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Receptions, special dinners and "Beer & Pretzels UK Edition"

With two or three days of education in the books, the pace of BTME turned to receptions and special dinners. Tuesday evening was BIGGAs Welcome Reception in historic Royal Hall. A capacity crowd pushed attendees to the upper reaches of the balcony for the first time.   The event was hosted by BBC Morning Show personality Naga Munchetty. Her passion for golf was combined with typical British wit which kept the audience both engaged and laughing. While some industry award events become bogged do

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

It’s Tuesday – Time to Hit the Stands!

Tuesday represented the first chance to visit the trade show at BTME. Booths (called "stands" in the local vernacular) are generally smaller at this show than at GIS. As you'd expect, the major mower manufacturers have larger stands in order to display multiple pieces of equipment, but still small by US standards.   In addition to a number of European suppliers there were a few American companies. The group was delighted to catch up with Phil and Gloria Cowen from VinylGuard. They were jumpsta

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

Sunday Evening NFL Playoff Viewing, and Monday Education

After a full day of education at the Queens Suite in the Harrogate Conference Center, the TurfNet group met for dinner and drinks at an Italian restaurant near our apartments.   Being five hours ahead of the US can make it challenging to watch American football. The second game (Vikings/Eagles) started at nearly midnight. A bar called The Den served as TurfNet Viewing HQ as it did last year. Penn State's Mike Fidanza and other Americans in town for BTME also found their way to The Den.   B

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Winter Career and Technology Checklist

Winter Career and Technology Checklist

For many of you winter is the only time you are able to really spend much time in the office. So, I thought I would include a few things we've covered at different times over the last several years that you can take action on now... when you actually have some time for it. By doing these tasks, you'll quickly be on the road to advancing your career and technology skills for the next challenge your career faces.  Acquire Photography of Your Course If you haven't had any images taken of y

Matt Leverich

Matt Leverich

 

Orbiting the Giant Hairball...

Several years ago at a previous job, I became mired in a funk. This funk had to do with the politics of my organization, and with how those politics frequently seemed to force me to work in ways that I did not support. This was not a new situation for me. Many people who strive for continual improvement are frustrated by business as usual, and the lack of a team being open to new ways of doing things.   I talked this issue over with a mentor (my brother-in-law, Kevin), and he said he had jus

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

 

Sunday means Education kickoff at BTME

Everyone arrived back from the Manchester City match Saturday night and most took in a great tribute band at The Cavern Club as our final activity in Liverpool. Our minibus arrived at 6:00AM for our two and a half hour trip from Liverpool to Harrogate, where BIGGA's Continue to Learn education series awaited us.     Our package with BIGGA included 13 hours of paid education for each attendee, much of which was scheduled between Sunday and Tuesday, when the many free sessions kick in. The BI

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

TurfNet Trivia, Beatlemania alive in Liverpool...

Saturday was sure to be another busy day for us in Liverpool. A handful of guys went to historic Liverpool Football Club's stadium in nearby Anfield. Grounds Manager David Roberts was returning from the STMA conference in Texas so he had his assistant Dave McCulloch show them around. Their team was preparing for an Under 18s Cup Match/Championship so our TurfNet members got to see game day preparations first hand.   Todd Fyffe of Westmoreland CC on the Liverpool FC pitch.   When you're in

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

British Lawnmower Museum visit in Southport

We had one last stop to make in Southport before heading to Liverpool for the evening. I learned about the British Lawnmower Museum while watching The Open Championship last summer. David Feherty did a segment on the museum, and curator Brian Ragan was excited to have a group of professional course managers over for a visit.     Curator Brian Ragan has been collecting lawnmowers since he was nine years old. Before going to the museum itself he invited us to their warehouse to see some older

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

Visit to Hesketh Golf Club

Since we were already in Southport it made sense to accept Peter McVicar's invitation to learn more about his current renovations at Hesketh Golf Club nearby. After a short drive we were on Cockle Dicks Lane, the road leading to Hesketh Golf Club. For real.     Despite blustery weather, there were plenty of members playing the golf course, many of whom we met in their historic clubhouse. Peter had us in for lunch and a presentation on the design changes to the club's 17th hole. The hole

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

 

Next up: Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Friday was our first opportunity to have everyone together on the trip. Since we were to spend the weekend in Liverpool prior to traveling to Harrogate, we visited Royal Birkdale Golf Club in nearby Southport. Royal Birkdale has held more Championship and International events since World War II than any other course in the world.     The weather included lots of wind, some rain and hail but we pressed on with a tour of their facilities and course courtesy of host Course Manager Chris Whittl

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Looking forward to GIS... or not

Looking forward to GIS... or not

The Golf Industry Show is a few weeks away and I thought it time to assess the event in advance, at least in my mind's eye from my perch in the cheap seats. For what that's worth. Nobody I've spoken with is anything more than underwhelmed with San Antonio as host city. Bad memories of travel experiences three years ago -- both to and from the iced-over state of Texas -- still linger I never made it at all. My Monday afternoon flight was waylaid and the best the airlines could do was ge

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

London Arrival and visit to Littlehampton Golf Club

Sean Tully and I both arrived into London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday. Knowing that our arrival was the extent of our time in London, we found a taxi company that arranged "Heathrow Layover" tours of Windsor. For slightly more money than our taxi fare to our hotel, they picked us up, dropped us in Windsor, stored our luggage and agreed to "collect us" again when we were finished touring the area.   Located on the River Thames just west of London, Windsor is home to Windsor Castle, a reside

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

The View...

The View...

We are well into the New Year and hopefully most of the resolution hoopla has passed us over until next year. It seems that the resolution craze has simply become yet another fabricated holiday that marketers and advertisers use to sell us things that we just don't need. They know that if every news outlet runs a story about how we all need to be better at being us, then they most assuredly have the product or service that that will help us achieve our goals. That's not to say that there ar

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

TurfNet group off to BTME again!

After the success of the 2017 TurfNet BTME Education trip, we have embarked on another trip to the BIGGA conference in the UK. This time we have fourteen members (up from five last year) spending the week in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. Many have said the chance to hear entirely new presentations and a different mix of speakers are their primary motivation to join us on the trip. The camaraderie both within and outside of TurfNet are added bonuses.   As with most TurfNet overseas trips, we l

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Rockbottum Radio: Real News from Rockbottum

Rockbottum Radio: Real News from Rockbottum

In this Rockbottum Radio audiocast, the gang in the Rockbottum pro shop discuss Bad Member Discipline (especially Norbert Tuchus)... UFOs beaming up night watermen... Global Cooling... Global Warming... Golf Business Projections and... Storytime. Plus, Ludell gives us his online dating secrets (no, not FarmersOnly.com), starting with dead malls and ice cream truck jingles. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/turfnet/2018/01/17/randy-wilson-real-news-from-rockbottum Presented by VinylGuar

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

What The Great Atlanta Ice Storm of '73 Taught Me About Golf

What The Great Atlanta Ice Storm of '73 Taught Me About Golf

It was 45 years ago today that we entered the biggest and baddest of Atlanta's winter storms, The Great Ice Storm of '73.  With little warning, icy rain fell for hours and then froze like clear steel on Atlanta's trees, roads and power lines.  Big pines began to crash down on houses, splintering utility poles and blocking roads.  Transformers exploded like incoming artillery and lit up the Atlanta night with freakish blue arcs of hot light.  Everything went dark.  Black ice covered sidewalks, st

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Putting 2017 in the Rear View...

Another year has come and almost gone, and like many of you I am taking stock of the past 12 months. Groundskeeping closely follows the clock and calendar, and our jobs are greatly influenced by both of these factors. December (or more broadly, winter) is a viewed by many who care for grounds or the landscape as the end of one period and the start of another. I realize that this is the end of the year for our whole society, but not in the same way as for us in the green industry. The solstice is

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Embracing Your Expiry Date...

Embracing Your Expiry Date...

Every now and again we all have moments that force us to tune in. It can be an achingly beautiful sunrise, that profound stillness that accompanies watching a child sleep, or the moments of reflection that come with the death of a loved one. Such events are so poignant and so groundless that we have no choice but to pause and pay attention. For all of us in the TurfNet family these past few weeks have placed us square in the midst of one of these moments. The sudden passing of long time Tur

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Golf Knowledge is a Required Skill Today

Golf Knowledge is a Required Skill Today

With each passing year, the golf industry is changing. Gone are the days of new course construction and crazy numbers of rounds. However, at the top clubs most of you are aspiring to work at, something different has happened these clubs are transforming their course through large-scale master planning, and at a very high rate.    In order to maximize your value to these clubs, it is imperative to be knowledgeable in the game of golf, its history, architecture and network. You need to be

Matt Leverich

Matt Leverich

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