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Rethinking extended warranties...

Used to be I wouldn't give a second thought to extended warranties on consumer products.  Just a way for retailers to pad their profit margins, I'd tell myself as I smirked and shook my head when offered them at the checkout counter.   I'm rethinking that in light of what I'm experiencing as a new low in consumer product quality.   I have railed on this before but I'm gonna do it again. The newest inhabitant of the boneyard alongside my garage is the electric pressure washer I bought from No

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Matt Crowther's Fantasy Vacation at Rockbottum CC

Matt Crowther, CGCS, a TurfNetter of great power, prestige and influence, took a recent vacation to Rockbottum CC.   Matt not only discovered how to relieve the stress from a tough summer, he also gained valuable insights into southern golf operations, skeletal greenkeeping and the meaning of life.   Oh, and he left without his luggage, so if anybody knows his whereabouts, let us know--he won't answer our calls.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Firmnicity

Firmnicity is the science of measuring firmness in order to attain a number that allows the golfer to compare his firmness against others.   This is not a new science, it has been used to assess baseball fields, mattresses, surgical augmentation and a quality of life somehow related to sitting in separate bathtubs while watching a sunset.   Be careful with the numbers in this area.  As is the case in DeathMeter stats, the golfer may demand a particular number, but not actually want to play t

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Show me the light!

Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything Thats how the light gets in   Leonard Cohen, Anthem   I was walking through a dense grove of older spruce trees the other day. By all appearances, most of the trees were on the downward slide of their life spans, and not looking very healthy. Its an eerie sight, rusting branches, old mans beard, and lichen as far as the eye can see. But then I came upon a clearing, no more than a dozen fee

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Mulch is Fun. Hydromulch is a Riot.

I'm a huge fan of hydromulch.   I'm not sure why it hasn't caught on as much as it should. Perhaps due to the strength of the sod industry or perhaps the fact that hydroseeding/hydromulching is labor intensive. I'm not anti sod by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a few instances where it just doesn't work. And while there is some degree of instant gratification with sod, it may come with challenges that aren't needed.   The first is when we need to be using grasses or are workin

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Things That Chap My Hide

Although the inhabitants of Rockbottum seethe with cool sophistication and exude an urbane, erudite image, we have our less genteel side.   We must confess, there are things in golf that irritate us.    We thought it would be good to cathartize exacerbate exorcise ourselves and get a few of these things off our chest.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

A Big Huge Announcement From Rockbottum CC

It's almost Autumn.  My career as a "Bad Golf Course Fixer" would not have been possible without the existence of Homelite, Jonsered, Sachs-Dolmar, several Husky 268s . . . and Autumn.   In late summer, I always had a tendency to dance around like a madman released early from the asylum, in anticipation of the real work:  Surgical removal of turf-strangling, golf-suppressing large woody vertical golf hazards.   Success in this area requires preparation, before the leaves fall.  Covert markin

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Jinxed: Repair or Replace redux...

No sooner had I written my last blog post on the decision to repair or replace an item was I confronted with the situation again.  I walked into the kitchen to grab my iPad to do a quick search about something and, struggling to get the just-a-bit-too-magnetic Zagg keyboard cover off, both slipped from my hands and tumbled to the tile floor. Oops. Spiderweb cracks all across the iPad screen.   By no means am I a power iPad user, but I do need it to test new website layouts and configurations..

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

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

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