As superintendents we are very familiar with patterns. They affect our jobs in a great many ways. We fine tune mowing patterns on a daily basis. We keep schedules and time clocks to maintain the work patterns for our teams. And we keep meticulous records of all of our comings and goings in order to recognize flaws in the pattern in order to make any necessary corrections to keep our operations running smoothly.
One pattern we tend to follow more than any other, some would day even religious
Has your crew been ill-tempered lately? Kind of . . . on the edge, showing signs of unrest? Have you heard them muttering phrases like, "Took my stapler" or "Aye, Captain Bligh" while they work dark to dark?
Could be you're working them like a rented mule, while you and the assistants attend tea parties at the clubhouse, Downton Abbey style. Maybe the pay is too low, especially if somebody's lazy brother-in-law is sitting home making more on unemployment, running up high scores on Call o
Trees are a well-known part of most landscapes. I can’t think of anyone that hates their trees although several segments of our industry may have a more nuanced relationship with them (think golf course Superintendents and sports field managers). I, however, am a through-and-through treehugger (smile when you say that). Given my connection with trees, I have always planted quite a number at each of my professional stops. Therefore, it was no surprise when in my role with Mississippi State Univer
There's an old saying in football coaching: "It ain't the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmies and the Joes." The winless coach considers this to be profound wisdom, while the winning coach will stress the quality of leadership as the most important factor in a team's success. While coaching high school football, after my GCS career was over, I learned that the X's and O's rule was really more of a 50/50 formula. Even a great coach can't win if the team is a bunch of cupcakes . . . but it work
Take a moment to reflect on a major journey that you have embarked on. It could be anything at all really; from pursuing a lifelong dream or goal like growing and mowing grass for a living, conquering a fear or barrier, or facing headlong into a major health crisis. You may even be in the midst of the journey at this very moment.
Allow yourself to pause and let the reflection permeate your consciousness… feel it in your bones and sit with it for a spell.
How do you process the idea
All of us have heard the adage “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Of course, many have also heard “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. One of my favorites, attributed to Abraham Lincoln and also appropriate to the green industry is “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” . Regardless of how we view planning, it is essential to achieving goals and successful team operation.
My career has now landed me in a position that
The following online film course, "Extreme Golfer Personality Disorders" is an uncomfortable, brutal look at what lies in wait for the turf school graduate, and as such, should probably be viewed by veteran golf course superintendents only.
If you complete the course, you will not only accumulate 15 CEUs for Mystic Order of Greenkeeper certification, but will join the ranks of famous superintendents like Brian Nettz, Anthony Williams, Fred Gehrisch and Mark Hoban. (Mark had to take the t
In this film from Rockbottum CC, nematode specialist Derek Settle reveals new 'Tode Warfare secrets.
To give you some idea of how dedicated this guy is, the only time we could catch up with him was Christmas morning. Instead of opening presents around the digital fire, Derek was out in the freezing cold, helping the TurfNet Village prepare for nematode season. (We have enough microscopic trouble to deal with already, we don't need more, especially in our greens.)
Also in this episode
“Don’t turn away. Keep your eyes on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” — Rumi
As this year that has felt like a decade draws to a close, it’s been interesting to watch and listen to how people are relating to it. The chorus of “good riddance”, “so done with 2020”, “2020 dumpster fire”, and “can’t wait for 2021” appear to be ringing out in unison. It seems like most people simply can’t wait to discard the year that was so we can “get back to normal.”
It is incredib
January 2020 was like many other New Years. I say this now with some embarrassment because of how actually good my life was at that moment (oh, hindsight). My family was healthy and happy, my professional life was established and predictable, and while not financially carefree, I was managing. I truly would have said things were fine. Fast forward nearly a year and things are much, much different. Like many in our country and TurfNet family, this past year brought about many changes in my life.
In this Christmas 2020 episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW and the gang go in depth on several of their ideas for dealing with the golf surge, from the good to the bad to the ugly.
Momma develops her best ever method for dealing with golfer complaints and then for Storytime, RW tells about the mysterious Coach Zontek (not the one you might think...).
Happy Holidays from Rockbottum Country Club, and here's to a MUCH better 2021!
“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.” — Stephen Hawking
There have been many occasions during the past number of months for pausing and reflecting on how the pandemic has impacted our lives both personally and professionally. At any given time, we can find ourselves getting frustrated by the ways our current reality is not matching former expectations of self and other. We generally operate at a certain level, and when that baseline
From our "Boots & Ruck" film division, we offer this short film on the dangers associated with lockdowns and too much togetherness.
Note: This film has been fact checked by our internal experts, so don't bother offering any differing opinions.
As of my last blog post I was at a crossroads. My position had been eliminated due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, I was actively seeking work in the green industry. Losing my position was a blow to my livelihood and my confidence. Being out of work is tough at any time but even more so during a pandemic, when many people are out of work and companies are hunkering down, not looking to add new employees. So, it is my good fortune to be again gainfully employed as
In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW and the Rockbottum gang discuss Great Leaps Forward (GLFs) in Golf, along with a few Great Leaps Backward. They also present the Rockbottum CC Frying Pan for Excellence in Skeletal Golf Theory Award to the winner.
In Storytime, Willy tells about the time an evil golf pro made a great leap backward with a little help from a teenager who shall remain nameless.
Presented by DryJect.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.