Chad Allen, finishing up his first year as golf course superintendent at the Club at Chatham Hills near Indianapolis, IN, has a unique background and training as a substance abuse and addiction counselor prior to shifting to turf management. A recent attendee of both Green Start and the Syngenta Business Institute programs, Chad employs a "bottom up" management style that centers on listening to and engaging his staff in the processes of managing the golf course.
A fascinating conversation
A new Rockbottum film has surfaced: "Khaki Pants on Parade."
While we were trying to shoot a pleasant little film entitled "Downrange with RW", one of my extra personalities got loose and hijacked the whole thing. Momma could have stopped it, but she enjoys a good tirade . . . especially when it targets that Khaki Pants Crowd. Must be the time of year.
Jim Surico, senior assistant superintendent at North Jersey Country Club in Wayne, NJ, is admittedly a "glass half full" kind of guy. As such, when asked to name something he doesn't like to do on the golf course, he came up blank. "Ooh, I don't know, tough question... There really isn't anything I don't like to do, even dealing with members..."
Now THERE is a guy who is going to have a successful career as a superintendent.
Surico talks us through his career from Rutgers University to
This week I am taking you on a journey to Te Arai Links... the newly opened south course, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and the currently under-construction north course, designed by Tom Doak. Brian Palmer (superintendent at Tara Iti) set up an intern swap with CJ Kreuscher, Director of Agronomy for Te Arai Links, where I went to Te Arai, and Austin Eggers, previously from Sand Hills, came to Tara Iti for a week.
Similar to Tara Iti, both courses at Te Arai are next to the ocean
Recently, Fester N. Boyle, our Club President, and our Head Pro Hugh Jass Bedendorfer, withdrew Rockbottum CC from USGA membership and joined the PGHA, or "Progressive Golf Handicap Association." The PGHA has designed friendlier, more progressive golf rules to help equitably grow the game, as opposed to the hidebound, stuffy old USGA/RAA rules. They have also included rules to help guide the Golf Course Superintendent toward a more inclusive and safe golf course environment.
Fester and Hu
It’s hard to believe, but The Mindful Superintendent blog turned 10 years old this past week. Way back on Dec. 30th, 2012, with the support of TurfNet and my wife and editor, Jill, the Mindful Super began this journey (New Beginnings). It’s definitely been a heck of a ride thus far.
As I look back on what the last decade of personal reflection and writing has brought into my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m so thankful for all the ups and downs, ins and outs, the good and the bad.
Hard to believe that I have now been at the University of Kansas for a full calendar year. Regardless of anyone’s tenure at their current job, every one of us was new at some point. We can all relate, albeit to different extents, to the dynamics accompanying completing one year at a job. It is a significant milestone. The title of this blog addresses this significance in two ways. First is the passage of one years’ time. Groundskeeping is affected by the annual seasons, requiring us to experienc
Jared Viarengo of Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania, bucked a trend early in his career by also becoming general manager at the club in eastern Pennsylvania. Since then, Viarengo's role has expanded as the club's director of grounds and director of club operations.
In this broadcast, Viarengo discusses how his career started in the field of psychology and how he eventually returned his roots on the golf course, where he had worked during summers since high school.
It’s been a spell since we last connected via this blog; August 19th to be exact. We were exploring the idea of Mindful Resilience and what it takes to build this capacity within ourselves. It is an interesting topic to dive into at the best of times, and even more so in the worst. Little did I know then how many of these concepts would take center stage in my life of late.
On September 24th Hurricane Fiona arrived on the shores of Prince Edward Island. As an island on the eastern coast of
Instead of a sea of red as at Adare Manor, Tara Iti is an ocean of green. I have worked with John Deere equipment at Merion, Bob O' Link, and a few pieces at Vineyard Golf Club, so I am well familiar with how to operate these John Deere units. In this blog, I will introduce the mechanics and show you the shed and break room.
Starting with the maintenance section, the mechanic Josh Murdock keeps everything in working order. Josh has an occasional assistant Greg Tailby who is a greenkeeper bu
There are 32 greens totaling 6.4 acres at Tara Iti, all comprised of fine fescue grasses. As mentioned in my previous blogs, working with all fine fescue is new to me. The fescue greens provide excellent playing conditions for the membership and guests. Even after aerification, Brian likes to say, "It won't win any beauty competition, but it sure plays well.”
Texture of fescue greens after overseeding.
The greens are sculpted from the native dune sand from around the prope
In this short film — originally produced six years ago — Rockbottum CC predicted "The Reset", long before Klaus and his cronies went public with their version. In Part One of Skeletal Golf Theory 101, we took a hard look at the "business" of golf. We did not rely on data, just anecdotal analysis gathered over 50+ years in all facets of the industry.
As our economy reacts to the latest spending spree carried out by politicians, perhaps it's time to study SGT 101.
You just never know.
This week we received about six inches of rain, four inches of that coming within a few hours on Friday.
Monday started the week off being dry and windy. When using a moisture meter, the greens were reading 4-5% after the weekend. It would be scary if they were bentgrass greens, but since we have fescue, they have good tolerance to heat and lack of moisture at the top three inches but there is plenty of moisture below that.
With the dry and windy weather, the sand from the bunkers was
Our latest Rising Star of Turf is J. Richard Brown, newly minted golf course superintendent at Florence (SC) Country Club. Richard got the nod for the Florence job after ten years "apprenticeship" in the South Carolina golf market, starting with five years at various courses in Myrtle Beach before becoming the senior assistant at Orangeburg Country Club, where he remained for the ensuing five years.
Richard participated in one of our Assistant Situation roundtable conversations earlier this
Spring aerification is finished and I had Monday and Tuesday off , allowing me to explore New Zealand. Typically I would not have weekdays off, but I swapped a weekend. Our crew is split into three teams to work alternating weekends.
On Monday, I went north to the Waipoua Forest to visit the largest known living kauri (Agathis australis) tree, named Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). Standing about 150' high and with a girth of about 50', it is named for Tāne, the Māori god of forests and b
Some career superintendents make their marks by hosting major tournaments or pushing the agronomic envelope. Others quietly go about their business of growing great grass while also navigating the potholes and pitfalls that invariably spring up in private clubs over time. John Carlone, CGCS, has done that over 37 years as a golf course superintendent at two clubs in one of the toughest markets in the industry: Long Island, NY.
Fresh out of the University of Rhode Island (where he had a nota
Rockbottum Radio presents our annual Halloween broadcast, with not one, but three spooky golf stories.
These stories are full of scary messages and at least one real good golf course management tip, so send out the crew, close the office door and settle in for some golf trauma as only Rockbottum CC can share.
With it being only the second week here at Tara Iti many things were going on, including reshaping and seeding a private green and aerification throughout the course.
Me with assistant Hayden Stuthridge, assistant Dylan Griffin, and Hamish Harding.
Angela Moser, who works with Renaissance Golf, shaped the private green a while back. I did not see the green shaping, but I added some final touches: leveling out sand-blown areas and picking up rocks. With all debris cleaned
After finishing up my internship at Adare Manor in Ireland, I started my new adventure at Tara Iti Golf Club in Mangawhai, New Zealand a week ago. It still amazes me that I was in Ireland a week and a half ago, and now I'm now a half a world away in New Zealand. Since Adare Manor is a parkland course, Tara Iti is the first links course I have ever worked at. there are many new things for me that I will introduce through the upcoming blogs.
Tara Iti is the first links course I've
Sean Tully of the Meadow Club in Fairfax, California, has made a name for himself as a fan and ultimately an expert on classic-era golf course architecture, particularly Alister MacKenzie designs.
The Meadow Club, where Tully is director of grounds maintenance, is in fact the first course in North America designed by MacKenzie and one of several in Northern California. Tully's expertise in the field has resulted in many opportunities to speak at other golf courses in the region, often to e
Going on a week-long road trip is a great way to wind up my stay in Ireland. After finishing up my internship at Adare Manor last week, I spent this week traveling around the Wild Atlantic Way with my parents and brother.
I was able to get my parents an overnight stay at the Manor. We then made our way to Dick Mack's pub, where I got a photo with Finn MacDonnell, a cousin of Alan MacDonnell, the superintendent at Adare Manor Resort.
Before I left Adare
When the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Huns, and Norsemen invaded, they typically came during the day. But the Golf Vandals are an entirely different bunch. A cowardly, mindless tribe, the Golf Vandals favor the cover of night. Agitated by their ever present hand-screens, they can quickly become hysterical when faced with reality.
You can use techno-wizardry to neutralize the GV, but remember: While they are easily frightened, they will return in greater numbers.
NOTE: The counter-measu