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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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The Forbidden VinylGuard Experiment

Last week, Rockbottum Research Labs achieved a major breakthrough in the field of Protective First Layer Garments, or PFLG.   We have been under intense pressure to release our findings, regardless of the fact that our data analysis is incomplete.   We were prepared to publish our findings regarding our innovative work with the miracle element known as VinylGuard, until we became aware of a mysterious scientific anomaly while reviewing the video used for documenting the experiment.   As a

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Pulling both ways on pace of play...

Good to see the USGA's "While We're Young" campaign on picking up the pace of play.  Kind of ironic that it was announced mid-US Open with it's 5+hour rounds... but the spots were well done and will hopefully be embraced by the golfing masses.   It was particularly refreshing to see a major PR campaign from an organization like the USGA focused on something that has the potential for an immediate and lasting benefit to all golfers, across all skill levels and choice of golf course.  Too often

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Bait and Switch

Nothing like a Father's Day hanging with my son in front of the Open. I spend my time with him waxing on about how Merion will be this unique test of shot making. I talk to my boy about how length shouldn't matter and this will be a test of raw skill, to wit my son says. "Dad, how come these guys can't reach the par 3 with driver?" The USGA pulled a "bait and switch". "Dad, how come these guys can't reach the par 3 with driver?" By the numbers it was the shortest course the USGA has had in

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

Merion post-mortem: Kudos to Matt, staff and volunteers

We at TurfNet intentionally stayed away from Merion Golf Club during Open week, anticipating adequate coverage from the regular turfies as well as near-manic '#Twysteria' from the cub reporters new on the scene.   Somebody had to stay home and tend to the rest of the turf industry.     We saw little need to further clog up the maintenance area, tweet more images of "the fairway mowers going out!!!" or burden Matt Shaffer with yet another interview request.   But wait... Matt! What a class

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

The "green" part of greenkeeping...

A well-tended putting surface can make or break a golf course. At Mount Juliet, we place our greens at the top of our priority list. And it for this reason that our course has such a great reputation, and holds up so well, even in the cold and the rain. Golfers may fight the elements, but not the greens. The first step in green maintenance is mowing, but here at Mount Juliet, topdressing is what sets up the rest of the schedule for greens maintenance.   Topdressing is done by hand with shove

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

A trip up the east coast...

After four hours went by on a bus up the eastern coast of Ireland, I finally got a glimpse of Dundalk. A small town just a few miles south of the border of Northern Ireland, and home to a festival I was invited to this past weekend called The Tain March, a reenactment of a famous Irish saga, which includes a trek through the countryside, and a battle between two warriors. The town is on the coast, and has the Mourne Mountains overlooking from the north. I made my way to a B&B called GlenGat

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Given Any Thought To Career Change?

If changing careers or early retirement has crossed your mind lately, perhaps you should take a look at the Top 3 Post-Golf Course Superintendent Careers as listed by Rockbottum Country Club TV.   NOTE:  Here At The Rock, our definition of "early retirement" means quitting work any time prior to being frog-marched off the golf course at gunpoint.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Mindful Choices...

This week I watched with a combination of fascination and horror as our own Michael Stachowicz continued to navigate the minefield of the post private club blues. If you have not read any of Michael's writing, you should. It's thoughtful, well written and (unfortunately for some) brutally honest. It is basically a post apocalyptic account of working within the political confines of a very stereotypical private golf club in America.   His latest post on a blog he created to promote solidarity w

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Fixin' Golf Point #7: Bring The Excitement Back

My relationship with golf goes back to 1958, when as a toddler, I walked into Auntie Grizz's vicious backswing and broke a jaw tooth in half.   There was no permanent damage, yet Auntie was devastated by the amount of blood.  Things looked bad at first, but after I managed to scrub the blood off and remove those little fragments of tooth, her beloved Louise Suggs 2-wood wasn't even scratched.   Golf in '58 was exciting for me, what with all the blood and running and screaming and Arnie and H

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

The Art of “Cutting a Cup”

My task each morning this week was to cut cups. Like most courses we cut new cups every day at Mount Juliet, but one crew member is chosen to cut cups for the whole week. This allows that person to pick their own spots, and remember them throughout the week, so that proper rotation of traffic around holes is met. I'll first take you through my philosophy for choosing the correct placement of a cup, and then guide you through how check for a perfect finished product.     A great example of t

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Week In Review, End of May, 2013

I took some random notes this past week. Not that I don't know what I do, but the thought occurred to me that some people don't know that much about what I do and might find it interesting. Or, perhaps they may just think that what they thought was true may not be at all. Or... well, perhaps it means nothing...!   How about some stats:   Miles Driven: 1,278 Gallons Fuel Burned: 74 Texts Sent/Received: 227 Emails Received: 374 Phone Min Used: 737 Crappy Road Meals: 11 Starbucks Stops: 9

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Golf Course Priorities

Do you have your Golf Course Priorities in order?     Which comes first, the golf course, your career, your family or fishing while drinking high quality beer?  Or do all those factors intersect in your life like a complex trig equation?   Do you put agronomics in front of economics?   Are you as confused as we are?   If so, watch carefully as Buddy explains . . . something, we're just not sure what.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

A day off in Kilkenny...

This past weekend brought some great weather, and with it, my first two days off work. On Saturday, I thought I would explore Kilkenny. I caught the train in Thomastown, and in just ten minutes, I arrived in Cill Chainnigh. (Gaelic for Kilkenny) Founded in 1609, Kilkenny is the largest city in the county of Kilkenny, and is home to over 24,000 people. Kilkenny has a fair amount of tourist activity, but the only attraction I knew about was the castle in the center of town on the river Nore.   T

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

All you need is…

There are times in your life when for one reason or another you are able to step outside the normal craziness and see things from a different angle. You know the times I'm speaking of you're out on the course first thing in the morning, everything is piercingly quiet, and the universe just feels right. Life becomes clearer and your priorities suddenly come into sharper focus. Last weekend was one of those times for me.   It started last Thursday, when we received the tragic news that my brothe

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

The Two Types of Green Speeds

In Point 6 of The Rockbottum CC Plan To Fix Golf, (yes, I know we skipped Point 5, but it's taking a long time to complete) Buddy explains the Two Types of Green Speeds.   Type One is the measured speed of ball roll.     Type Two is the speed of the green's playability.     Some of the fastest greens have the slowest Type Two readings, due to the dreaded Ping-Pong Effect, Downhill Yip Syndrome and *Reduced Cup-ability.    *NOTE:  During periods of increased green speeds for member tourna

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Arena Golf

I had the rare experience of being able to watch golf over Mothers Day weekend. The Players is not my favorite event for two reasons. One the golf course is quirky and two for me it is to golf what Arena Football is to real football-a total "air game"   I guess I am old-fashioned and like to see more football and golf played closer to the ground. The spectacle of flying the ball high in the air and the drama of seeing plunk off a retaining wall and land in the water. I bet when Pete Dye drew u

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

It's Okay to Ask...

There was a Ted Talk recently by Amanda Palmer, a musician who has made her way by not being afraid to ask for help.  By depending on her fans for a place to crash and eat while on tour, she developed a very loyal following. She gives her tunes away for free, asking only for a little help along the way to offset the costs of production. Her talk tells of the intimate connection that is developed between people when one is not afraid to ask, and the other is not afraid to answer.     Her mes

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Road trip!

After a week in Thomastown, my landlady thought this would be the perfect time to take me on a short day trip to see a little more of Ireland. We journeyed south to Hook Lighthouse just outside of the small town of Churchtown in County Wexford.  Hook Lighthouse is over 800 years old, and is the oldest working lighthouse in the world. We took a tour of the lighthouse, and I got some scrambling time in on the cliffs surrounding the lighthouse.     I have certainly visited lighthouses in Michi

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

Golf Course Patrol

Golf has changed.  The ball is different.  It stays in the air much longer than ever before.  Grooming standards have changed.  Golfer expectations have changed.   The golfer's equipment is highly advanced, as is the equipment used to prepare the course for play.   The game is infuriatingly slow now.  In the time we once played 36 holes, it's a struggle to get in 18.   Perhaps the one area that hasn't changed is in the way we interact with golfers on the course--maybe that's the weak link.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Terrorism, Turfhead Style

"Have you lost your f**king mind?" The voice said as it roared out of the office. I was 5 minutes early for my meeting with Superintendent Z. It was clear that something was wrong.   "Well, answer me, a**hole", the rant continued. And I recognized the voice of the superintendent as I wisely stayed away from the view of the doorway. "F**king dumbass. I mean really, you must be the worst damn employee on any golf course, anywhere". Not mincing any words here, clearly (and these are actual quotes

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Arrival in Ireland, golf and a new home for the summer...

As anyone who had traveled to Europe from the US knows, flights there are usually overnight affairs. Despite all the advice to get some sleep on the flight over, I only slept for an hour as the excitement of  my upcoming adventure kept me awake.  After clearing customs and a short ride to my airport hotel I headed immediately to Rush Golf Club for a round of golf with Course Superintendent Eddie Donlon.   Rush Golf Club is a nine-hole course, but has an alternate set of tees on each hole to al

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

The Flip Side...

Okay, now that you have a few more holes in your vocabulary because of last weeks post (Speak No Evil), it's time we start to talk about filling the voids. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort... just choose one word to focus on and use it a little more often.   As with many things, the more you focus on something, the more things like it start to show up in your life.   Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so he is." Publilius Syrus   Words, phrases and actions can work

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

A great opportunity...

Welcome to my blog. My name is Carson Letot, and I am a senior at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I am a double major in Crop and Soil Science with a concentration in Turfgrass Science, and Environmental Studies in Agriscience with a concentration in teaching, and a minor in Biology.   In layman's terms, the crop and soil science degree is for golf course management, and the environmental studies degree is for teaching environmental sciences in secondary education.   My

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

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