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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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Presented by VinylGuar
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
In this Frankly Speaking PopUp Podcast, I chat with TurfNet's Jon Kiger about the recent TurfNet Members' Trip to Scotland, the upcoming trip to BTME/Harrogate in England (where space is still available), and the TurfNet Members' Trip back to Ireland next October.
Presented by DryJect and Civitas.
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
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
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
In this podcast on Rockbottum Radio, I provide some Christmas Tips from Rockbottum, including:
dealing with kids at Christmas
speeding up play (hint: "Fill 'em, sod 'em, mow 'em")
making golf affordable and fun
doing something with the "r" word
PLUS: Skeletal Golf Predictions and Projections!
Lastly, I wind it up with a golf course Christmas story in Storytime.
Presented by our friends at VinylGuard Golf.
A great friend of TurfNet, Jerry Coldiron, needs to be remembered as the wonderful, amazing man that he was.
Peter McCormick, founder and Maestro of TurfNet, chats with me about the passing of a great friend and Turfhead. To so many, Jerry was a light of positive influence... and his untimely and unexpected passing will leave a huge hole in the industry.
We speak candidly about what relationships mean and how the relationships that last are formed and maintained. And we tell some good st
A big part of our international members trips is making sure the non-golfers have side activities to partake in while the rest of the group is away playing golf. Thursday was moving day where as a group we were checking out of the hotel in St. Andrews and moving into Edinburgh for our last two nights together.
The group was playing Crail Golf Club on the way to Edinburgh. Rather than having Diana Frank and Maureen Gall wait at the golf course I contacted my friend Susie Malcolm. Her husband
Tuesday night was a chance to explore St. Andrews in smaller groups. Wednesday saw five of us play the Old Course -- John Brauer and David Whelchel through the ballot and Tripp Trotter, Tim Pratt, and me through the waitlist.
This was the first day the Old Course required playing off mats from shots in the fairway. Given the slow/no growth until spring, this is felt to be the best way to ensure the best playing conditions through the winter and into the early spring.
This was the first
After writing a monthly column in our now-retired print newsletter (TurfNet Monthly, for those not around then) for 17 or 18 years, I sort of ran out of things of import to say on a regular basis. No sense contributing to more milquetoast, editorial drivel or fill-up-space pontification... there's plenty of that elsewhere.
Occasionally something starts the gears whirring and prompts me to sit down and write. Yesterday was one of those occasions.
I finally caught up by phone with an ol