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  • John Reitman

    The Rose Bowl is more than just a job for this extended family

    By John Reitman

    FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM AT INSTAGRAM.COM/TURFNET FOR MORE PHOTOS   There is a sign posted on the fence leading onto the Rose Bowl field that reads "Please pardon our mess. We're trying to grow grass." There is perhaps no place in the country better at doing just that. But what happens inside that fence is about a lot more than just growing grass. The team charged with producing the world's most famous field is a tightly knit group that redefines the term extended family. After near
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Side trip to St. Andrews before the Scottish Open

Side trip to St. Andrews before the Scottish Open

A little golf trip never hurt anyone. Since my TurfNet internship this summer includes an opportunity to volunteer at the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, my parents decided to fly  to Scotland to visit me, have a short vacation and enjoy a little golf as well. They met me in St. Andrews the weekend before the Open. I arrived in St. Andrews on Friday night and got a chance to play the Old Course on Saturday morning, before my parents' arrival. This was made possible by Gordon Moir,

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Frankly Speaking with David Bataller of the PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Spain

Frankly Speaking with David Bataller of the PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, Spain

In this episode of Frankly Speaking, I chat with David Bataller, Director of Golf Operations at PGA Catalunya Resort near Barcelona, Spain.   An admittedly bad student who was "fired from high school", David went on to high school and riding BMX bikes in Kansas before embarking on his career at PGA Catalunya. After serving as golf course superintendent for 15 years, he was recently promoted to Director of Golf Operations. David quips that he has never been fired from a golf cours

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Rockbottum Radio: Momma Bans Chaw After the US Open

Rockbottum Radio: Momma Bans Chaw After the US Open

Broadcasting from our mountain cabin as we take a break from golf for some trout fishing, we sit around the campfire and learn why Momma decided to ban tobacco at Rockbottum CC. (Something terrible happened at the US Open)   Also, Brandy Chablis, noted turf expert, gets nominated for the Angry Elf Trophy, Ludell explains Toxic Masculinities and TurfNet cyclist Ty Magner wins the National Championship.   Presented by VinylGuard Golf.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Bees provide educational opportunities as well as honey

Bees provide educational opportunities as well as honey

For all the years I have been the head Groundskeeper at Drury University there has been a honeybee hive in one hollow Mulberry tree in a section of our campus called College Park. The tree happens to be right along a main sidewalk, one that is used by essentially all the 200 or so students that live in those dorms. Several times over the years, the Facilities Department has fielded calls about the bees being a nuisance, or even a safety concern. However, once we have educated the caller, they us

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Aidan O'Hara: World Cup Experience

Aidan O'Hara: World Cup Experience

The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events there is. Whether you're a European "football" fan or an American "soccer" fan, chances are that you're looking forward to The World Cup... one of the most watched events worldwide.  My mentor/superintendent this summer, Aidan O'Hara, supervised the construction and renovation of football pitches that were done for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa. There was a panic with 22 Team Base Camps (fo

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Do Not Despise The Days of Small Beginnings

Do Not Despise The Days of Small Beginnings

A few years ago, at a big golf tournament, I overheard a young man explaining the secret of golf career success to anyone within range, myself included.  "First," he proclaimed loudly, "you must only intern at the top courses, the ones that host majors.  Never accept a job anywhere else--and never work for a superintendent that's not famous." I see what I did wrong. His speech reminded me of something deep in my memory banks, back when I gave notice at a low level Skeletal Golf Course

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

"The American" tackles the Spray Bug

"The American" tackles the Spray Bug

Pesticide, fertility and chemical applications on golf course putting surfaces are easily one of the most important tasks performed in golf course maintenance. Precision, attention to detail, and alertness are extremely critical for these applications. Here at Great Northern we use two Hahn Spray Bugs for applications to our greens.   The Hahn Spray Bug is an electric-powered sprayhawk produced by Hahn Application Products, LLC in Evansville, Indiana. The sprayer has a 15 gallon tank,

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Microbes an alternative to (scarce) traditional fungicides in Denmark

Microbes an alternative to (scarce) traditional fungicides in Denmark

By using alternative products and management strategies, a great turf manager can find ways to manage world-class turfgrass with minimal crop protectants... like the broad selection that is accessible in America.   Here at Great Northern, head greenkeeper Aidan O'Hara uses beneficial microorganisms in his preventative fungicide plan. Microbes and soil pH are two of Aidan's many strategies for managing turf diseases.   Only three fungicides are legal to use in Denmark as of Ju

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Your legacy is now...

Your legacy is now...

It's Sunday morning, 6:00 AM, Father's Day. Even though the last round of the US Open will tee off at Shinnecock shortly, I'm not going to carry on about the brown greens that were broadcast around the world yesterday. I do feel sorry for Jon Jennings and his staff who have busted their humps for two years only to have it go to shit at the last minute... at the USGA's behest, I'm fairly sure. I guess they didn't learn anything from the wind-whipped forest fire on the greens there in 2004.

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Scott Ramsay, CGCS, and the ongoing green reclamation at Yale Golf Course

Scott Ramsay, CGCS, and the ongoing green reclamation at Yale Golf Course

In this episode of the TurfNet Renovation Report, host Anthony Pioppi chats with Scott Ramsay, CGCS, about the ongoing restoration of the Seth Raynor-designed classic at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.   Ramsay has been at Yale since 2003 and was the TurfNet Superintendent of the Year in 2006. Working for an academic institution, he occasionally claims the tongue-in-cheek title of "Director of the Department of Applied Botany" at Yale.   The "renovation of the reno

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Frankly Speaking (again) with Jim Wagner of Hanse Design

Frankly Speaking (again) with Jim Wagner of Hanse Design

In this episode of Frankly Speaking, I chat again with Jim Wagner of the Hanse Design Group, this time about the intersection of golf course design and maintenance in this era of moving targets and shifting requirements within golf.   How critical is the golf course superintendent in a renovation project? Wagner says that the ultimate success of a project can be predicted by gauging the enthusiasm level of the superintendent, and that often depends on their inclusion in early conversat

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

A walking tour of Kerteminde...

A walking tour of Kerteminde...

Hi everyone! I'm Parker and I'll be your tour guide for today. Today we're taking a little trip to downtown Kerteminde, a normally quiet little town on the island of Funen in southern Denmark. It's my home for the summer. View of Kerteminde from the north beach. During the summer months, Kerteminde attracts lots of visitors. The town has a beautiful harbor, clear water beaches, great local restaurants and various events for everyone to enjoy. I took a quick trip into

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Golf Isn't The Only Turf

Golf Isn't The Only Turf

Golf isn't the only place turf is king.  There are massive sod farms, residential turf, municipal grounds, airfields and sports turf.  There's all that National Park Service turf in our nation's capital that Mike Stachowicz maintains.  Joe Fearn--who writes a very good column for TurfNet--is the turf and grounds czar at Drury University. In the complex modern turf industry, knowledge, multiple skills and specialized training are pretty much mandatory.  While none of these turf disciplines c

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Bob Farren: Synonymous with Pinehurst

Bob Farren: Synonymous with Pinehurst

In this episode of Living Legends, presented by the Nufarm Insider, host John Reitman chats with Bob Farren, director of golf course maintenance at the Pinehurst Resort. With nine courses, seven superintendents and up to 250 full and part-time staff, management of the Pinehurst courses seems a daunting task, but one which Farren takes in stride. Spend a half hour learning about how one of the most visible people in golf turf management became so, starting with his family involvement in golf

John Reitman

John Reitman

Getting acquainted and comfortable... no problem!

Getting acquainted and comfortable... no problem!

Settling into a different country has been pretty easy for me. Thanks to my new friends who live at the employee housing and in various flats nearby, I've had a great deal of fun. The Greenkeeper house, my home away from home. Our greenkeeping crew has guys from many different countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Scotland, Ireland, England, Denmark, Australia, Poland, and more. Many of these international employees have worked in several different countries such as Sweden or t

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Shine a light...

Shine a light...

One of the fundamental truths of life as a human being is that, no matter what, we all suffer. Whether physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety or another factor... episodic or chronic... some measure of it is unavoidable. The level or degree ebbs and flows, but at some point we all encounter it. How we engage and relate to this inevitable suffering can be one of the keys to living a balanced life. As golf course superintendents, our jobs require total immersion if we are to be successf

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Rockbottum Radio: Rockbottum Common Sense and other good stuff...

Rockbottum Radio: Rockbottum Common Sense and other good stuff...

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, Randy explores Skeletal Golf Theory (SGT) and why it's important (think "Contingency Plan"). Also, Rockbottum gets a corporate makeover, the truth about collecting and weighing clippings, and that "new" spray out there. Finally, a consultant story, the winner of the Turpentine Corncob Award, and in Storytime, a tale from the days when golf courses were closed on Mondays. Be sure to check out this jam-packed podcast and catch up with all the lat

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Anthony Pioppi with Michael Vessely of Culver Academies Golf Course: A Picasso in the Attic

Anthony Pioppi with Michael Vessely of Culver Academies Golf Course: A Picasso in the Attic

In this episode of the TurfNet Renovation Report, host Anthony Pioppi chats with Michael Vessely about the 2016 renovation of the long-fallow William Langford/Theodore Moreau 9-hole golf course at Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.   Vessely, now golf course superintendent at Culver Academies, explains how the "Picasso was discovered in their attic" and Bobby Weed and Chris Monti brought in to spearhead a complete recovery/restoration project. And there's a Dye connection as well!

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp: Reaching future equilibrium

Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp: Reaching future equilibrium

In yet another fascinating discussion, Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp, brings us up to speed on the current state of the golf industry.   In an era of flat is the new up, 2017 was a "solid sideways" for golf. Some metrics, however, are indicating that the slide of recent years is abating somewhat. How long will it take for supply, demand, playable hours and other factors to reach an equilibrium of health and vitality for the industry?   What can we learn from tennis and ski

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Diversity Abounds...

Diversity Abounds...

Several years ago, when I started as the Head Groundskeeper at Drury University, I came into a campus that was one dimensional and lacked meaningful diversity in any terms. The campus was comprised mostly of shade trees and turfgrass. Having recently worked at a municipal Springfield park that was abundantly planted and had been growing in for seven years (post installation), I was taken aback by the stark appearance of the campus. This is not to say it didn't look well-tended or thoughtfully la

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Busy, busy with aeration, applications and topdressing

Busy, busy with aeration, applications and topdressing

This past week at Great Northern, the talk was all about the aerification and topdressing we've been doing. After a long couple of days of hollow-tining greens, the crew worked really hard all day and got a few essential things done for post-aerification. A few of the guys were sent out to push-spread Greenmaster Pro Lite 14-5-10 fertilizer with some magnesium. Magnesium is just as essential as nitrogen for turfgrass to produce the chlorophyll molecule. John Cunningham, from Irel

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Cosmic Payback or Fudgie Will Get You

Cosmic Payback or Fudgie Will Get You

What follows is a classic tale of Cosmic Payback, visited upon the truly deserving.  Because my readers are highly educated, I am using the term, Cosmic Payback.  If I was writing for golfers, I would use the easier to understand, "Fudgie will get you." Our story begins with a golfer who was mysteriously inflicted with a demonic obsession to bedevil Winston, a Golf Course Superintendent. Winston is one of the great ones, a hard working, drive-on kind of fellow achieving legendary statu

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

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