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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

And we're off!

And we're off!

On a trip like this, getting there is half the fun – NOT! As the person in charge of the trip I feel it’s necessary to get to our destination a day early just to be there despite any contingencies along the way. With three other participants coming from Atlanta we thought it would be fun to travel together and have an extra day in Ireland. Superintendent of the Year Finalist Mark Hoban, Wally Gresham (@wallygresham, Bulk Aggregate Golf), his dad Dennis and I all booked JetBlue flights

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

TurfHead Jam Session with Kevin Ross, Session Number 1

TurfHead Jam Session with Kevin Ross, Session Number 1

Join Kevin Ross of On Course Turf and me for a Jam Session like no other! Call it experimental or explorational or just plan fun. Kevin and I sit down for a session. And no topic is off limits. With more than 60 years of combined experience in direct hands on agronomy life, there is bound to be some wisdom. And good chops to hear. This session includes riffs around Tiger Woods, Anxiety and Depression, Clipping Volume and more. The mics and recorders are on.  You get to enjoy The J

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Retro-ism:  An Experiment in Sustainable Golf Ops

Retro-ism: An Experiment in Sustainable Golf Ops

After several years of toiling on bentgrass plantations in Hotlanta, enduring ever increasing grooming standards and shrinking HOC on fairways, greens and tees, I decided what I was doing was unsustainable.  That led me to choose a more sustainable path, something I could maintain for the long run, not just a short burst of intense activity. NOTE:  I am using the word “Sustainable” in the sense of an activity that is capable of being sustained, not as a code word for ecological balance.  Mo

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Nudge...

The Nudge...

Every now and again we get a nudge in the right direction. It can be from a loved one, a stranger, or a good friend. They see something special in you or an opportunity in your future that you just haven’t noticed yet. It’s not that you wouldn’t ever see it on your own, it’s just that they are looking at the situation through a different lens.  Over a decade ago my amazing wife Jill told me that one day we would be writing together and that folks like you will be reading about what we had t

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Sustainability Tectonics

Sustainability Tectonics

For any geologists reading this blog, I am not speaking about tectonics from the geology standpoint. I am not going to discuss whether the continents derived from the supercontinent Pangaea, or how plates thrust together to form mountains. For my purposes here, tectonics refers to the widespread impact of something and speaks to the pervasive influence of some factor or affect. Sustainability tectonics (my term) are those inescapable factors that influence an operation or landscape and its abili

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Adjusting Turf Resumes for the Mobile Age

Adjusting Turf Resumes for the Mobile Age

I don’t have to tell any of you that smartphones have changed how we work each day, especially from out on the course. From chem/fert apps like Coverage, to Twitter and labor software, there have been vast improvements to the daily operation because of mobile devices. It doesn’t just stop with our side of the industry. Any hiring person at a club or firm is now extremely likely to view your resume the first time from their phone while on the move. What does that mean? You had better be sure

Matt Leverich

Matt Leverich

Relationships at work: More important than many realize

Relationships at work: More important than many realize

In May of 2018, I promised myself that once I started my new, but temporary, life in Denmark, I’d be as good of a friend as I could be to anyone I would meet.  I had no enemies when I started, and I saw no reason to have any by the end of my summer. I lived in the Great Northern greenkeeper employee housing with 14 other greenkeepers. The crew was diverse, from all over:  Ireland, England, Scotland, Lithuania, Australia, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Jamaica, and Bulgaria. I’m proud to

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

It’s all about the courses you’ll play… 

It’s all about the courses you’ll play… 

The centerpiece of any TurfNet members trip is the group of courses we play. Ireland 2018 will be no exception as we have the opportunity to play eleven courses during our eight days there. All but one are true “links” courses so a definition of “links” is probably in order. “The links” simply refers to a strip of generally undulating, but always sandy terrain linking the sea and the arable farmland around the edges. A links course is one built on this strip of land. There are approximately fift

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

The Noise . . . And How To Stop It

The Noise . . . And How To Stop It

Some of us live our lives bathed in noise, against a soundtrack of frenzied, dissonant pandemonium—and not just the kind measured in decibels. The noise ranges from sub-audible frequencies that we can feel, like jet engines, helicopters and car stereos thumping below 20Hz, all the way to ultra-high radio frequencies we need to “connect” with each other. The young are naturally attracted to noise. It’s exciting — the opposite of boring — it’s where things are happening. As a young person, I

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Early morning inspiration...

Early morning inspiration...

I am fortunate to be able to spend a few months each year on a small island in the lower Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada. (Some would say I'm "lucky", but luck has nothing to do with it.) Our home is almost at the northern tip of this 9 mile x 3 mile island, which narrows down to a 50 yard-wide peninsula topped by the Head Harbour Lightstation, a scenic lighthouse with 270 degree views of the surrounding bays. The lighthouse is a popular destination for tourists, lighthouse aficionados (of w

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Chasin’ the Shore

Chasin’ the Shore

the shore, the shore… forever more   the shore is where I’m bound  ‘cause it’s the closest place to feeling free… that I’ve ever found   those troubles great will have to wait… right now I’m doing fine   in a place that is no place at all   and a moment out of time    “Chasin’ the shore” by Island author David Weale  No matter where you call home, there are special landscapes where the lines between the everyday and “out there” blur a little bit. Whether it’s t

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Before closing out the summer... Copenhagen!

Before closing out the summer... Copenhagen!

Before my time at Great Northern ran too short, I decided to take a little day trip to Copenhagen City, the capital of Denmark. I dragged my buddy, Jack Darling, to Copenhagen so he could see the city as well… and he had a car, so I saved money by not buying a train ticket! To get to Copenhagen, we had to cross the Storebælt Bridge, also known as the Great Belt Fixed Link Bridge. This 6,790-meter-long bridge connects the two islands Zealand and Funen (the island Great Northern is on). It op

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

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