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Looking Backward at 2023...

Ah, the New Year. The annually recurring time when we reflect on our previous 365 days and take stock. It is a time for looking back and grading out what we accomplished, but also what we struggled with. I get caught up in this time as much as anyone. In this blog I’ll stay in my professional realm and give, at least from my perspective, a clear-eyed assessment of where I took my work, and where my work took me. This assessment may not meet with agreement by all in my organization. It is my view

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Review

Our Roots are Showing...

It has been difficult lately not to become a bit disenchanted with the modern game of golf and, in particular, those tasked with determining its future direction. From behind the ropes we watch as millionaires and billionaires squabble over who actually has dominion over the game, arguing about everything except the things that matter. Those in charge of tending the future of the game have become infected with greed and the notion that they know what is best for everyone else. The descent of the

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Our Most Important Film Ever

A few days ago, I slipped into a Mom and Pop coffee shop for a latte' and a blueberry scone.  (Ordinarily I'm not allowed to eat flour, but my handler was distracted by scented candles and Christmas lights.) The place was packed, full of people jammed next to each other, mesmerized by smartphones, tablets, and laptops; not a single soul looked up and took notice of me.   I could have been Genghis Khan on a zebra and only the barista would have noticed. Taking my coffee out onto the sid

The Blind Shot...

Within the game of golf there are few things more thrilling than the blind shot.  A close approach shot or a tee ball into a short par three can leave us clambering up and over a hillock or dune to see where we ended up. There is usually a good deal of luck or chance involved, along with a good dose of both joy and despair, but the anticipation that shots like these provide make for a lot of fun during a round. But like anything in this life, too much of a good thing can be problematic. In

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Here It Comes

It almost feels like we are just sitting quietly while AI takes over our turf careers.  AI promises to help us work, but what if it intends to render us obsolete?  Shouldn't we at least offer some resistance? Contrary to popular narratives, Rockbottum Science states "AI does not think for itself, it's merely an improved algorithm."  If AI could actually think, we'd already be dead.  My Dad dealt with first generation AI, (Adolescent Imbeciles) and AI golf course personnel management was jus

Fred Taylor, CGCS, Mankato Golf Club, Mankato, MN

Fred Taylor, CGCS, retired in early October, 2023, after a 43-year stint working exclusively at Mankato Golf Club in his hometown of Mankato, Minnesota. Fred followed in the "bootsteps" of Boots Fuller in 1992, becoming who would wind up as only the third superintendent at MGC in almost 100 years. Fred takes credit for all that goes wrong and give his staff credit for all that is right on the golf course. He has over the years served as a buffer between the staff and club membership,"runnin

In The Back Of The Night

It's that time of year when strange things happen, so it was no surprise when Freddy and Toad--effectively half of the Rockbottum CC crew--went missing while leaf-looking up on Dead Owl Ridge. Taking a great risk, Bodell saddled up to go find Freddy and Toad in the dark forests of North Georgia . . . and now Bodell and Willie are missing, too.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Sam Moynihan, Detroit Golf Club

Sam Moynihan took over the reins at Detroit Golf Club this spring just 90 days prior to hosting the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Soon thereafter somebody painted two greens with Roundup as a "welcome" present. The challenge was on. A graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in agriculture, Sam kicked off his turf career with a stint at Muirfield Village Golf Club, first under Paul B Latshaw and then Chad Mark. He then moved over to Caves Valley Golf Club for the next five years as fir

Rockbottum Radio: Positivity Defeats Adversity

In this episode, RW hands out the coveted Rockbottum Major Award for the best TurfNet Forum Topic ever.  Momma has a lively discussion with a government official who mistakenly believes Social Security is an "Entitlement" while helping him realize the folks north of Richmond need to improve their listening skills.  Also, RW explains how to achieve positivity on the golf course by being positive, not just sounding positive.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Podcast

Rising Star of Turf: James Morgan, Wicker Point GC

James Morgan was fresh out of Lake City Community College (now Florida Gateway College) and a summer/part-time stint at the Country Club of Orlando when he followed CCO superintendent Kasey Kauff to build Trinity Forest in Dallas. Morgan started as an assistant and was promoted to superintendent during his 5+ year stay at the Coore/Crenshaw layout. That Coore/Crenshaw connection led him to being selected to grow in Wicker Point Golf Club on Lake Martin, the first new golf construction in Alabama

Managing Landscapes in a New Weather Paradigm...

As of writing today Kansas City is 6.49” below our average YTD rainfall of 27.42”. Additionally, over the last 6 weeks our average temperature has been 3F over average. In the last 28 days we have had 12 days over 80, 7 days over 90, and 9 days over 100. One of those days the high was 112F. Most people don’t dig into climate numbers to this extent, and it is important to know this isn’t just my opinion. But rainfall this summer is not the focus of this writing. Rather I want to share my sense of

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

Rob Munro, Assistant Superintendent, Cabot Cliffs

Rob Munro is finishing up his third season at Cabot Cliffs in Inverness, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the #1 rated golf course in Canada. Rob landed there with a turf degree from Olds College in Alberta and Poa-and-bentgrass experience at Capilano Golf & Country Club on Vancouver Island, BC. This winter he will travel to New Zealand to satisfy both his yearning for travel and to also put another bullet in his agronomic holster. Have a listen and see why Lee Strutt, Director of Agronomy a

The Craft

So much of what happens in our daily lives is taken for granted. When you walk into a grocery store and you want a certain item, do you ever pause to think about how it got there? How often do you reflect on all the steps along the way that brought that certain piece of fruit or vegetable or loaf of bread to the shelf in front of you? Our lives are often times so busy and distracted that the idea of pausing and reflecting on how something comes into being seems like a foreign concept.  Most

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

All Star of Turf: Jason Haines

Our latest All Star of Turf is Jason Haines, whom many in the industry will remember for his high profile social media presence (as @PenderSuper) that suddenly went dark several years ago. As the golf course superintendent at Pender Harbour Golf Club and later Sunshine Coast Golf Club in British Columbia, Jason developed (by necessity) a low-input, minimalist turf maintenance strategy that he shared and brainstormed with his Twitter following of 8,000+ before deciding to step away from social me

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in All Stars of Turf


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