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A Visit with Paul B. Hurst, The Most Interesting Man in Turf

Peter McCormick visits with Paul B. Hurst,  husband of Kristi, father of Nicholas, Madison and Molli, dogfather of Lyla, man of many hats, guitar-playing half of MidLife acoustic duo, instructor in the multi-part So, You Want to Be a Sales Guy video series, honoree of a 2021 TurfNet Jerry Coldiron Positivity Award, and arguably the Most Interesting Man in Turf. They chat about a recent Tweet of Paul's and how the social media success of his and Kristi's singing and "nitwitery" on Twitter ov

Peter McCormick: Job loss, depression and "Nobody likes an old drunk..."

Me Maintenance goes across the pond in this webcast with Stuart Butler on his HWOM — Henry Westons Old Mate blog and pod/webcast platform. Stu is a senior greenkeeper at Royal St. George's Golf Club on the Kent coast of southeast England, host site of The 149th Open back in July, 2021. Stu is also a recovering alcoholic — 4 years sober — who has embarked on a personal mission to share his story of recovery and personal growth for the benefit of others. Stu and I connected a month or so ago

Depression: One Superintendent's Struggle with the Quest for Perfection

Editor's Note: Originally published in TurfNet Monthly, May, 2003, the following was written by a TurfNet member who wanted to share his experience with the group. Since it's a personal story, however, he asked to remain anonymous. We thought it fitting to publish it again to provide context for upcoming conversations about depression with our Me Maintenance initiative. The author is now retired. Two years ago I suffered a depressive episode which many would call a "breakdown". It was no

Great Expectations… Intentions

Every now and then we stumble across an idea or quote that gives us reason for pause. It could be we stop because someone else has suddenly crystallized perfectly a fragmented notion we have been working through in our own psyche. On the other hand, the idea could be one of those lightning bolt moments that catch us completely off guard and forces a hasty retreat into our opinion bunker to reevaluate things.  Recently I came across a quote that seemed to fall somewhere in the middle. I had

Mike Lecavalier: From a dark place to fit, sober and happy

Mike Lecavalier has been the golf course superintendent at the Kanawaki Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec for 17 years. For 13 of those years, and quite a few prior, he had a serious alcohol problem. Almost four years ago he looked himself in the mirror and admitted to himself that he needed help, and turned to friends, then AA, and ultimately the gym and a personal trainer. Here is his story, in audiocast or video.

Flappin' & Honkin'

In our constant search for inner peace on the golf course, we offer this film from our Boots & Ruck division, entitled:  "Flappin' & Honkin' ". Normally, our stories from the military days are off-limits, but there was just no other way to impart this particular piece of wisdom without data-mining the trauma zone in my skull.   So lace up your boots, shoulder your rucksack and come along for some campfire coffee, philosophy . . . and a tiny little woodstove. No instant cof

Luke Kringler, Laurel Creek Country Club: It's a Data-Driven World

We are thrilled to recognize Luke Kringler, assistant superintendent at Laurel Creek Country Club in Moorestown, NJ, as our first Rising Star of Turf. "Nominated" (unbeknownst to him at the time) by John Slade, superintendent at Laurel Creek and a Charter TurfNet Member, the email exchange with Peter McCormick back in November went like this: John: I'm looking to get one of my techey young guys to work on some job postings.  Over the years, I've had five employees become Supers -- but

Joe D. Wachter, CGCS, Glen Echo Country Club, St. Louis, MO

TurfNet is pleased to recognize Joe D. Wachter, CGCS, of Glen Echo Country Club, St. Louis, MO, as our first All Star of Turf. Following a life-long passion for all things green, in 1990 Joe transitioned at age 32 from a ten year stint in school bus system management — supervising 150 drivers and a $3 million budget — to an assistant superintendent position at nearby Sunset Country Club under Lee Redman.  Joe consulted his younger brother Ed, superintendent at Franklin County Country C

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Building a Real World 'Employee of the Month' Program

Everyone knows that having a skilled, productive, and engaged team is a critical aspect to a successful operation. For this to occur, the hiring and retaining of good workers is essential. Given the current hiring/retention environment, if you are able to onboard an employee, keeping them is another significant issue requiring sound management and smart retention policy. Employees will stay on a job if they feel the compensation they receive is fair exchange for their efforts. Of course money is

The Positive/Negative GCS Ratio

The owner of Rockbottum CC, Ludella Hogwaller, AKA "Momma",  is always stressing the importance of a positive attitude, a positive work environment and presenting the golfer with a positive golf course.  She even has algae-rhythm formulas to determine if the staff is positive or negative. Momma says two negatives can make a positive.  She proved this by changing Ben, our mean and surly golf course dog, from a negative ratio into a positive.  Momma had Ben's two negatives removed and he beca

Easing In...

If you were to poll most superintendents and ask how they’ve fared over the last couple of years in this profession, no doubt the responses would be as varied as the different grasses we all manage. It’s been a mixed bag of never ending issues and demands, many of which are brand new to us. It would be safe to say that most have dealt with one or more (or all) of the following:  Furloughs and temporary closures  Deep labor issues (related to and independent of the first point)

The Gatorade Ice Dump and the Pivot of 2021...

One of my favorite metaphors in life is "adjustment of the rudder", making small but continual changes to keep one on course to reach a desired destination or goal rather than miss wide of the mark. Normally — and I hesitate to use that word as it’s rapidly becoming meaningless — small tweaks in a good management plan have usually been sufficient. But there are occasions when a hard pull on the tiller — a pivot in today's business-speak — is required to avoid impending disaster, particularly whe

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in business

What Am I Missing?

I don’t want to wait any longer. I have long contemplated a sustainable landscape that that is acceptable to my organization, achievable by my team and profession, and importantly, beneficial to the environment/ecosystem. But year after year I dance around this subject making gains here, losing ground there, and never really getting down the road to something that answers all of these hugely diverse and sometimes antagonistic objectives. The sad truth is I really cannot say what I am after. What

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

Nature vs Nurture...

From time to time our turf systems meet with varying degrees of stress. These events can generally range from a mild annoyance to full blown catastrophe. The road to recovery can vary depending on the situation and the approach to healing depends on many factors. How we as superintendents respond to these stressors and subsequently guide recovery usually says a great deal about how successful we will be during our careers. Often times the stressor is fairly repetitive and benign (think traf

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in health

Campfire Coffee and American Cupcakes

In this short film, RW explains how not to make an American cupcake and offers up a recitation from Old Uncle Lladnar.   As weakness continues to spread across the land,  we hold to our position of strength, remaining firmly grounded in our Rockbottum Philosophy, "Read a book, not a screen." If you don't have an actual book at hand, we suggest visiting Rockbottumfilms at the link to the right.  Our current best seller is  "Lost Hound of Raven Gap" an adventure set in the mountains of N

The Four Horses' Posteriors

It's Storytime.  Once upon a time, long ago, a country club way out in the boonies--where Dad was the Pro/Supt/GM--held a combined Halloween golf tournament/debutante ball and squirrel cookout.  As Dad was usually reluctant to attend such glitzy affairs, I was instructed to represent him.  Since I wasn't old enough to drive yet, Dad left me behind to close up the pro shop and the maintenance barn--it was an actual barn--plug in the carts, clean the pool and keep an eye on things.  His exact inst

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Checking All the Boxes – The 3-P Approach

This past month I was fortunate to assume the Landscape Manager position at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. I say I was fortunate because I really enjoyed my job at Mississippi State and wasn’t looking to change roles or location. The job at KU however would be a return to the Head Groundskeeper role and also a return to the Midwest. So I applied and after a visit, an interview, and a first candidate dropping out, I was informed I was getting the nod. In my mind this is the career

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Teamwork

Who’s on First?

At some point in your career you have probably had this question arise. It starts off in the shadows of your awareness and can sometimes grow into a full-blown sense of terror. It usually shows up when things are shifting, something new and challenging is on the horizon, or even when the grind of the season catches up with you. It may be a simple phrase or question… but no matter the form, it can contain a multitude of fear and judgement. And ironically, because this conversation usually occurs

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Rockbottum Radio: Skeletal Secrets for Great Greens... and other Turf Blasphemy

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, RW finally reveals all of his Skeletal Golf secrets for great greens (Bent or UD) along with the backstory explaining why they were kept secret. The Mad Golf Prophet offers up his Last Prediction ever and confesses how he knew this supply line dislocation was coming. Finally, a Halloween tale for Storytime that is too spooky, even for Rockbottum.

Buddy's Mask Experiment

In this time of turmoil and division, we offer something to bring us together:  Rockbottum Storytime. Thirty years ago, Buddy began to wonder which mask was more effective.  Was it the common dust mask?  The surgical mask?  Or perhaps the trusty bandanna?  It had nothing to do with spraying or virus prevention or looking cool, it was entirely due to Buddy's office trouble.  Located next to the crew restroom, Buddy's office was plagued with sudden waves of a malodorous stench capable of pene

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime


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