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  • John Reitman

    The Rose Bowl is more than just a job for this extended family

    By John Reitman

    FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM AT INSTAGRAM.COM/TURFNET FOR MORE PHOTOS   There is a sign posted on the fence leading onto the Rose Bowl field that reads "Please pardon our mess. We're trying to grow grass." There is perhaps no place in the country better at doing just that. But what happens inside that fence is about a lot more than just growing grass. The team charged with producing the world's most famous field is a tightly knit group that redefines the term extended family. After near
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Make a new plan, Stan…

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have one of those great conversations with my assistant/mechanic/brother-in-law/great friend, Finn. We do it quite often and it is one of the best parts about working closely with someone you really enjoy being around. The talk revolved around a recurring theme with us: having a plan.   Our chat centered on the tale of two courses in the area. Course A has been around for a long time and is your typical country club in your typical town. Like many private cl

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Letting Go.

Just dropped off my daughter for college this past week. In and amongst the tears I shed as we left our little girl I thought about the importance of "letting go". For a proud father this meant watching your child fledge knowing great things lie ahead. As parents we all go through some pain in the short run to help our children succeed in the long run.   Oddly for me, I see a strong parallel for golf turf managers. I thought about "being a parent" to annual bluegrass surfaces that have struggl

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

BucketBall

One of the advantages of having Multiple Personality Disorder is the ability to look at things from different angles.  Currently, the "Mad Golf Prophet" has control and he just won't shut up about the potential weather extremes.   In order to survive weather patterns that go on and on and on, the "Mad Golf Prophet" recommends indoor activities for the crew.  These may include sanding, painting and 'helping' the equipment manager.   Not all of these activities should be work related.  When ca

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

A cog in the wheel...

I finally got to see what all the aerating talk was about this week when I participated in my first greens aerating project. In the past six years, I have always had to leave my summer job to go back to school before aeration started. This year, however, we aerated the greens a little earlier than in the States, so I was able to see the project from start to finish. The role I played was core management. This meant that myself, and my colleague Alan were to work with one of the coring machine op

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Innie or Outie?

A couple weeks back our intrepid Maestro penned a thoughtful piece (Information overload and sensory flashbacks...). It was full of a lot of the wisdom and down home honesty that we have come to expect from Peter, but for me, it was also interesting to read between the lines a little.    I have been picking at a fascinating book called The Introvert Advantage, Making the Most of Your Hidden Strengths, by Marti Olsen Laney, Phy.D. The basic premise of the book is that once those who crave solitu

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Let's Get All Agro Carbo!

Here comes fall and after a summer of giving up the process, our turfgrass babies are getting ready to make some Carbos. I really love this time of year, because if you really pay attention to how the plant works and what the plant really needs, then some key decisions can pay off huge. This counts for recovery now, and emergent later.   Despite what some people try to hang around my neck, I'm a minimalist. Which means that first and foremost, I follow something that Dr. Mackenzie said years a

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Our Balls Aren't Fun Anymore

In the final attempt to 'Fix Golf' before we grow it, the most important message to ever emerge from Rockbottum CC is presented in the following Commentary . . . Rant . . . Wild-Eyed Tirade.   Unlike most offerings from Rockbottum, this message is not a subliminal point wrapped in diversionary goofiness, this is serious material.   Although the script for 'Our Balls' has been ready for months, we waited until after The PGA Championship to release it.  The reason:  While the tournament was an

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Saving money on the war with Silver Moss

Bryum argenteum, otherwise known as Silver Moss, has been setting up residence in the greens at Mount Juliet lately. There are many reasons why this bryophyte is most unwelcome at our course, but the chief concern is that once silver moss is allowed to establish, it can come back the next year and flourish, leaving the putting surface uneven and more susceptible to traffic wear.   At first, the higher levels of moss were contained only to two greens here, each being in a shaded area with a wat

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Repair or replace? And last straws piling up...

The question of whether to 'repair or replace' rises to the surface as any product ages, be it a household item like a washing machine or dishwasher, a vehicle, or a piece of turf equipment.   In our increasingly disposable culture the answer is most often 'replace'.  Products manufactured overseas in countries with economies very different than ours keep the cost of replacement artificially low. Rates for service technicians ranging from $50 to over $100/hour further sway the decision toward

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Defense

Tiger Woods has become the modern day E.F. Hutton, i.e., "When Tiger talks people listen". A week before the PGA Championship, successfully hosted by Jeff Corcoran and the folks in Western NY, Woods commented offensively on the quality of the putting surfaces.   Quote Corcoran get's the mike stuck in his face and explains without being defensive about defensive agronomic management   "They don't have much thatch to them, so it'll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

A second set of eyes (SSOE)...

One of the things we wordsmiths often do is ask someone else to proofread a column or article before we hit the publish key. That's one reason why newspapers have editors, of course.   Other than correcting grammatical errors or catching typos, the real benefit of a second set of eyes (SSOE) is determining if the piece reads well or otherwise makes sense.  You see, when one is intimately involved in writing or creating something (or tending to a golf course for that matter), everything makes s

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Guest Post: The Human Element

For this week's post, I am going to turn it over to Callum Haughn, fellow TurfNetter and assistant superintendent at Mill Ridge Golf Course, located in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Callum helps out writing for our local associations quarterly magazine, and his last submission was good enough to share here...   The Human Element By Callum Haughn   It takes a lot of different people with a lot of different personalities to make up a successful workplace. Managing these personalities can sometimes be

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Chapter meetings, self-purging and the good ol' days...

The subject line of a somewhat curious email I received last week caught my eye. Regarding an impending local chapter meeting, it was titled "Sad state of affairs", and went like this:   "I was wondering if anyone can help me.  As I'm sure to be asked, please help me with the answer to 'why do we have 12 class A members signed up for the July meeting'?  and of that, more than half are board members.  Luckily with others we have almost 50 total.  Sad.   That's right.  A great venue with educa

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Some good luck at Croke Park...

As I counted up the days I had left to explore Ireland, I realized that the chances of getting up to Croke Park in Dublin to see the field and a game of Gaelic football were dwindling. But, just as I was losing hope, I saw a Facebook post from the GCSAI about open slots for volunteers for the match day on Saturday. Immediately, I contacted the organizer of the volunteers and I got a spot on the volunteer crew.   That was the easy part.   Getting to the stadium on game day proved more difficu

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

The Secret of The Twiffer

Once upon a time, there was a strangeness that crept into golf course land.     No, this isn't the story about the olden times when the club pro was paid more than the GCS, that wasn't strange, that was just crazy.   This particular strangeness happened not long ago and somebody at Rockbottum CC might have been neck-deep in the whole mess . . .    Watch this short film if you want to understand The Twiffer.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Figuring Out The Old Stuff at Claremont

I recently got the opportunity to work on one of the most interesting projects I've ever had a chance to be a part of.   You may not know about Claremont Country Club in Oakland, California, and that's a shame. Claremont is a cool old Mackenzie design that is short, but one of the funnest rounds you'll ever have. And challenging too. I'd play there every day if they'd let me. They never will, but it's a nice dream to have. Recently restored to amazing original glory at the hands of Jim Urbina

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Coby Guys

As the staff at Oak Hill Country Club, outside of Rochester, NY prepares for the PGA Championship under the leadership of Jeff Corcoran, there is a smile on Bob Emmon's face. Mr. Emmons as we all knew him was the turfgrass professor for almost 30 years at the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, in Cobleskill, NY.--try and google that place!   Corcoran will join a long and growing list of superintendents who have hosted Majors. Mark Michaud at Peb

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

Information overload and sensory flashbacks...

Music used to be a HUGE part of my life, at least on the listening end. All encompassing, enveloping, everywhere.  Massive stereo system, an entire wall of electronics and a library of vinyl.   Fast-forward 40 years or so and the vinyl and high-end audio components have been replaced with an iPad, a Bose SoundDock and a Sonos Play5 system for wireless streaming from Pandora or my iPad. (The Sonos was a gift rather than an investment of my own.) My CDs are either scratched from the car and toss

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Defending the course from more than pests and disease...

From the first day of the season till the last, turf managers are always on the lookout for signs of forces trying to take over the course. This can range from grubs in the soil to dollar spot spreading across a fairway. Sometimes, however, we have to look at defending on other fronts.   At Mount Juliet, high traffic has started to show its teeth. Normally, golfers keep the buggies on the cart path and pull into rough from time to time to chase an errant shot. But this week we found evidence o

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

A Fresh Perspective

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind". It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject - even when studying at an advanced level - just as a beginner in that subject would. (Wikipedia) This is a concept that I always try to keep in mind. It's difficult because the ego really gets off on being an "expert".  It's fun to set a goal, work hard to accomplish it, and bask in the glory of making it to the top of the mou

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

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