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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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Against the grain...

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain   Stepping outside the norm and taking real chances in life is tough. It takes profound courage  to evaluate the status quo, decide on a completely new course of action and then take the leap.   From time to time towing the line is the wisest action... but sometimes you just have to walk to the edge of the cliff and jump.   Our society is set up totally against this notion. All of

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Why I’m Lucky To Know Great Turfheads

It's been a crazy few weeks.    GIS Sales Rodeo. The Resulting Post GIS Illness. Many Road Miles. Oh, and the Big One.    That's right, the Big One. The Sierra Pacific Spring Symposium. Wherein the amazing organization that I work with puts on two amazing days of education, hang time and golf.   My marketing counter-part, Dean Kinney and I pretty much do this whole thing. Administratively we each look in the mirror and tell our assistants what to do. And our assistants speak back with the

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

500 Applicants For One GCS Job?

A few days ago, I heard about a course in Georgia that received 500 applications for a superintendent position.  That's some serious competition, the same kind of numbers one would find trying to survive the selection process for an elite special ops unit in the American military. There's a secret to succeeding against those odds and I know what it is.  I witnessed the brutal attrition rate of the aforementioned selection process several times and eventually realized the one trait that all th

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

What Then?

Methiozolin, currently trade named PoaCure, from Moghu Research Center in Korea could be a game changer. Doctor S.J. Koo, lead scientist and Cornell University Ph.D. may have in fact found a "cure" for annual bluegrass invasion. The question are we ready for this cure.   There is no question in my mind that it has the kind of selective herbicidal activity as both a preemergence and postemergence product to affect meaningful changes in populations on greens, tees and fairways. It appears to be

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

Grassroots

"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.  It is a trick, no more than a shadow on the wall," George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings   I could not get this quote out of my head last week while attending our local association's conference and trade show. It was a great show, but it struck me that while we may believe that the power to educate in our industry lies within the USGA, the suppliers, the salesmen, the agronomists or the university professors... it  lies in our h

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

What's Going to Happen to Your Staff?

I love golf course maintenance workers. I mean, really, who is better than a great Greenkeeper? You take an A player Section Guy or Operator who really really knows their job and you have one amazing person who contributes to the game in the most positive ways and most golfers will never understand. Someone amazing enough to pipe a 300-yard long straight line on a mower, or to prep a green complex with absolute perfection in the near dark, is, to me, a total rock star to be appreciated in every

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

The Return of Ydnar

Ydnar, Randy's evil twin, somehow managed to extricate himself from the GCS Retirement Home and Asylum, several years before completing his sentence, and arrived at Rockbottum eager to deliver the thesis that earned him a PH.d (Post Hole Digger) while he was incarcerated at the GCSRH&A.   Ydnar's thesis is entitled, "The 10 Point Plan For Fixin' Golf" and while he personally delivers the first two points, we will have to finish it for him, as some folks in black suits came during the tapin

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Strollin', trollin' and Baader-Meinhof

Have you ever noticed that once something catches your attention, similar things start popping up everywhere? When you buy a new car you start to see that model everywhere, or when your wife is pregnant, it seems as though every second woman you see is pregnant. There is a name for this phenomenon. Psychologists call it the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon, and as Alan Bellows explains, it was exactly what happened to me following my last blog post.    "Anytime the phrase 'That's so weird, I just hear

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Post GIS Planning Guide... for July

Here we go. The GIS Show Wrap Up. Lets go aisle by aisle and row by row and take a look at the best (and worst) of the GIS.   Yawn. Seriously?  No.   It's time to get Trade Show Sales Rodeo Season out of your head and Winter out of your fur. Agronomy. That's the mantra. Agronomy.   I live in an area where we have coastal, desert, mountain, transition and all the other flavors of climate. So the typical winter break for me is never typical. The 12-month season isn't for everyone. But neither i

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Plant Health Plant Smealth

Every year there is a theme to the commercial aspects of the Golf Industry Show. This year it was plant health. Not that anybody could actually tell what it is but rather I assume everyone figures if they keep saying plant health and we keep talking about plant health no one will need to actually say what plant health is. Plant health plant smealth.   Professor Bingru Huang of Rutgers University in the January 2012 issues of Golf Course Management said, "Healthy plants are better able to adapt

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

It's not for you...

Strolling through the turf blogs can reveal a ton of useful information. Most of it is turf related, but the odd time a useful little life lesson falls from the sky. You know one of these tidbits strikes a chord when you happen to come across the same link twice.   This week both Joe Wachter and Chris Tritabaugh posted a link to a blog posting from marketing guru Seth Godin (here it is: http://sethgodin.typ...t-the-joke.html)  The post dealt with the impossibility of pleasing everyone simultan

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Advice From The Skeletal Greenkeeper

Ludell Hogwaller, Rockbottum's Executive Film Producer and Cup Changer, recently decided to listen to suggestions from TurfNet Members and act upon the best ideas.   This is quite a change, as virtually none of the key people in management Here at The Rock, will listen to anyone on any topic.   Matt Jones, a GCS/GM who once worked at Rockbottum, (Matt was not the GCS here, his official title was DOGC, Destroyer of Golf Carts) made a recent demand for a weekly video advice column.   Ordinar

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

PAINLESS Golf Balls for Crew Safety

At Rockbottum CC, we are always looking for better, safer ways to manage the golf course.   Rockbottum's typically heavy play requires mowing during periods of peak play, so we have invested a great deal of time and effort in research intended to make the course safer for the crew.   Our current breakthrough in golfer/crew safety is the "PAINLESS" golf ball.   

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Loosening our grip and letting it go...

There once was a man hanging perilously from the edge of a cliff. Just above him paced a tiger, waiting to pounce if he climbed back up.   The man screamed, "Is there anyone out there that can help me?"   A calm voice replied, "How can I help?"   Startled, the man answered, "God, is that you?"   "Yes," God said.   "Can you help me out of this bind? I will do anything that you ask of me!"   God replied, "All you need to do is let go, all will be well."   The man thought for a moment

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Rockbottum Answers The Fairway Stimp Question with Golf Musical Theatre!

One of those terrible habits I can't shake involves reading as many golf related websites as possible, every day, like one of those CIA readers, as depicted in Robert Redford's "Three Days of The Condor".   I prowl the net, studying golf trends and fads, analyzing the direction we are sliding, pushed by pundits, manufacturers, experts, ruling bodies and the opinions of average golfers on various forums.   Usually, if I read something stupid, I just cackle and shake my head.  If it's really b

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Recommended Rockbottum Reading

When the cold winds blow and the golf course wanders in and out of suspended animation, we here at The Rock like to put a few hickory logs in the fireplace and recharge our minds and spirits for what summer will throw at us.     Cable TV has long been banished from the realm of Rockbottum, so our favorite winter evening activity involves reading near the fireplace, hot chamomile tea, warm homemade bread and quiet music.   Our reading music is typically Ralph Vaughn Williams or George Winston

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Silence is golden...

All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." —  Blaise Pascal   While reflecting on last weeks post, 'The Art of the Pause', it struck me that for most of us, deciding to sit still would be the easy part. What happens next becomes the real challenge. Try it right now. Just close your eyes and sit still for about a minute. I'll wait...   Uh, I'm somewhere where I don't know where I am." — Homer Simpson   How long did you last before your mind start

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Top Ten Day

What a great start to the year. I'm at the age now where both my close colleagues and college buddies, begin to get recognized for their lifetime achievements. My great honor was to be in the room on the same day that this happened to both of these people in my life. A Top Ten Day indeed!   Left my house at 3:4am to get to the area just north of NYC by 8am. On most days no problem to make it in 4, this time heavy snow and wind for all but about 50 miles of 230 mile trip-6 hrs.  John Carlone, m

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

I Was Wrong About Local Associations

A while back I attended a local chapter meeting. I hadn't been to one in a long time as I was at the height of travel everywhere but where I live. I'd been a chapter board member of this and another chapter as a superintendent, but my role as consultant meant my reclassification. So I really wasn't sure if I belonged at a Super's Association Meeting. And this was in the time before commercial sponsorship were the more sorted out thing that they seem to be today.   So in my spare time I wrote a

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

The Art of the Pause...

How often do you find yourself running around like the proverbial headless chicken and really not accomplishing much? We all have those days now and again, but what I am talking about here is when lack of focus interferes with our ability to perform our duties. Our jobs are stressful at times, no doubt, but a full plate shouldn't prevent us from pausing occasionally to clear our thoughts. We accomplish much more with a measure of clarity than with muddled thinking. So, if you find yourself f

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

 

Best And Worst GCS Hobby #6

The Best and Worst GCS Hobby #6 has been hidden on the shelf for several months, due to issues of censorship and good taste.   However, since good taste is not really an issue with Ludell . . . and Momma is too busy running the golf course to oversee every single Rockbottum CC training film, we hurriedly present:   "Backpacking for the Golf Course Superintendent."   

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

 

Happy New Chemistry

We are entering the new year with many exciting trends in the turf chemical industry. Lower use rates, reduced risk, combination products, pigments and dyes, and of course plant health or induced systemic resistance.   Syngenta's move to include Acibenzolar (ASM) with Daconil (chlorothalonil) marked a major shift in thinking by one of the big three (Bayer, Syngenta, BASF). ASM is not a new molecule, in fact it has been widely used in the Ag market for several years. ASM has no measurable effec

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

 

Classic Golf Architecture and The Origins of Rockbottum CC

Due to a sudden increase in requests for more information on Rockbottum CC and Skeletal Greenkeeper Theory, I have decided to reveal how I became mired involved in this situation.   Note:  I will not divulge the actual name of Rockbottum, because I do not wish to use TurfNet to promote my architectural brilliance, but if you are a sharp-eyed video enthusiast, you may already know the true name.   Obsessed with golf architecture from an early age, mostly due to the strategic and tactical natu

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

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