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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
In yet another fascinating discussion with Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp, we chat about the current state of the golf industry, including:
reduction and absorption in golf facilities and businesses that serve them
comparisons with retail and restaurant industries that are also cyclical industries
warning signs for superintendents that a facility might be in financial trouble
the change in golf's consumer base and requirements, including digital technology
In this episode of the Pin Sheet, recorded August 2, 2017, host Jon Kiger chats with Jeff Vannoy of BASF on the history, uses and best practices for utilizing turf colorants on actively growing, semi-dormant and dormant turf.
In this episode of the TurfNet Renovation Report, host Jon Kiger chats with golf course architect Forrest Richardson about the 2017 renovation and re-invention of the Short Course at Mountain Shadows (and resort) located near Scottsdale in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
The original golf course at Mountain Shadows was designed and built in 1961 by Arthur Jack Snyder. Course architect Forrest Richardson, one of Snyders students, completely redesigned the course to be a true par-3 with an eye towar
"Embrace the vulnerability of being human as a source of strength." -- Pema Chodron
No, it wasn't this past week. It was actually the week before. One of our members took a serious health turn on the third hole and his playing partners brought him back to the clubhouse. It was one of those emergency events that you prepare for, hope never happens, and one that both my staff and I won't soon forget. We promptly called 911 and went into action responding to the situation, all the while keepin
My recent experience at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2017 was one to remember! This tournament was the start of three weeks of top-class links golf in Europe, followed by the Scottish Open in Dundonald and The Open at Royal Birkdale. Portstewart Golf Club was the host for this year's event.
Upon arriving I could clearly understand why Rory McIlroy said, "Portstewart is an excellent links course and one of Northern Ireland's hidden gems." Additionally, when tour officials visited the course
Back in '73, Norm assumed command of a wonderful muni outside of Atlanta; known as The Valley of Misery, it was rumored to be the last Dick Wilson course and it lived in a little village with a special golf name: Redan.
We pronounced it "Ree-dan", but newly arrived outsiders insisted it was "Ruh-dan", which sounded more like that giant Japanese moth. We stuck with the way the locals said it, mostly because you don't get along with indigenous personnel by telling them how to say their word
In this episode of the BASF Pin Sheet (recorded July 20, 2017), host Jon Kiger chats with Kyle Miller of BASF about the current state of heat and humidity around the country and what superintendents should be aware and wary of to get through this period unscathed.
Why is The Open Championship of Golf required watching, listening and study for Turfheads?
Do you know that The Open was once an event set aside for greenkeepers, clubmakers and caddies? What are the key features of Royal Birkdale, host of the 146th year that this event has been played? How does the weather and the grasses play into who will win and who will lose?
This is my impassioned opinion about the Soul Surfing that is links golf. And why events played on The Links are so special.
With a single tee start at 7:50 AM our last reporting time was again 5 AM. Bernard captured the final day rollout of equipment and personnel. After seeing/filming these for many years I was finally included in one! Rain was forecast for later in the day and started briefly for about an hour during our Sunday duties.
The leaders after three rounds were Daniel Im from the USA and Jon Rahm from Spain. They were set to tee off with the final tee time at 1:10 PM. This meant the tournament
In this episode of Frankly Speaking -- Resistance Radio, Summer Edition -- I talk New England sports and relate it to turf management with Boston sports fans Dr. Ben McGraw, entomologist at Penn State University and Dr Jim Brosnan, weed scientist at the University of Tennessee.
Topics include data-driven precision weed management, synchronicity of adult pest populations, fraise mowing for weed management via seed bank reduction, and the effect of insect control methods on pollinators.
A while back, we released a short film starring Matt Crowther and it rocketed to #2 on the all time list of Rockbottum CC films, with over 250,000 hits.
Produced in a team effort--a key factor in TurfNet's high quality production--this film began as an idea in the high speed mind of Jon Kiger while visiting Matt.
Jon provided 2nd unit camera work, Matt displayed his acting ability, Rockbottum CC Films piled on and after Claire finished editing, we knew we had a winner. *Note: Buddy
There was some drama in determining the cut at the end of Friday's second round. The drama belonged to England's Nathan Kimsey who birdied the Par 4 18th hole with a very long putt as part of his second round. By carding a combined 140 instead of a 141 over the two rounds he effectively knocked out 15 other players who came in at 141. We all imagined that he wasn't very popular around the Players Lounge Friday evening.
With the field reduced to 65 for Saturday and Sunday, play would be only
Creating the connection between these two phrases is the hallmark of a great employee. But how does a manager or organization get people that can link these on their own? Is having an inquisitive mind a strength that is in one's DNA, or does the desire to learn need to be instilled in an employee?
The mind is a muscle. Like a muscle, one must use it or lose it. In our industry, not a single day goes by that is not filled with many opportunities to exercise your mind and learn something new.
When I accepted my international internship, my primary focus was to build strong, professional relationships with managers and colleagues within the golf industry during my short time in Ireland. What I didn't realize was the amazing people that I would encounter, professionally and casually, that have not only been incredibly friendly but have gone out of their way to help me.
Being in a new place, especially a foreign country, can be a difficult transition but I've always been very intere
Friday was another early morning 4 AM arrival at the course and a quick rollout to stay ahead of play. The players would be out for another two-tee start (1 and 10) at 7:50 AM and we not only had to be ahead of play on those first tees but well out of the way of those first few tee boxes on each nine.
Several teams of the crew can be seen in this early morning photo on Friday. The River Bamm borders the clubs Riverside Course which was used for infrastructure.
My specific duties in the
During a 30-plus-year career at Oregon State University, Tom Cook was doing more than running one of the country's top turfgrass programs. He also viewed his job as part-time matchmaker.
"Looking back now, it's pretty funny. I thought what I did was run a dating service, matching personalities with golf courses," said Cook. "You have to get to know the students and their style and match them with the right superintendents so they could progress in the industry."
Cook, 67, took ove
Thursday we had our usual 4 AM breakfast followed by a 5 AM start time. The pros had a split tee start off 1 and 10 at 7:50 so we all knew we had to get out ahead of play. You can tell that everyone knows their way around the maintenance facility and the course as the staging area was clear much sooner than early in the week.
Dew whips made in-house and carried by each greensmower operator.
Flymoing tee banks.
It was another great morning weather-wise so we all made good time around
In this episode of the BASF Pin Sheet, host John Reitman caught up with BASF's Kyle Miller at the Southeastern Turfgrass Research Center Field Day on June 28 in Lexington, KY.
Kyle updates us on concerns of golf course superintendents regarding plant stress in mid-summer, and explains the mode of action of BASF's Intrinsic product line.
A lot of information packed into five minutes! Listen:
In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, direct from Rockbottum Country Club proshop, Momma demonstrates her proven techniques for handling sales reps; the health inspector visits; a no-cart shotgun start for the old-timers; Ludell innovates something; and in Storytime, that Demonized Cow During Construction, #337.
Presented by VinylGuard. Oh, and Buddy just finished VinylGuarding everything in sight at the driving range!
With the average tenure of a US golf course superintendent at one course is between four and five years it's hard to imagine one family being employed by an individual club for four generations over 100 years, but that's exactly the case with the Hemphill family and Portstewart Golf Club. Jonathan "Jonny" Hemphill is currently a greenkeeper on Bernard Findlay's staff and his family has a rich history of service to the club.
In this audio interview we visit with Jonny's father Robert Hemphill
Wednesday was the Irish Open Pro-Am, a two-tee start with the first group out at 7:30 AM. Everyone on the greenkeeping staff received their assignments the night before and after a short continental breakfast we headed out on the course with the goal to be out ahead of the first groups.
No flat-screen job board here!
There was an amazing fog and mist over the course, which provided both navigational hazards and incredible photo opportunities. The back nine of the course winds down by t
As anticipated, rain arrived in the area Monday night around 11 PM and continued well into Tuesday morning. It started as a steady rain and increased as the morning continued. Our 4:00 AM work session included everyone suiting up in "waterproofs" -- the local vernacular for rain gear. David Escobedo had to purchase a set since there is so little rainfall in Phoenix.
Wet conditions in the morning.
Tuesday morning briefing.
Most tasks (mowing, bunkers, tidying up, etc. ) went on a