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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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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

Next-Gen Range Maintenance

Next-Gen Range Maintenance

It’s safe to say that majority of golf courses around the world have a driving range on property, and this is responsibility for the greenkeeping staff and proshop staff to maintain. It’s very common for the clubhouse/proshop workers to collect the range balls to be reused and allow the greenkeepers to maintain the turf on the range. Here at Great Northern Golf Club, we have a high-tech GPS-based robotic system that can do both! I met up with our club Head Pro, Søren Hansen, to take a

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

European Cuisine

European Cuisine

First things first. I am an awful cook. I belong on the opposite side of Gordon Ramsey and Paula Deen on the spectrum of the culinary arts.  Upon leaving the U.S.A., I realized that my easy days of running to a McDonalds or Chick Fil A for a meal were coming to an end. Within the first couple of weeks, I struggled to feed myself, because I never learned how to cook. I had gotten so spoiled with fast-food and my parents feeding me. I’m embarrassed to say, I may have only used a stove to

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Let’s Do This!

Let’s Do This!

Welcome to the TurfNet Members Trip to Ireland blog for 2018. We’re starting early to allow the blog to explain the details of the trip. We also want allow for additional participants/sign ups in the wake of one of the most difficult seasons in which to maintain turfgrass. Have a look and consider joining us on a “trip of a lifetime.” Dates: Thursday, October 11th (Leave the US) and return Saturday, October 20th, 2018. You are welcome to extend the trip on the front or back end on your own.

Jon Kiger

Jon Kiger

Ydnar's Tales of Golf Course Vengeance

Ydnar's Tales of Golf Course Vengeance

August's Guest Columnist is Ydnar, Randy's dark side Doppelganger with a penchant for payback.   In the olden days, before the cult of Customer Servitude came to power with their warm fuzzy fantasy seminars, customers were dealt with according to their level of honor and integrity.   Then, things changed.  A new CS doctrine emerged, born in a classroom environment, with an eye toward making money off of big corporations for social engineering training sessions.  Over-complexified and h

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Irrigation Irritation!

Irrigation Irritation!

I don’t mean to imply that I dislike irrigation by titling this blog “Irrigation Irritation.” In fact, I love irrigation. I was introduced to the turf industry at the age of 16 when I helped install an HDPE system at Mountain Lake Country Club in Lake Wales, Florida.  16 year old Parker getting after it on the skidsteer! Here’s me plowing some 6-inch mainline back in 2015. Here at Great Northern, we have a Rain Bird HDPE system. The entire system is high-

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Scottish Open: Experience of a lifetime

Scottish Open: Experience of a lifetime

I had worked six professional tournaments before adding the recent Scottish Open as number 7. Of them, the Scottish is definitely at the top of my list.  The event was held at Gullane (pronounced Gull'-in) Golf Club on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth in East Lothian, on the east coast of Scotland.  Planted right along the North Sea, the golf course sat upon cliffs overhanging beautiful native landscapes and rocky shores. Gullane Golf Club is home to great links golf, great people,

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

It takes a village... (or a small town, anyway)

It takes a village... (or a small town, anyway)

It's been a tough year or so for my 60-ish friends. Last Thanksgiving long-time TurfNet member and one of my best personal friends, Jerry Coldiron, left us way too soon, at 60, of cardiac arrest. Shortly after Valentine's Day it was an 18-year stalwart on our TurfNet hockey team, Tom Morris CGCS (ret), at 61. They thought it was the flu but turned out to be spinal meningitis, source unknown, four days soup to nuts. Went to bed and didn't wake up. Again, way too young. We just arr

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

10 Years Serving You:  How Playbooks Helps

10 Years Serving You: How Playbooks Helps

2018 marks Playbooks for Golf’s 10th year in business, and it has been my busiest year yet. Through those years, we have morphed from a basic map company to a full-fledged software and website provider. I would like to personally thank all superintendents who we have served over these first 10 years, I am grateful every day that I can be a small part of your operation and this industry. It’s a tough job being a superintendent and I’m glad to assist where needed. While serving you, the consi

Matt Leverich

Matt Leverich

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Most of you know that I am a fan of meditation. We have discussed it here on more than a few occasions (the art of the pause, silence is golden). Recently I passed a personal milestone with my practice: 100 consecutive days. I have been practicing for a lot longer than that but decided to make a conscious effort this year to make daily meditation a habit.  Like any behavioral change a little positive reinforcement can go a long way. There are lots of different mediums and types of meditatio

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

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