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Necessities...

In my last post, Just Enough, I explored the idea that the ethos of authentic links greenkeeping practices might be a path worth studying as we move forward in the age of climate change. As we examine our industry post pandemic, can we simplify and return to the roots of our craft? Can we honestly look at our industry as a whole and begin to ask the difficult questions that are in such dire need of answering?  As I was writing that last piece, I stumbled across a quote from a teacher of min

The Case for a “Strong” Groundskeeper...

Local governments are managed by different types of relationships between elected representatives and appointed/hired staff. There are several types that basically take the place of executive/legislative branches and divide power amongst these various parties. One variation of this government is known as the “strong mayor” system where the mayor has almost total administrative authority with discretion to set priorities, establish budgets and decide most personnel decisions. While the city counc

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Operations

Are You Using Filters?

A few days ago, I discovered people have been using digital filters to enhance their online appearance and dating marketability.  This is pure deception, as some of these filters are capable of structural alteration, moving facial bones around like some kind of tikkity-tok plastic surgeon. Online filters remind me of something that happened decades ago, during my first tour as an assistant superintendent.  We were in an inflationary economic cycle and it was fiscally necessary to have a roo

After four years and six internships, this is it!

This is it. My time at Tara Iti and in New Zealand is done. Just about four years since beginning the process for my bachelor’s at Ohio State and six internships, including Bob O’ Link, Merion, Muirfield, Vineyard, and Adare Golf Club. After six months of working, I am in my last internship and final moments at Tara Iti Golf Club.  Working at Tara Iti has been an unforgettable experience, and I had unlimited opportunities for learning thanks to Brian Palmer, Dylan Griffin, and Hayden Stuthr

Just Enough...

On my way to BTME in England this past January, I was lucky to have a layover day in Dublin, Ireland. I was even more fortunate to have a good friend, TurfNet’s own, Jon Kiger, as a tour guide and facilitator of good times. We experienced a wee bit of history and culture (and yes a pint or two of Guinness) but the tour that has stayed with me most from that day was our stop at Portmarnock Golf Club. Founded in 1894 and located on a peninsula just outside Dublin, it was everything a proper l

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Essentialism

Mike Maffei, CGCS: 51 year run at Morefar

So who graduates from UMass in 1971 with a BS in Plant and Soil Science, takes an assistant job at a very private/secretive 500 acre facility on the NY/CT border, gets promoted to superintendent three months later, grows in a new back nine... and then stays for 51 years? We'll tell you who: Mike Maffei, CGCS, recently retired golf course superintendent at Morefar in Brewster, NY. Google "Morefar" and you won't come up with much. "A lot of newcomers to Brewster don't even know it's there," q

Tara Iti thrashed by Cyclone Gabrielle

Cyclone Gabrielle is considered the worst recorded storm in New Zealand's history. Gabrielle brought constant 40mph winds and another 10 inches of rain to wet soils and dropped over 500 trees at our course. This storm shut down North Island for a week, making commuting for the staff impossible. All of North Island was in the middle of it.  Some of the estimated 500 trees that fell during Cyclone Gabrielle.   Trees sitting in water drop

All Star of Turf: Michael Morris, CGCS

Our latest All Star of Turf is Michael Morris, CGCS, 36-year Director of Buildings and Grounds at Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort, Michigan. A native of Frankfort,  Mike is one of the few golf course property managers who has spent his entire career at one course, in his hometown. He is also a rarity in obtaining a BA and MS in English and film studies at Michigan State before realizing that life on the golf course spoke to him more than a future in academia. He is known internation

The Show Must Go On…

For the first time in nearly three years we are almost finished a full, in-person conference season. From the GCSAA Show, the BTME, the Carolinas and all shows in between, we have made the transition back to meeting face to face and by all accounts it’s been well received. After two plus seasons of virtual and hybrid education, everyone appears to be genuinely happy to be back at our respective events, shaking actual hands. For me personally, it’s been a quiet return to travel and speaking.

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Wellness

Investing in the Landscape...

Our grounds management efforts, no matter the purpose or location, require funding to carry out the goals we are expected to perform. Some fortunate grounds managers amongst us may have ample budgets that readily support these expectations. My personal experience, and that of many peers I have heard from, reflects a different financial reality. Usually, we are expected to make dollars stretch, or simply forgo some of the grounds improvements we propose. Here at the University of Kansas, I am, fo

Rockbottum Radio: We Tried to Warn Us!

In this episode, RW gets tangled up in AI when he tries to use Chat-GBB to write the radio show and that failure results in a spirited rant aimed at those we entrusted with getting out the water conservation message. Just as the way forward is revealed, Count Noomskool of the World Globalar Golf Forum arrives and waves huge sums of money at Momma, in order to subjugate Rockbottum CC's verboten individualist attitude.

Scott Dodson and John Taylor: Founders of the Golf Course Hockey Challenge

In this first "It's not just about the grass" segment of TurfNet All Stars of Turf, we recognize Scott Dodson, CGCS, and John Taylor. Both career superintendents, they are perhaps better known as the founders of the Golf Course Hockey Challenge, an annual 2-day/4-game tournament that has attracted as many as 16 teams of hockey playing superintendents, assistants and suppliers over a 25+ year run. Dodson has been at the Park Country Club in Williamsville (Buffalo) NY for 30 years. Taylor is

Member Tournament Prep at Tara Iti

Tournament week here at Tara Iti. The Kayne Cup is a 40-hole member-member tournament. It has four different formats. Two nine holes better ball, Chatmin 9 hole, nine-hole scramble, and a four-hole shoot-out. This is the first Kayne Cup since 2018 since COVID. My favorite part of working on a golf course is seeing a beautiful sunrise. If you look close enough, you can see the Waxing Crescent moon. Starting the week was the 2023 women's Kayne Cup that started on Sunday-Tues

Jordon Bowling, Biltmore Forest Country Club

Jordon Bowling found his calling into turfgrass management a little later than most, at 22 with a six-month old son to boot. His brother-in-law, Chad Kuzawa, was an NC State turf grad making the rounds of some clubs in the southeast and convinced Jordon to visit from his home in Michigan and shadow him for a couple of days. That set things in motion. He enrolled in the turf management program at Wayne Community College in NC and worked at Wedgewood GC, then Country Club of Virginia, Carolin

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in Recognition

Chad Allen, Club at Chatham Hills

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

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in Recognition

Khaki Pants on Parade

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, North Jersey Country Club

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

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in Recognition

A week at the Links...

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

Know These New Rules for 2023

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

A Ten Year Old Mindful Superintendent...

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.

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

It’s Been a Year...

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

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Operations


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