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
*Note: This week's guest columnist is Ludell Hogwaller.
There are three things "they" are hiding from you, so I guess it's up to us Ludditians to fire a warning flare, since half our day isn't consumed with all that social media mutual admiration society fawning and gushing and smoke blowing.
First, there are dark rumors going around about veteran superintendents supposedly being terminated for making mistakes like having the audacity to disagree with the new wave of "M" board members
I love being the Head Groundskeeper at Drury University. This job is invigorating, challenging, thought provoking, and even most usually, exhausting. Grounds maintenance (and of course golf superintending!) challenges us both mentally and physically.
One of the aspects of my job, and our larger profession, I find fulfilling is the idea that I am participating in a time-honored human endeavor. Much of our work in the green industry has to do with fulfilling some kind of commercial purpose. In
In this week's Skeletal Golf Theory, we focus our cameras on The Leading Killer of Golf.
SGT is part of Rockbottum Country Club, Deep in The TurfNet Zone, where you'll find straight up, non-cupcake golf course operations analysis, on golf's longest running webisode.
In this episode of The Ladder, host John Reitman chats with Jared Weight, assistant superintendent at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, OH, about his career path, working with Paul B. Latshaw and Chad Mark, and golf course conditioning in Pittsburgh... among others.
Presented by STEC Equipment.
The passing of seminal artists always has an effect on those fans who remain behind. With their deaths, we are confronted with a review of the full reach of their creativity and contribution to society as a whole. The magnitude of their contributions can easily be taken for granted while the artist is alive and creating, yet as in many things, it isn't until we posthumously acknowledge the power of their legacy, that we fully appreciate their artistic impact.
Recently, TurfNetters from nort
On Tuesday eight members of our group stayed in St. Andrews as they had been drawn from the ballot to play the Old Course. The remaining ten of us rode about 45 minutes to Carnoustie Golf Links, which will host The Open Championship in July 2018. We were anxious to hear about the plans for the course and the event from our hosts Sandy Reid and Craig Boath.
Craig Boath (foreground, holding Claret Jug) and Sandy Reid (right in blue sweater) explain some of the projects on the Championship Co
One of the biggest unknowns on the trip was whether any or many of us would get to play The Old Course. As the popularity of The Home of Golf has increased the "busy" time to play the course has extended into late October/early November.
Further restricting our chances was the fact that the clocks "fell back" on Sunday leaving less daylight and fewer tee times.
One of the benefits of waiting in line for the Old Course (for me anyway) was getting to see the morning mow.
A random bal
Mike Cook with The Care of Trees has been on so many TurfNet trips that he probably has a TurfNet trip shirt for every day of the week. His company usually hosts a get together on each trip and Sunday night was no exception.
St. Andrews Brewing Company is a short walk from our hotel. We tasted a variety of their beers and a few whiskeys and many of their appetizers. We had a private room and outstanding service from their staff including Robbie the manager.
It was the perfect way for eve
In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, I have a serious chat with envelope-pusher Mark Hoban, superintendent at Rivermont Golf Club in John's Creek, GA. One of the true "mad scientists" of the golf course maintenance world, Mark is constantly applying his holistic view of soil/plant management to new endeavors on the golf course. And he always keeps one eye on reducing inputs and subsequent c
Mark fills us in on his current delvings into biochar, compost extracts (as opposed to compost tea...
With everyone rested and settled in it was time for our first round of scheduled golf. We were lucky to play Kingsbarns Golf Links on the last open day of their season. Earlier this year the course hosted the British Women's Open yet there were few remaining signs of the infrastructure to host that event.
Kingsbarns lies just seven miles south of St. Andrews, so it was a quick trip there. The golf course opened in 2000 and occupies 1.8 miles of the North Sea coastline. It was designed by Kyl
Andy Campbell picked me up at the Rusacks Hotel at 6 AM and we were off to coordinate the pickup of our group at Edinburgh Airport. By design Saturday did not include any organized golf for the group. The "day off" was intended to help people get rested, acclimated and organized for the six rounds of golf coming up.
The largest contingent (11) was on Delta's non-stop flight from New York/JFK. Thanks to Scott Schukraft for taking this pre-flight photo.
(l-r) Bob Kamp, Brian Green, Kevin