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Some good luck at Croke Park...

As I counted up the days I had left to explore Ireland, I realized that the chances of getting up to Croke Park in Dublin to see the field and a game of Gaelic football were dwindling. But, just as I was losing hope, I saw a Facebook post from the GCSAI about open slots for volunteers for the match day on Saturday. Immediately, I contacted the organizer of the volunteers and I got a spot on the volunteer crew.   That was the easy part.   Getting to the stadium on game day proved more difficu

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

The Secret of The Twiffer

Once upon a time, there was a strangeness that crept into golf course land.     No, this isn't the story about the olden times when the club pro was paid more than the GCS, that wasn't strange, that was just crazy.   This particular strangeness happened not long ago and somebody at Rockbottum CC might have been neck-deep in the whole mess . . .    Watch this short film if you want to understand The Twiffer.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Figuring Out The Old Stuff at Claremont

I recently got the opportunity to work on one of the most interesting projects I've ever had a chance to be a part of.   You may not know about Claremont Country Club in Oakland, California, and that's a shame. Claremont is a cool old Mackenzie design that is short, but one of the funnest rounds you'll ever have. And challenging too. I'd play there every day if they'd let me. They never will, but it's a nice dream to have. Recently restored to amazing original glory at the hands of Jim Urbina

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Coby Guys

As the staff at Oak Hill Country Club, outside of Rochester, NY prepares for the PGA Championship under the leadership of Jeff Corcoran, there is a smile on Bob Emmon's face. Mr. Emmons as we all knew him was the turfgrass professor for almost 30 years at the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, in Cobleskill, NY.--try and google that place!   Corcoran will join a long and growing list of superintendents who have hosted Majors. Mark Michaud at Peb

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

Information overload and sensory flashbacks...

Music used to be a HUGE part of my life, at least on the listening end. All encompassing, enveloping, everywhere.  Massive stereo system, an entire wall of electronics and a library of vinyl.   Fast-forward 40 years or so and the vinyl and high-end audio components have been replaced with an iPad, a Bose SoundDock and a Sonos Play5 system for wireless streaming from Pandora or my iPad. (The Sonos was a gift rather than an investment of my own.) My CDs are either scratched from the car and toss

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Defending the course from more than pests and disease...

From the first day of the season till the last, turf managers are always on the lookout for signs of forces trying to take over the course. This can range from grubs in the soil to dollar spot spreading across a fairway. Sometimes, however, we have to look at defending on other fronts.   At Mount Juliet, high traffic has started to show its teeth. Normally, golfers keep the buggies on the cart path and pull into rough from time to time to chase an errant shot. But this week we found evidence o

Carson Letot

Carson Letot

 

A Fresh Perspective

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind". It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject - even when studying at an advanced level - just as a beginner in that subject would. (Wikipedia) This is a concept that I always try to keep in mind. It's difficult because the ego really gets off on being an "expert".  It's fun to set a goal, work hard to accomplish it, and bask in the glory of making it to the top of the mou

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

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

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