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Shine a light...

Shine a light...

One of the fundamental truths of life as a human being is that, no matter what, we all suffer. Whether physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety or another factor... episodic or chronic... some measure of it is unavoidable. The level or degree ebbs and flows, but at some point we all encounter it. How we engage and relate to this inevitable suffering can be one of the keys to living a balanced life. As golf course superintendents, our jobs require total immersion if we are to be successf

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Rockbottum Radio: Rockbottum Common Sense and other good stuff...

Rockbottum Radio: Rockbottum Common Sense and other good stuff...

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, Randy explores Skeletal Golf Theory (SGT) and why it's important (think "Contingency Plan"). Also, Rockbottum gets a corporate makeover, the truth about collecting and weighing clippings, and that "new" spray out there. Finally, a consultant story, the winner of the Turpentine Corncob Award, and in Storytime, a tale from the days when golf courses were closed on Mondays. Be sure to check out this jam-packed podcast and catch up with all the lat

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Anthony Pioppi with Michael Vessely of Culver Academies Golf Course: A Picasso in the Attic

Anthony Pioppi with Michael Vessely of Culver Academies Golf Course: A Picasso in the Attic

In this episode of the TurfNet Renovation Report, host Anthony Pioppi chats with Michael Vessely about the 2016 renovation of the long-fallow William Langford/Theodore Moreau 9-hole golf course at Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.   Vessely, now golf course superintendent at Culver Academies, explains how the "Picasso was discovered in their attic" and Bobby Weed and Chris Monti brought in to spearhead a complete recovery/restoration project. And there's a Dye connection as well!

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp: Reaching future equilibrium

Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp: Reaching future equilibrium

In yet another fascinating discussion, Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp, brings us up to speed on the current state of the golf industry.   In an era of flat is the new up, 2017 was a "solid sideways" for golf. Some metrics, however, are indicating that the slide of recent years is abating somewhat. How long will it take for supply, demand, playable hours and other factors to reach an equilibrium of health and vitality for the industry?   What can we learn from tennis and ski

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Diversity Abounds...

Diversity Abounds...

Several years ago, when I started as the Head Groundskeeper at Drury University, I came into a campus that was one dimensional and lacked meaningful diversity in any terms. The campus was comprised mostly of shade trees and turfgrass. Having recently worked at a municipal Springfield park that was abundantly planted and had been growing in for seven years (post installation), I was taken aback by the stark appearance of the campus. This is not to say it didn't look well-tended or thoughtfully la

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

Busy, busy with aeration, applications and topdressing

Busy, busy with aeration, applications and topdressing

This past week at Great Northern, the talk was all about the aerification and topdressing we've been doing. After a long couple of days of hollow-tining greens, the crew worked really hard all day and got a few essential things done for post-aerification. A few of the guys were sent out to push-spread Greenmaster Pro Lite 14-5-10 fertilizer with some magnesium. Magnesium is just as essential as nitrogen for turfgrass to produce the chlorophyll molecule. John Cunningham, from Irel

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Cosmic Payback or Fudgie Will Get You

Cosmic Payback or Fudgie Will Get You

What follows is a classic tale of Cosmic Payback, visited upon the truly deserving.  Because my readers are highly educated, I am using the term, Cosmic Payback.  If I was writing for golfers, I would use the easier to understand, "Fudgie will get you." Our story begins with a golfer who was mysteriously inflicted with a demonic obsession to bedevil Winston, a Golf Course Superintendent. Winston is one of the great ones, a hard working, drive-on kind of fellow achieving legendary statu

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Time to start!

Time to start!

My official first day of work at Great Northern was Tuesday, May 15th. The first few days that I was in Denmark prior to that got a little boring, considering I had no way of getting around town except walking, and I was eager to get to work. The solution for me was to help out over the weekend before my official start date, so I jumped in with the aerification crew late one evening. I shoveled the cores until 9:00 that night, which isn't as bad as it sounds because the sun sets at 9:30!

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Employment Contracts, Part 3: What to Include in the Contract

Employment Contracts, Part 3: What to Include in the Contract

Guest Post by Greg Wojick In the first two parts of this series, we have reviewed the obstacles to contracts and how you can sell the idea to your club. This final part will provide you with a detailed roadmap on what should be included in the actual contract. When you get the go-ahead on the contract, your next step is to be sure that it covers all the bases. Here's a basic checklist based on industry standards along with lessons learned and a few cautionary tales from superintendents

Greg Wojick, CGCS

Greg Wojick, CGCS

The City That Never Sleeps

The City That Never Sleeps

To work in Denmark, anyone from another country needs either a work visa or a residence/work permit. As I will be spending only three months overseas, I only need a temporary residence permit. For Americans, these are available only in major cities. Living in South Carolina, my best option for the mandatory visa appointment was the VFS Global office in New York City. VFS Global is worldwide company that does outsourcing and technology services for governments and diplomatic missions. I

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Dr. Bill Kreuser: Clipping yield and managing turfgrass growth

Dr. Bill Kreuser: Clipping yield and managing turfgrass growth

In this episode, my old pal Dr. Bill Kreuser of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln returns for another visit to the Frankly Speaking virtual studio. We have a fascinating discussion about the current knowledge base about measuring clipping yield, GDD modeling, PGR use and managing for consistent turfgrass growth and optimal turfgrass health.   Is the "one-third rule" valid, or completely bogus? What happens at 50%? Where is the optimal interface of mowing height and frequency? How to u

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Anthony Pioppi with restoration pro Ron Forse...

Anthony Pioppi with restoration pro Ron Forse...

In this episode of the TurfNet Renovation Report, host Anthony Pioppi talks with golf course architect Ron Forse of Forse Design, Inc., about his restoration of classic (and renovation of some modern) golf courses, and the role of the superintendent in a renovation project.   What defines a good superintendent during a restoration or renovation project? Hint: He or she is the "hub of the wheel".   Tony and Ron wind up chatting about golf course archaeology, including the Seth

Anthony Pioppi

Anthony Pioppi

Southern boy off to Denmark!

Southern boy off to Denmark!

Welcome to the life of Parker Stancil! I am a 19-year-old turf student at Horry Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach, SC. With the exception of living in Florida for one summer, South Carolina has been home to me for my entire life. I'm very proud to be southern, but this summer I'm going Danish! I am no stranger to golf course maintenance. Since the age of 16, I have volunteered at six professional golf tournaments and I've worked on four golf courses prior to this summer's TurfNet

Parker Stancil

Parker Stancil

Decomplexification:  A Skeletal Golf Theory Film

Decomplexification: A Skeletal Golf Theory Film

It's growing season and everyone has the throttle rammed to the wall.  This is usually when we produce short goofy films with subliminal messages . . . because there is little time for jocularity. But, as of now, time is critical.  This film, "Decomplexification" is too important to hold until the first hard freeze.  *WARNING!  This film contains CLASSIFIED golf operations material.  Do NOT allow members, clubhouse personnel or architecture forum posters access to this film.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Josh Saunders: Labor shortages, career experiences

Josh Saunders: Labor shortages, career experiences

In this episode of The Ladder, host John Reitman chats with Josh Saunders, superintendent at the Longue Vue Club in the Pittsburgh area. Saunders laments some of the challenges of hiring staff in his area: hours, weekends, and opioids... his quests for interns and assistants... tapping into new demographics... putting a hard sell on the industry as a career... the lure of tournament golf on a resume... and how agronomy over time yields to management of budget, membership and assistants.  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

A Shepherd’s Life

A Shepherd’s Life

Every now and again a book comes along that really connects with people close to you. Originally from an uncle, given to my mother in law, then passed to my son and then my wife, the book by James Rebanks has made the family rounds. As my wife Jill finished reading it, she turned to me in bed and stated, "You have to read this. You will get it. There are so many parallels between his life and yours."   The work tells the story of a forgotten way of life in the Lake District of the nort

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Larry Nelson won the '87 PGA because of... me

Larry Nelson won the '87 PGA because of... me

It's Storytime.   My personal record for running off golf pros is 13, if you count my getting Dad fired twice.  The first time was an accident, but the second time was more Dad's fault.  He should have run a background check on me.  I hit a real winning streak in my forties, with seven pros abdicating their crown during a ten year period. The one pro I wanted to stay, however, was Larry Nelson and I think he left because of me.  (Actually, Larry was a Pro Golfer, not a golf pro.)  I ha

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Employment Contracts Part 2: Selling The Idea of a Contract

Employment Contracts Part 2: Selling The Idea of a Contract

Guest post by Greg Wojick In the first part of this series posted last month, we covered the obstacles that contracts can encounter. So just how do you go about selling the idea of an employment contract to your green committee and board? As the other industry experts and superintendents I spoke to will agree: Its all in how you market yourself and the mutually beneficial rewards of having a contract. To start: Approach the idea of a contract when the course is at its bes

Greg Wojick, CGCS

Greg Wojick, CGCS

It’s My Baby

It’s My Baby

There is an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry takes his car to his mechanic for a knocking noise. After the mechanic determines the problem with the car, he tells Jerry the adjustments the car needs in order to operate at its maximum level. Jerry thinks these repairs are overkill and tells the mechanic that he will take the car elsewhere. At this point the mechanic steals the car rather than let it continue to be operated by an owner who does not value it adequately. He rebukes Jerry, "You don't e

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn

What's your story? Uhhh...

What's your story? Uhhh...

A few years back my wife and I attended the annual dinner meeting of the Passamaquoddy Yacht Club, of which we were new members. Sounds kind of snooty, doesn't it? Ahhh, names often belie the true nature of things. The Passamaquoddy Yacht Club is half sailing organization and half social club. Its locale is a triangle of ports (Eastport and Lubec, Maine, and Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, where our summer place is located) near the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, off the Bay of Fu

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

Rockbottum Analytica... and a recon to that new pinball golf place

Rockbottum Analytica... and a recon to that new pinball golf place

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, live from somewhere in the TurfNet Zone, the Gang makes a field trip to one of those newfangled bowling alley honky-tonk disco pinball golf places, while attempting to answer the question of how much PGR is required to shrink a green chairman's ego. After a lesson in General George S. Patton tactics, and an interruption from the seniors group playing 2-Man Worst Ball, and before announcing the winner of the Turpentine Corncob Award, the topic of how wres

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

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