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Why Are You Doing This?

Why Are You Doing This?

Do you remember the real reason you got into the golf course business? I frequently ask that question and the answers can range from positive outbursts of Pavlovian Pollyanna-isms to covert confessions of discomfiture.  “I don’t know”, is usually followed by nervous laughter.  The recently graduated will go into interrogation mode, searching for the “correct” answer, as if their career is at stake.  A few admit it was to play more golf, while others claim it was the appeal of the science. 

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson: Prophecies for the Next Decade of Golf (REQUIRED LISTENING)

Randy Wilson: Prophecies for the Next Decade of Golf (REQUIRED LISTENING)

Time for the last and final "Rockbottum Prophecies for the Next Decade of Golf". This is required listening for all those with a stake in the future of golf. Also... ANTIGOLF protesters show up to riot and protest at Rockbottum CC... The gang figures out what's been digging up #13 green and organizes a posse of vigilantes to hunt it down, Momma handles a customer complaint in a new way and Booferd resists Third Wave Feminism by telling Momma that dishwashing is woman

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Forest Therapy

Forest Therapy

Our favorite method for suppressing "The Noise" is Forest Therapy.  You can practice Forest Therapy with a simple, short hike, or go on an epic adventure lasting several days.  At Rockbottum Country Club, we self-medicate with Forest Therapy when we've had too much holiday feasting or too much family togetherness or too much screen time. We just grab a pellet rifle or a slingshot and go into the forest for some big game squirrel hunting.   It's similar to raccoon hunting; if you come h

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Our Campus is Alive… With Dead Trees

Our Campus is Alive… With Dead Trees

Most grounds managers (including golf course superintendents) understand the important role that trees play in a landscape. Trees supply beautification, shade, pollution mitigation, etc. and on a golf course can add to the challenge of play. Show me a landscape devoid of trees and I will show you a landscape that is not even close to fulfilling its potential. The culture and maintenance of trees is a critical skill for a grounds crew and the amount of money spent on arboriculture emphasizes this

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

The Dangler Will Get You!

The Dangler Will Get You!

Warning!  We’re about to go all Mickey McCord Safety Meeting on you, so pay attention and learn about one of the most dangerous things on your golf course.   No, it’s not a chainsaw, the dimpled projectile, nasty, slippery restrooms, hovering mowers or crocodiles.  It’s THE DANGLER. The Dangler has caused several of those injuries that still reside in my gray matter hard drive, no matter how often I delete them. (That’s saying a lot, because I have witnessed quite a few injuries.)

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Crooked View

Crooked View

A funny thing happened this week. After my most recent bout with intermittent recurring back pain (on and off for the better part of the past 25 years) I finally decided to go for a physiotherapy appointment. I’m really not sure why I hadn’t gone before; ignorance, procrastination, stubbornness... pick anything really. My wife picked stubbornness. My chronic back struggles had become a part of how I defined myself and I guess I just accepted that my back pain was inevitable. Back trouble fo

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

What I Remember About December

What I Remember About December

December 1989. Louisville, Colorado (between Boulder and Denver) Like most supers in Colorado, late November and early December had me playing the guessing game of applying snow mold protection and blowing out the irrigation system. Go too late and there can be absolute hell to pay. Go too early and well, there can be absolute hell to pay. In my situation, it was worse, as I had been growing in a course and we were pushing just as hard to get things up and growing as is possible. So the ide

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Rockbottum Radio: The Noise (and how to get rid of it)

Rockbottum Radio: The Noise (and how to get rid of it)

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, the usual cast of idiots, oafs and varlets keep interrupting me as I try to pass along my proven techniques to skirt The Matrix and suppress the stress-inducing Noise in our lives. Most are simple, easy to do, and... cheap! The TurfNet Maestro has proclaimed that this is me pontificating at my finest. Maybe he found that the shoe fit a little bit.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Demise of Ludell

The Demise of Ludell

Last week, somebody demised Ludell on the practice tee and police suspicion immediately fell upon the various Alphabets.  (They had the strongest motive to see Ludell silenced.) A huge mob of Ludell's betrothed (all three of them) formed outside the courthouse and demanded justice.  Minutes before the Sheriff boarded the Greyhound bus for Kansas, a shocking video surfaced, claiming to show what really happened. We will show you the footage, but keep in mind, a skillful editor can twist

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Gift Your Career This Holiday Season...

Gift Your Career This Holiday Season...

For a large part of the country, we are entering the so-called “off-season” in golf. This means you might actually get some time away from the course. Add to that, now through early January is when many people slow down, work less, and spend more time with family and friends for the holidays. Which is great, but it’s also a prime opportunity to get your career materials up to date. Once early January comes, you’ll be focusing on plans for the new season, attending seminars and conferences,

Matt Leverich

Matt Leverich

Workplace Therapy?

Workplace Therapy?

Everyone should read Paul MacCormack's "Afterglow".   It's a new direction in dealing with life on turf.   It also proves TurfNet is still the leader in adaptive metaphysical approaches--and just plain leading from the front.  Great minds like Peter McCormick, Dave Wilber and the big names who gathered with Paul MacCormack at the Mindful Leadership and Wellness Retreat have been pushing us in this direction for years.  But way out front, so far ahead that they got a little behind-

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Afterglow...

Afterglow...

We had a feeling that we were on to something. An idea for an event that was so far out of the industry box, there was no packaging left. We sincerely hoped that it would have a lasting impact on the attendees; that the small space created would open a door to new possibilities and a fresh way of approaching what it means to be a Superintendent. We had no idea the impact our first retreat would have. The beta version of the Mindful Superintendent Leadership and Wellness Retreat has come and

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Old Roy's Halloween Story

Old Roy's Halloween Story

I was working on a piece about how modern country club boards resemble the leadership of Rome in their last days—you know, lounging about in togas, unaware of the reality building outside the wall—when I remembered it was almost Halloween.  So, from deep in the Rockbottum vault, a previously unreleased Halloween story:  Way back in ’73, on a cold afternoon in late October, I was splitting a mountain of firewood with Old Roy—not to be confused with just plain Roy, the AM radio preacher—and w

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Talking to The Crew

Talking to The Crew

Recently our crew got together for what is a regular but somewhat infrequent occurrence. We came together to discuss how we might improve our operation, and foster an atmosphere where the crew can freely speak their minds. As I am sure most Grounds Managers can attest to, the crew loves to talk and express their ideas. Groundskeepers are rarely shrinking violets with their opinions. What is difficult is not getting them to talk, but channeling that talk first into positive contribution, and then

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Friday at Rosapenna

Friday at Rosapenna

Friday morning, we woke up at the Rosapenna Golf Resort in County Donegal and the golfers had a short walk to their golf pavilion. We were playing the Sandy Hills course which was designed by Pat Ruddy. The resort also boasts a course laid out by Old Tom Morris but it was booked for a Golfing Union of Ireland competition.  The weather was fairly brisk as seventeen golfers took to the tee for our 8:20 start time. Once the golfers were dispatched on the course, many of the non-golfers had a l

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Thursday: Ballyliffin, the Jim Byrne Cup, and Malin Head

Thursday: Ballyliffin, the Jim Byrne Cup, and Malin Head

On Thursday we checked out of the Bishops Gate Hotel in Derry and boarded our bus to Ballyliffin in County Donegal, back in the  "South" of Ireland. On the docket for the day was a face off against the Irish superintendents on Ballyliffin's Old Course as part of the 10th playing of the TurfNet Emerald Challenge/Jim Byrne Cup.  The Old Course at Ballyliffin Golf Club. The Irish brought 16 of their best golfers and our group had a total of 20 players in the event. It was det

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Wednesday: Bloody Sunday Tour, Castlerock, and Connla

Wednesday: Bloody Sunday Tour, Castlerock, and Connla

Wednesday morning found us waking up in Northern Ireland for the first time on our trip. We were greeted outside the hotel at 8:00AM by Paul Doherty of Bogside History Tours. From our location just inside the Derry City Walls, Paul began our personalized tour of Derry.  We learned the history of Derry as a walled city dating back to the 1600s and walked on top of the wall. We then proceeded to the Bogside area of Derry, the location of the infamous Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972.

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Tuesday AM: Heading north to Royal Portrush

Tuesday AM: Heading north to Royal Portrush

We had a 6 AM departure from Carlingford, and the Four Seasons Hotel prepared an excellent continental breakfast for us. Soon our bus was loaded and on its way north to Royal Portrush Golf Club, host course for the 148th Open Championship in July, 2019. The drive took approximately two and a half hours, which allowed people to catch up on sleep or enjoy the view as we entered Northern Ireland.  As we arrived in Portrush, the weather turned against us with high winds and rain. We unloaded ou

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

If it's Monday, this must be Baltray...

If it's Monday, this must be Baltray...

After two fun nights in the city of Dublin we checked out of the Grand Canal Hotel. Simon-our-driver worked his usual magic in repacking the bus, and we were on our way to County Meath. We made a quick stop at the Bru Na Boinne Visitors Center, where four of our golfing group (Wally Gresham, John Brauer, Lisa Proctor and Jorge Croda) were able to tour the Knowth Megalithic site before joining us at our next golf course. The Bru Na Boinne Visitors Center includes burial mounds in Knowth and

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Sunday: Malahide Castle and perfect weather at Portmarnock Golf Club

Sunday: Malahide Castle and perfect weather at Portmarnock Golf Club

After an enjoyable evening Saturday night, the group woke up to sunshine and a full Irish breakfast in the Grand Canal Hotel. We had an early departure at 8:30 to visit Malahide Castle, which has been occupied by the Talbot family for over 800 years.  The entire group prior to our tour of Malahide Castle. We arrived shortly before the first tour and enjoyed visiting the Botanical Gardens on site. The greenhouse included many species of butterflies and we were again reminde

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.”

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.”

Saturday, Portmarnock, Co.Dublin, IE --  “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.” That was Josh Webber’s admonishment to the group as rain set in for the morning round at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links. Nine hearty souls braved the elements to play the course Bernhard Langer designed in 1996. The course and the hotel span the grounds of the former Jameson estate, and three or four original holes have been incorporated into the current design. Po

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Welcome to Ireland – Two days of golf at the Island Golf Club

Welcome to Ireland – Two days of golf at the Island Golf Club

Donabate/Portmarnock, Co.Dublin, IE -- The advance crew (Wally and Dennis Gresham, Mark Hoban, Jake Coldiron and myself) arrived in Dublin Thursday morning. With rain forecasted for the full group's first round at the Island Golf Club on Friday morning, Wally, Mark and Jake decided to shake off the jet lag and head out a day early for an afternoon round. The weather improved to sunny skies and a great introduction for them to Irish links golf. Mark Hoban, Wally Gresham an

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

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