Home, sweet home for the week. Chrome Lake cottages.
A chilly tee-off on Bandon Trails Monday morning for Butch Sheffield, Matt Crowther,
David-Dore-Smith and Matthew Tacilauskas. That was the last we saw of fog.
Dan Meersman says hey to Mia, Ken Nice's constant companion.
Bandon Trails clubhouse.
Shawn Potter (from trip sponsor Syngenta) with Mike Meersman
on Bandon Preserve par-3 course.
Matthew Tacilauskas, John Gall and David Dore-Smith
on the Bandon Dunes cour
I was lucky enough this past week to sit in on a wonderful discussion with a good friend and former professor of mine. Based on the title of this post you might think that we were discussing weight loss, but you could not be further from the truth. The talk itself revolved around those unexplainable moments in our lives, often referred to as 'thin moments', when the barrier between our everyday reality and a larger, more universal reality is shattered. Something cracks through the haze of our ev
The Bandon Dunes Agronomy staff joined us Tuesday afternoon for a round on the new 18-hole Punch Bowl putting course, which is adjacent to the Pacific Dunes clubhouse.
Jon Kiger marshals the masses.
Dan Meersman chats with Jeff Sutherland, Pacific Dunes superintendent,
while Dan's father Mike listens in.
Frank Tichenor with Ken Nice, Bandon Dunes Director of Agronomy.
A beautiful afternoon for putting competition.
Every amenity is provided.
A little ledge? N
Walter Hayduke, the newly elected Green Chair at Rockbottum CC, returned from the TurfNet Bandon Dunes Trip, convinced he had witnessed the future of golf.
Walter was so enthused by what he saw at Bandon, he became a Speedy Golf Evangelist and rewrote the Rules of Golf and the Rockbottum CC Employee handbook on the bus ride home.
Speedy Golf is now mandatory for all Rockbottum employees and Ludell was forced to produce the following training video explaining how golf can now be properly
The TurfNet group was hosted by the Bandon Dunes Agronomy staff at the main maintenance facility at 6:15 Monday morning, well before sunrise. Ken Nice, Director of Agronomy, spoke to the group about the various maintenance challenges at Bandon, the biggest one being... wind, and how it moves sand around the golf course.
The superintendents from the various Bandon courses were available for group and individual Q&A.
Breakfast was provided by trip sponsor Turf Drainage Company of Amer
While most of the TurfNet group is out playing Old Macdonald today, the two industrious TurfNet staffers are hard at work in the Pacific Dunes grille. Since this is one of the two or three times each year that Peter McCormick (l) and Jon Kiger get together face-to-face, it's time for strategizing.
That's a real Mac on the right and a fake one on the left (the computer, not the guy).
No, it wasn't our groups racing around the Old Macdonald course on Saturday and Bandon Dunes on Sunday. It was the 25 professional Speedgolfers competing in the 2013 Speedgolf World Championship.
It was insane. These guys pack up to six clubs in a feather-weight bag and then run from stroke to stroke. Most are golfers who also happen to be runners, but there were some marathoners who also took up the game to compete. There were two Olympic athletes in the field.
The winner, Rob Hog
The groups teeing off early Sunday afternoon got off to a wet start... but then the weather turned beautiful for late afternoon post-round beers.
Bill and Doug Middleton (Ocean Organics, trip sponsor), Mike Cook of Davey Tree (lunch sponsor),
and Scott Schukraft at the first tee on the Bandon Dunes course.
Superintendent of the Year Dan Meersman (l) and his dad Mike flank Dave McCormick, bro of the Maestro.
Our international contingent, Matthew Tacilauskas, David Dore-Smith a
We secured two tee times early Sunday on Bandon Preserve, the 13-hole par-3 course that opened just prior to our visit last year. This gave a couple of groups a head start on their afternoon tee times on the Bandon Dunes course, while two other groups played Pacific Dunes on Sunday.
From Bandon Preserve:
Dan Meersman contemplates his next bunker shot while his father Mike chips up.
Mike Cook, Doug and Bill Middleton, John Gall and Scott Schukraft on the Preserve.
As we've explained Bandon Dunes isn't exactly easy to get to. Most attendees flew to the North Bend/Coos Bay airport from San Francisco on Saturday.
Always trying to multi-task, I flew to San Francisco on Friday and filmed some TurfNetTV Tips and Tricks segments with 2010 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Thomas Bastis, CGCS at the California Golf Club of San Francisco. Thomas demonstrated his drone-based camera (view from the drone shown below) for one of the segments.
Thomas Bastis and
Those arriving on Saturday afternoon played the Sheep Ranch, a little-known and quirky "golf course" abutting the north edge of the Bandon Dunes property. "Golf course" is in quotes because it is not your typical course. No specified teeing grounds, no set routing, no sign, no clubhouse. No pars or scores. Access through the swinging gate is via prior arrangement with Greg, the superintendent/gatekeeper, on behalf of the private owner.
We had the place to ourselves, on a gorgeous late afte
The sun was still low in the sky this morning as we crossed the lakeshore of Chicago on our way to O'Hare, the first leg of the seemingly interminable cross-country journey to Bandon Dunes. Yes, folks, you have to want to go there. It's a long way from anywhere. Everywhere.
The city of Chicago was just awakening, the amber glow of streetlamps yielding to the sunrise. Most of the near-endless Monopoly board of homes and businesses, schools and ballfields were in shadow, with the treetops ba
I have 18 or 19 years worth of newsletter columns hanging around in my archives, so I thought I'd dust one off every once in a while, as some are timeless...
Our industry seems to have gone to the dogs in recent years. Border collies, various retrievers and even an occasional stray have become course staples for goose control, often turning into key crew members and companions in the process. Perhaps it was Greg Stent's poignant essay on his beloved canine companion Ted (Superintendent New
Before we begin, a disclaimer on resume advice: Everyone has an opinion on what should be included on a resume, and there's not necessarily a right or wrong approach. If you give your resume to someone for review, they will always come back to you with their own take on what should be highlighted or changed. My recommendations are not the only way to go, they are merely observations and thoughts specific to our industry and how it relates to resume content. It is important is to study the differ
In this week's news show, the Rockbottum CC expert news analysts have issued a warning for Ash Borers and golf management company CEOs with quirky ideas:
Buddy returns, we put forth a Rockbottum Apology for twisting important name pronunciation and also included in this week's segment . . .
The Brilliantest TurfNet Forum Quote of the Week and another gem from SuperProblems on Twitter.
I have a sense of elation over aerification.
New technology and new thinking seems to be flowing into these efforts and the results are really good. Exceptional in fact.
Here's what I'm seeing that has me so excited.
1. Pre-invasion strategy. More than ever before conversations with turfheads have a lot to do with what they can do before an aerification event. Fertility, carbon inputs, stress reduction measures, growth regulator timing and anything you can think of to create recov
Many turf managers ask us for a suggested "smart board" setup for crew training, assignments and other uses at their facility. A smart board is a digital device used to display information to your crew. Essentially, you use your office computer or tablet tied to a projector or TV in the crew room area. There are many different ways to do this, but for the purpose of this post we are going to show you one of the easiest, cheapest, and most versatile setups. For around $500, you can get set up wit
A long-time TurfNet member got 'the news' from his club last week. (I almost started off that sentence with "another" rather than "a", hopefully not a harbinger of a trend.)
He had served that club for 33 years, the last 30 as superintendent.
No recent mistakes, turf loss, malfeasance or other gruel for the axman. Quite the contrary, in fact, with a multitude of projects (including a multi-year renovation) successfully completed. He had just been awarded a larger than usual performance
Even though Buddy disappeared while on Night Waterman duty* and hasn't been seen in weeks, Rockbottum CC remains on top of the looming water issue with news and irrigation tips.
*Note: Our upcoming Halloween segment will reveal what happened to Buddy in lurid detail.
(I've had the pleasure to work with both great and awful green chairmen. This summer, I'm calling it the Summer of the Noobie. And so, in Wilber Fashion. Time to write an open letter.)
Dear Mr. Green Chairman,
Do you, sir, really understand your job as Green Committee Chairman?
How in the world did you get so little direction for this position when given it? Please tell me that you passionately accepted this position with the understanding that it may be the most important committee
If you're reading this, you know that online technology has allowed us in the turf industry to share good things like tips, tricks and maintenance practices. But it can also impact your ability to retain your existing position or get that new job. How you craft and manage your online presence can be a boon or a bust to your operation and career.
FACEBOOK A hotly debated issue of late is companies asking prospective hires for access to social media such as Facebook, or to like the company or
"My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations." Michael J. Fox
Over the weekend I had an interesting chat with my sister-in-law. She was reflecting on the malaise of her generation (she is 28) and how it relates to job prospects and general quality of life. The conversation eventually swung around to the topic of expectations and how they are directly linked to contentment.
Her basic premise was that people who trundle through th