Our lives are governed by stories. We have our personal ones, our family lore, the stories of our nations, and the stories of the world as a whole. These tales can tell us much about who we are as individuals, and if we can listen carefully we can use the narrative to create change for the better.
Unfortunately the people of the United States and the world are confronted with yet another tragic story, one which is all too familiar and laced with unimaginable pain and suffering. These events
In my quest to fix golf, I have found it necessary to spend time in the realm of negative energy, analyzing what is wrong with the modern game... in order to find a solution or two. I am not happy in the vacuum of negative space, but I will go there to help turn golf around.
A good example of 'negative energy' damaging golf is found in the way a few of the state golf associations set up their amateur tournaments.
A few days ago, an amateur qualifier was held on a revered old golf clu
As I write this post I am but a few scant hours away from getting three wisdom teeth yanked. I have had a virtually nonexistent relationship with my dentist over the past number of years, so it was not a great shock to learn that three of my chompers were to be banished from my mouth forever.
While I might lament my lost teeth, that is not the reason for telling you about them. I have found the behind the scenes story this week to be much more interesting. Its the story that the mind plays in
I'm a big fan of having the numbers before making the diagnosis. It just makes sense, really to try and eliminate guess work from a business that often fosters licking one's finger and sticking it in the air or throwing some grass blades in the wind to determine what shot to hit or application to make. We do bad things to ourselves with these actions.
But sometimes things are just too clear cut. Case in point, at a recent early morning meeting, I was asked to grab some soil samples to submit
Anyone who has been in the golf business for more than a few years knows the excitement about Masters Week. This marks the beginning of the golf season for many in spirit. For many superintendents it is also the beginning of the whining season.
It is not just the golfers who whine about the massive difference between Augusta National and their course, but many superintendents will lament that this week is the root of all the complaints they receive. It is such an important aspect of our live
Moving forward, we present Point 4 of the Rockbottum Country Club Ten Point Plan to Fix Golf.
To give you some idea of how such brilliant strategy is conceived, we recorded an entire brainstorming session, revealing our critical path method for coming up with a good idea.
(The various alphabet agencies, foundations and associations of golf would do well to study our method.)
Anyway, listen in on a high-level tactical planning meeting of the Rockbottum CC Brain Trust as they stand up
One of the main reasons I have enjoyed TurfNet so much over the years has been Randy Wilson. From the first time I read his musings to the initial video from the mythical 'Rockbottum Country Club', his wisdom and wit have been spot on. His ability to cut through the crap with humor is only superseded by his honesty about what it has meant for him to live the life of a greenkeeper. His recent post regarding the OSV (Off-Season Vacation) may be one of his best yet. It may not be the funniest or
We have all been there; upside down in a hole, trying to convince two pieces of pipe that they really were once connected. Or maybe you are in the garage trying to put together your latest purchase with instructions in some obscure Scandinavian language. The harder you try, the worse things become, until your frustration boils over. By this point the screw head is stripped or the valve is stuck harder than when you started, and you are using expletives unfit for boot camp.
What a difference a year makes across most of the US this Spring. Last year two-thirds of the continental US had already set at least three to as many five daily high temperature records. Some had even made their second app of annual bluegrass seedhead suppression. Obviously management by the calendar is not way to operate-we must pay attention if want precision.
Growing degree days (GDD) as a measure of heat accumulation is an easy way to add precision to your management. In simple terms, e
After GIS insanity and then the Sierra Pacific Spring Symposium my plan was to disappear to Mexico for a deep breath before summer Turfhead grillage begins. I don't do well with time off. It's a language I don't really speak. So this trip was designed to take my head out of the game. Week One was dropping into a small Mexican village known as a hippie escape. Yoga twice daily. Teaching what has become my new hobby, Energy and Bodywork in the evening. Minimal booze. Maximum sun. Week Two a bit
For as much as I preach the virtues of the GCS De-Stressor--the hobby or activity that releases job tension before, during or after the workday... I have only recently realized how guilty I have been of overlooking the most important De-Stressor: The OSV, or Off-Season Vacation.
I was one of those golf course superintendents who rarely took a vacation, preferring instead to squeeze in a day off here and there, letting the wife and kids go to the beach with other wives and kids, while I worke
Buddy steps up with Point 3 of Rockbottum's Ten Point Plan for Fixin' Golf.
Ease up on the average golfer -- the guy who pays the bills -- by reducing the rough, inverting a few bunkers and slowing the greens down a little bit.
Rockbottum music video follows, to help clear any unpleasant memories inflicted by Buddy's overly simplistic analysis.
I got a message from an old friend this week. I have not seen him much in the past twenty years even though we were best friends back in the day. He lives on the other side of the country now, but tells me he is coming home for a visit next weekend. I was thrilled with the news and it got me thinking about the power of friendships and the many great bonds that I have forged since becoming a greenkeeper.
Our industry is relatively unique in this regard. I have yet to work another job which ha
I posted a blog entry after the 2012 Barclays held on the Black Course at the Bethpage State Park and mentioned "set-up man extraordinaire" Rich Roble. Rich passed away on Friday after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
I'd known Rich for almost 15 years as a member of the Bethpage State Park staff. I can say with certainty he was the grumpiest perfectionist with the biggest heart I'd ever known. Rich was a native Long Islander born and raised around golf. He started as a really good pla
The USGA is, as Buddy would say, "On the horns of an enema" in the current Anchoring controversy.
Their very existence is being challenged and the only way the USGA can remain in the driver's seat is to stiffen their spine and stand up to the rebels.
At Rockbottum CC, we're pretty experienced at standing up to unruly ruffians and scofflaws.
Therefore, we would like to offer our support to the USGA with a re-mastered training video that explains how to put an end to the whole mess.
"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
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
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
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
"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
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
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