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When You Forget Your Pants

When You Forget Your Pants

I can sit here and say that it isn't my fault. It is. But for the sake of my own argument, let me suss it out. I didn't want to get pet hair all over my nice clean pants. So I hung them in a different spot so they would be ready to pack. It made sense to me at the time. But after a few decades of packing and being on the road, you develop habits. And hanging those pants where I did was out of my usual checklist. I should have known. So I went on to think about the outfits I wanted to p

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

The Shame...

The Shame...

All superintendents have to-do lists. It doesn’t matter how one manages them — smartphone, tablet, app or even manually on a piece of paper — they guide our days and can shape us as much as they shape our courses. Many of us live and die by these lists. The blueprint they provide us is essential to what we accomplish on any given day, week, month, or over the course of the season. But what is your relationship to that list? Is it a positive source of clarity and organization? Do you pause a

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Wendy O'Brien: Career chess moves

Wendy O'Brien: Career chess moves

Whether of intention or happenstance, Wendy O'Brien has used many of the time-tested, tried-and-true strategies to propel her turf management career from casual summer job in North West England through the Ohio Program to a course manager position in Latvia... with various stops, twists and turns along the way. Oh, and volunteering at The Masters 18 times as well. Follow your heart. Listen to your gut. Step outside the comfort zone. Meet people, learn from all. Establish relationships. Find

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Tuesday Golf at Carne and activities at Mount Falcon Estate 

Tuesday Golf at Carne and activities at Mount Falcon Estate 

We can’t turn the page on our visit to County Clare without a shoutout to Jerry Matthews for his fine performance at Doonbeg. Holes 7 through 11 are Pars 3-5-3-5-3 and anyone scoring par or better on that stretch – dubbed Shanahan’s Corner – gets a commemorative bag tag sent to them. Jerry did just that! (Writer’s note: my caddie had seen enough by the sixth hole that this promotion wasn’t mentioned to me as a possibility…)  Monday included a relatively short ride up the coast to Moun

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Doonbeg and Lahinch: Irish golf and culture

Doonbeg and Lahinch: Irish golf and culture

Sunday morning we had our first full Irish breakfast at the Lahinch Coast Hotel and boarded our bus to view the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are a stunning expanse of rock jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Visitor Center offered a full explanation of the Cliffs as well as some shopping and dining opportunities. It was a lovely clear day to see this impressive site. The Cliffs of Moher (above), where Richard Matthews, Butch Sheffield and Scott Schukraft took a break.

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Rockbottum Radio: Fixing the Worst-Ever Social Credit Score

Rockbottum Radio: Fixing the Worst-Ever Social Credit Score

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW seeks to avoid offensive discourse by installing a special Podcast Offensive Warning Device (POWD), which emits a BS alert when anything potentially offensive is emitted. The screen-free gang at Rockbottum CC receives the worst-ever Social Credit Score, forcing Momma to retain a Social Engineering Expert -- Horton Pantslow -- to bring Rockbottum CC into the modern era. A mandatory staff meeting after lunch ensues. The first lesson of Horton's sem

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

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
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