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History, tradition and pageantry are Rose Bowl's attraction

History, tradition and pageantry are Rose Bowl's attraction

Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, here discussing strategy with one of his players, led the Fighting Irish to a 27-10 win over Stanford in the school's only Rose Bowl appearance on New Year's Day, 1925. TurfNet will soon be headed to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena as part of field superintendent Will Schnell's crew in the run-up to the New Year's Day game between Oregon and Wisconsin thanks to our partners at Brandt. Coverage will focus on efforts to prep the world's most famous field for college

John Reitman

John Reitman

A Tournament to Remember 

A Tournament to Remember 

I’ve made my way back to Minneapolis after a wonderful two weeks in Australia. My time spent at Royal Melbourne Golf Club volunteering was incredible and educational. Richard Forsyth, Craig Anthony and the rest of the staff were so accommodating to the volunteers and really appreciated our time there. A special thank you to Sonia Robertson, Links Administration, who coordinated all the volunteer information, schedules and uniforms! We always felt welcomed. Thank you for the hospitality!  Du

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

What’s up with this Sandbelt stuff?

What’s up with this Sandbelt stuff?

I’d had heard reference to this Sandbelt numerous times before ever actually standing in it and on it. One quickly realizes that the sand that makes up the Sandbelt is unique... and plentiful. We’ve probably all seen the video of Richard Forsyth explaining how the sand interlocks and how it packs so firm that you can create a vertical face with it, and I was fortunate enough to get my hands in it to do some pre-Presidents Cup bunker repair. Once mixed with water the sand beg

Paul Van Buren

Paul Van Buren

Playing conditions at Royal Melbourne...

Playing conditions at Royal Melbourne...

The Presidents Cup was a huge hit globally as Royal Melbourne showed the unique sandbelt style of golf that included extremely firm greens and approaches. The Internationals played inspired golf before succumbing to a comeback by the Americans, making for an intense final round and much talk about tour events coming back to the Melbourne Sandbelt.  Agronomically, RMGC was in top condition and ready to test the best professional golfers around the world. Social media was lighting up with thr

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

Appreciate the Winter Landscape...

Appreciate the Winter Landscape...

For many of us in the green industry, our landscapes experience four seasons every year. The flush of spring gives way to the deep lushness of summer, which gives way to the fall colors as the seasons follow their inexorable progression. Yet as fall slips into winter we are presented with the starkest of seasons we face for our grounds. Winter weather and cold temps challenge grounds people while performing cool season duties such as dormant pruning, snow removal, and even construction projects.

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Sod grown on plastic helps Rose Bowl provide strongest possible playing surface

Sod grown on plastic helps Rose Bowl provide strongest possible playing surface

Growing Bandera Bermudagrass sod on plastic promotes lateral growth that produces a playing surface with high tensile strength. Photos by West Coast Turf Thanks to tremendous advancements in strength training and nutrition, today's college athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than their predecessors. In fact, it is difficult to imagine many things stronger than a 300-pound lineman.  At least where the Rose Bowl is concerned, you can start with the playing surface underneath his fe

John Reitman

John Reitman

A Grateful Pause...

A Grateful Pause...

I’ll start this post with a healthy dose of honesty. I’m tired. This year has been one chock full of a very many things, a lot of goodness, hardship, tough conversations, and wonderful connections. Now one could say, “well, that’s life”, and that is true… but 2019 was a solid one. As I sit down to write the last post of the year, I simply cannot deny the fact that the cumulative fatigue of the year has caught up with me.  When I find myself strung out, writing is tough. The flow of ideas an

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Rockbottum Radio: It's a Wonderful Golf Life, 2019

Rockbottum Radio: It's a Wonderful Golf Life, 2019

In this holiday episode of Rockbottum Radio, among zero-environmental impact mowers and white-lightning eggnog, it's the annual Christmas dinner for the crew and a twisted attempt at caroling ("In the fairway we can build a snowman..."). Aint Feemy runs over a slow-play golfer with her cart for calling her a Boomer. And, for Storytime, RW tells about his most memorable Christmas (1977, after two seasons as an assistant superintendent), when he also discovered Clarence the angel and Mr. Potter.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Own Your Job...

Own Your Job...

Royal Melbourne created a set of President Cup 2019 Group Goals to help the maintenance staff achieve the desired results by following set guidelines.  The first goal is to Own Your Job, meaning do the best you can do and when you walk away from it put your name on it. I just love this goal! How simple to get across the message of doing your best on every job every day.  The second goal is Communication. This starts with the morning meetings led by Richard giving instruction and laughs

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

RMGC Maintenance facility: Royal in every way!

RMGC Maintenance facility: Royal in every way!

Royal Melbourne Golf Club has one of the most technologically advanced and well thought-out maintenance facilities I’ve ever experienced. The moment you walk in the electric sliding front door, you know you are in a special place. Every morning we convene in the break room that easily seats all 80 volunteers with room for more. The break room has two ends, both of which have a dishwasher, sink, instant hot water tap, and enough plates and cutlery to furnish a large cafeteria. The managers u

Paul Van Buren

Paul Van Buren

Buckle up as TurfNet heads to Pasadena

Buckle up as TurfNet heads to Pasadena

What do Augusta National Golf Club and the Rose Bowl have in common? Each is widely regarded as having the finest playing surface for its respective marquee event. The greens at Augusta during the Masters Tournament are the envy of golfers everywhere and the bane of golf course superintendents. The playing surface for the Rose Bowl Game is regarded as the finest in college football and has been dubbed "The World's Most Famous Field." Although many superintendents have prepped at August

John Reitman

John Reitman

A rugged course...

A rugged course...

The first few days at Royal Melbourne showcased a beautiful natural Melbourne sandbelt course and great Australian hospitality. Richard Forsyth explained in the orientation meeting that the goal is to show sandbelt golf to the world by keeping the course firm, fast, and rugged. Short grass surfaces will be pristine but the rough and bunkers will look very natural. Paul and I have gotten used to the course and the jobs over these days. Mowing surfaces, watering, divoting, and detail work hav

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

Top 3 Skeletal Golf Tips Of 2019!

Top 3 Skeletal Golf Tips Of 2019!

Check out our Top 3 Skeletal Golf Tips of the Year! #1:   Dustin Riley of Oconomowoc Golf Club in Wisconsin, is this year’s big winner.  Dustin wins the Rockbottum “Iron Skillet”* for his amazing tip on reframing tees to fit your spray rig.  (See TurfNet Forum)  Instead of just topdressing heavy or capping and leveling a tee designed and built by somebody with no GCS experience, Dustin explains how to reframe the tee to the specs needed to match your spray rig.  This is brilliant SGT thinki

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Survey Says!

Survey Says!

The email from GCSAA said that it would take 8 minutes to do my Member Needs Assessment. Mine took 22.  Because I am slow and because I am wordy. I also took the time to use my Twitter feed and tweet about doing it and to encourage others. And I emailed three influential supers in my world and asked them to weigh in. So let's call it an even half hour. At my current billable office rate, that runs the abacus to about $100.  A year ago, I wasn't a GCSAA member. I had taken a break for j

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Day 1 at Royal Melbourne: Full Throttle

Day 1 at Royal Melbourne: Full Throttle

Setting out on foot for our first shift at Royal Melbourne was an experience that kept me up most of the night. Anxiety and anticipation are now going to be a thing of the past, replaced with pure excitement. Richard Forsyth welcomed us before the morning assignments and the volunteer orientation. The maintenance facility at Royal Melbourne is extremely functional, and revolutionary as far as I was concerned. Everything has a space and a purpose. It’s probably difficult for a permanent

Paul Van Buren

Paul Van Buren

Great golf and warm welcome in Sydney!

Great golf and warm welcome in Sydney!

On Sunday morning Anthony Mills (@thelakessuper), superintendent of The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, hosted me and my friend Ian and joined us for a round at his wonderful facility. Anthony and I immediately connected and we start talking about what it’s like to manage a club that has 55-60K annual rounds as The Lakes does. When I told him that we average 1,100/year at Kanawha, he scoffs, chuckles, and is generally mystified. Our round was an avenue for a 4-hour dialogue between two professio

Paul Van Buren

Paul Van Buren

Rounding out a world of experiences...

Rounding out a world of experiences...

Back in 2014-15 I wrote for TurfNet’s Greenkeeping: The Next Generation as an intern at Mount Juliet in Ireland and The Hills in New Zealand. I admit I was nervous at first to write a blog that anyone could see and read, but by the end I was having a blast sharing my experiences and thoughts. When Jon Kiger asked me to blog at The Presidents Cup, along with Paul Van Buren, I jumped on board.  Prior to 2014 I had completed internships at Westchester Country Club and Vineyard Golf Club. After

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

Overwhelmingly excited: A trip dear to my heart!

Overwhelmingly excited: A trip dear to my heart!

Wow. I can’t believe I’m sitting down to write my first blog post (ever by the way) about a trip that I have been planning in my mind for the last few years. I am embarking on a trip that will involve so many aspects of the important things I hold dear to my heart, it is utterly overwhelming how excited I am. Here are few snippets of what I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks. First off, I’m the golf course superintendent at perhaps one of the most unique golf faciliti

Paul Van Buren

Paul Van Buren

Under siege: Carve some for yourself...

Under siege: Carve some for yourself...

Holidays are all about traditions, so it's appropriate that I sit here this Thanksgiving morning contemplating and writing. It's what I do, for some reason, like splitting wood on New Year's Day. (Reading this after Thanksgiving? You may want to skip to here.) This is an odd Thanksgiving for us, with no bird destined for the oven, no casseroles or side dishes in the making. Daughter A is rotating off with Hubby's family (at her chagrin, I'm sure), but a tradeoff for Christmas. My mothe

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Oops, I dropped my coffee mug...

Oops, I dropped my coffee mug...

or, So Much For a "Relationship Business"... My first inkling that something was awry was the announcement on Twitter about a month ago of a new podcast series aimed at superintendents. Gee, that's novel. C'mon in, the water's warm... as the saying goes. The weird thing is that this one, by @the_fried_egg, is sponsored by @ToroGolf.  I found this curious because we have been doing TurfNet Radio podcasts for five years now (270 episodes with 226,000 listens to date), and every

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Let’s Get to Work

Let’s Get to Work

It should go without saying that accomplishing work is why our teams have jobs. It should also go without saying that while at work we should all be working. In this post some of the atmospheric factors that may encourage more work will be discussed. I say some because improving the desire to work is not cookie cutter. Every team is unique and comes with their own dynamics, motivations and deterrents for work. And, even when everything seems to be coming together, it is challenging to maintain t

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

When You Forget Your Pants

When You Forget Your Pants

I can sit here and say that it isn't my fault. It is. But for the sake of my own argument, let me suss it out. I didn't want to get pet hair all over my nice clean pants. So I hung them in a different spot so they would be ready to pack. It made sense to me at the time. But after a few decades of packing and being on the road, you develop habits. And hanging those pants where I did was out of my usual checklist. I should have known. So I went on to think about the outfits I wanted to p

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

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