMO lab results in retirement fever sweeping over Rockbottum.  Roy Dell takes advantage of the crisis by attempting to gain control of the club while Willy prepares to hand over the reins of power to Bodell and Jimmy Dell, who have encountered the secretive head of an evil organization known as Turftruth or TurfPoof--hard to determine because they exist only on t

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Being a Good Employee Is Not Easy, But It Is Simple

All of us want to be good employees and work with good employees, but how does that happen? Companies utilize many ways to quantify employee performance and determine who is measuring up and who is not. There are job descriptions, annual evaluations, coaching sessions, employee reward programs and other approaches to get the best out of people. But far too often there is disagreement over who is doing a respectable job. The lack of clarity can be frustrating for employees who are doing a satisfa

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

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