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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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Egos: The worst part of this business

This just drives me nuts.  A superintendent is squeezed between the egos of a green chairman and a few other "influential people" and his obligation to the membership that is paying the bills.  A classic tale of what ails this business. The AF (Asshole Factor for those not familiar with the term) brought into stark relief.   The superintendent in question is managing one-year old greens. They're young, not ready for aggressive management practices. An amateur tournament is approaching. You kno

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Damn, Dude. Not Yet. An Ode to Jeffery P.

(once again...I'm skipping the plant phys. series to interject about a hot topic in my life. RSN, back to it but I can't ignore the voices in my head on this one.)   I'm reeling from the death of a friend. And I'd like to share with you about a wonderful person, Jeffrey McManus.   In the early 90's, I needed an email address and access to something called the internet for a research project I was looking into. That project fizzled. In the process, I discovered The WELL. Short for Whole Earth

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

A Typical Day At Rockbottum CC

Can you you handle the pressure of managing a golf course through a difficult summer?  Learn how it's done from hardened veterans of several decades of Deep South summer campaigns.   At Rockbottum Country Club, we know precisely when to go deep and infrequent, because we learned the concept on pushup clay bent in temps of 100+, while experts with no actual GCS experience told us to dry 'em out.   "...because we learned the concept on pushup clay bent in temps of 100+, while experts with no

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

A Piece of Heaven...

It's amazing what a simple email can do. Just a small electronic note started the communication that led to the single best day I've had in Ireland thus far.   Part of my plan while I'm here is to see more of Ireland's golf courses. I had heard a lot of buzz about Old Head of Kinsale, on the south coast just past Cork. Jon Kiger had told me that TurfNet had previously visited there, and said that the staff at the club was very nice and welcoming. So, I emailed the superintendent, Neil Deasy, t

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Know Your Limits

You will often hear me speak about "high performance surfaces". These are putting surfaces that provide consistent Championship conditions on a regular basis. Championship conditioning produces smooth, true, firm and fast surfaces, pushing the limits on chemical, biological and mechanical technology. Sometimes pushing the limits too far!   During the persistent warm and wet, and now warm and dry conditions covering much of the country, often the high performance surfaces can fail. Catastrophic

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

No such word...

A few posts back we talked about words that should be banished from your lexicon (Speak No Evil). The first word on the list was can't. Its one of those words that we use and hear so often that it becomes commonplace. But have you ever really stopped to think that it really doesn't stand up to scrutiny? Think about all of the things in greenkeeping that people have told us we can't do: roll constantly, water for an hour at a time, grow bentgrass without poa, and this list goes on and on.   It'

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Unplugged...

To many of us, the term unplugged commands visions of MTV and rock bands doing acoustic sets with adoring fans gathered around.    But of late the definition leans more toward disconnecting oneself from the "collective electronic consciousness", so aptly stated by Urban Dictionary.  An alternate definition is "to be seperated (sic) from the borg-like creation of being constantly connected through digital communication tools".   As I sit here on a Friday night anticipating our long-awaited es

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

All the pieces falling into place...

The course has been tightening up over the last few weeks in anticipation of the Captains' Prizes event, which is very much like a club championship but carries the weight of a member-guest event regarding perfect maintenance.   Over 200 golfers compete for the Captain's and Lady Captain's prizes on a Friday afternoon and Saturday in late June. The event concludes Saturday evening with the awarding of the Prizes at a festive banquet which usually continues into the early hours with dancing and

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Times Like These

Nothing like the a steamy summer. Golf turf is under heat and disease stress from Miami (if you have Paspalum) to Minnesota (if you have Poa annua) and over to Maine (do they have grass in Maine?). In times like these someone on the staff is attached to the spray rig.   Quote high humidity only makes a few people happy-people who sell pools and people who run turf diagnostic labs that process turf disease samples.   What started as the kind of growing season where it was said, "if you ar

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

The Armored Possum

Most golf maintenance training videos are so dull they can cure incurable insomnia, but Here At The Rock, we strive to produce cerebral training films.   Rather than just handing out the information, our technique requires the viewer to think, to search for subliminal clues hidden in what would seem to be an ordinary conversation.   See if you can find the Two Teaching Points of this Rockbottum CC Training Film:   1.  How to help your Equipment Manager/Tech win TurfNet's TECH OF THE YEAR.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Maximizing social signal-to-noise ratio

I was chatting with Larry Stowell of PACE Turf the other day about the state of the industry in general, our businesses in particular and the challenges of making sense of the rapid technological change today.   In his unique role as "maestro" of his and Wendy Gelernter's turf research clearinghouse (for lack of a better term, as PACE Turf — like TurfNet — defies definition in a concise sentence or less), Larry has long been a voice of reason in our sometimes heated or volatile Forum discussio

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Watching Golf, and Walking Through History...

Last weekend was full of sightseeing. From the historical village in Wexford to Carton House Golf Club in Maynooth, I got a little taste of history in Ireland, and some sport as well.   On Saturday, Alan and I made our way up to the Irish Open, being hosted at the Montgomerie Course at Carton House. This course is one of two at the resort, and is celebrating its tenth birthday this year, along with the honor of hosting the Irish Open, Irelands only European Tour stop. We arrived a bit late, bu

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

The Demons of Greenkeeping...

I have been tossing this idea around for a spell. What are the common demons we all fight from time to time? We have covered a couple of them already; dealing with the unruly golfer, and the burn out syndrome, but I want to get more specific and clarify things a bit. The demons Ill be speaking of are the ones that bind us together, and tear us apart.   I am in the throes of battling one as we speak. It is a subtle bugger that can sneak up on you over time. It adds up slowly, kind of like weigh

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Sudden Hot Weather Checklist and Recommendations

(I know in my last post I promised a continuation of the Plant Physiology stuff, but am taking a break for a more relevant thing, we will return to the geekery rsn (that's real soon now...non-nerd).   Ok, so... the phone has been ringing off the hook as unseasonably hot weather hits most of the Western US. In particular, the Sacramento area is getting a real wallop but isn't alone. I put this out to my Sacramento Turfhead friends and wanted to share. I hate ambulance chasing, but here are 10 ti

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Blog, Twitter, FB or Forum?

It has been interesting to watch the shifting in preferred 'social media' platforms (I'm beginning to hate that term) over the past year or so, between personal blogs to Facebook to Twitter to the TurfNet.com Forum (and sometimes back again). And Linked-In is in the midst of that somewhere.   Some guys have posted on their blogs that they have "moved" to Twitter and will be posting in their blogs infrequently at best moving forward. "Easier and more convenient" are commonly cited reasons. Perh

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Killing two birds with a not-so-obvious stone

At every golf course I've ever worked at, theres always been a pest that seems like the 'chief' problem. At Egypt Valley it was the skunks; at Teton Pines it was the voles; and here at Mount Juliet, its the crows. But each one of the problem creatures were not actually the real pest. The real offenders were what these troublemakers were looking for to eat. Last week this became very apparent to me by way of finally seeing what the crows were looking for.   Since being at Mount Juliet, I have n

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

The DeathMeter

Prompted by several very intelligent Stimpmeter comments on the TurfNet Forum, the following RockBottum Country Club VLOG sheds light on a possible strategy to suppress the spread of the POS. (Privately Owned Stimpmeter)   NOTE:  It was necessary to credit The TurfNet Forum, as very few intelligent comments ever originate from Rockbottum Country Club, especially where the POS is concerned.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

A Spartan reunion in Dublin...

My friend Josh, a fellow student at Michigan State, decided to visit Dublin this weekend. Hes studying abroad in Spain, and took this weekend off to visit some of his friends and myself. I took a bus up to Dublin after work Saturday morning, and met up with him, and another friend in the afternoon. The name of the game this weekend was to see a couple sites and do some relaxing.   We began at the Guinness Storehouse. This building was the original site of Arthur Guinnesss brewery. Now, its a m

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Nutrient Transportation, Sodium Pump Style

Since everyone seems to be spraying something, let's do some Plant Physiology and look at how nutrients get into the plant. Be it root or leaf, at the cellular level, nutrients applied have to enter in. This may affect how you think about and how you build your fertility-oriented sprays.   There are 4 recognized mechanisms for movement of nutrients through cell membranes: [*]Diffusion. There's this thing called the Lipid Bilayer. Basically a cellular sandwich and simply, if a nutrient can so

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

The Year the Grass Died...

I was clicking through some archived editions of TurfNet Monthly (on hiatus now) and came across a column I wrote back in 1997.  It seems that Nat Binns, then superintendent at Schuylkill Country Club in Orwigsburg, PA, had phoned me and offered a tidbit from a copy of the SCC newsletter he had found, dated April, 1967.  It was an excerpt from a Paul Harvey broadcast from November, 1966.  See below:   The Year the Grass Died Any proud homeowner looks with admiration and envy at the lawn-scap

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Leggo my ego...

This blogging thing just keeps getting better. The more I write, the more I read and the more I stumble upon your stories. It might get to the point soon where I simply post your writing; it's that good.   The Maestro sent me a link to a blog post by Adam Garr, superintendent at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield, Michigan. Adam was plugging away like the rest of us, but about a year ago he had an epiphany that changed how he not only does his job, but how he lives his life.   The origin

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

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