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About this blog

Randy and the gang at Rockbottum Country Club pontificate on Rockbottum wisdom and skeletal golf, among other madness.

Entries in this blog

Varmints, Skunks, and Idiots

While shooting the Sewanee film, we noticed quite a bit of SKUNK damage on the fairways.  Our past research indicates Varmints come out in force during a drought, digging for tasty grubs, complaining about hard fairways and bemoaning the lack of lush green turf. To help any TN members who might be experiencing Skunk Pestilence, we hastily pulled our Varmint Training film out of the Rockbottum Vault and re-edited it to remove the stupid parts.  (That pretty much gutted the entire film, so we

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Skeletal Golf Series

Skeletal Golf, in several forms, has long been the foundation for the success of Rockbottum Country Club* and the Wilson Golf Dynasty.   The concept of SG is more applicable in hard times than during the euphoric boom time, and given the economic signals emanating from on high...  this might be a good time for those involved in the mid- to lower-level of golf to consider a contingency plan or two. Since leaving the military, I have spent more time studying economics than turf — probabl

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Stop Making That Awful Coffee

As an unrepentant "Caffiend", I'm an expert on awful, terrible coffee.  From instant decaf that tasted like battery acid, to orderly room coffee* in the military, I have suffered it all.  *(ORC is brewed continuously for 24 hours, bubbling like a caldron in a Bill Shakespeare story.) On a dark, snowy night while crossing over the Brenner Pass, I sampled espresso for the first and last time, a black, bitter, teeth-chattering experience.  In the field--during my Army vacation from turf--I tot

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Poisoned by Too Much Screen Time? Enter the UNSOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS

This week's guest author is Ludell Hogwaller.   My name is Ludell and I suffer from TMST.   Last week, I was the guest of honor at an exorcism, carried out by the Rockbottum elite, Chet Lester, Ydnar, Aint Feemy and Bubba.  They intended to excise my Luddite tendencies, citing my refusal to own a "smart" phone as the primary problem.   Apparently, I have angered the flock, because I won't take photos dripping with extreme narcissism, seek peer approval by "following" others, stagger around

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Steve Ventola and The Course at Sewanee

Tucked away on a rugged mountain in Tennessee is a very special golf course.  Like many courses from the early days of golf in America, The Course at Sewanee looks and feels like it could have been a setting in a golf fairy tale.     Renovated by Gil Hanse in 2013, Sewanee is in the exceptionally capable hands of golf course superintendent Steve Ventola.     We found the course almost too good to be real; rugged and natural, while running firm, fast and dry in the right places, it's in Steve

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Don't Follow Your Passion?

(Trigger Warning:  The following is a Ydnar rant, not a safe space.)   Yesterday, I was busy deleting emails, wiping the hard drive with a cloth, and I found a directive from an Alphabet Agency instructing me to read an article from Bloomberg entitled, "Following Your Passion Is Not A Career Goal".   I was puzzled.  Why would these folks suggest a philosophy that runs counter to what is needed to survive as a golf course superintendent?  Did they not read the article?  Perhaps the title soun

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Avoiding The End Of Civilization

Originally, this post was intended to be an intelligent, thoughtful column about modern day golf course operations in the face of a changing economic environment, but then Wilber goes and writes some epic piece on Karma and Kevin Ross shocks everyone with his retirement and Paul MacCormack pens a zenful story about Chris Tritabaugh and the Ryder Cup, so . . .   I decided to wait until everything settled down and the afterglow wore off before I publish my masterpiece.  In the meantime, I'll jus

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Mystery of Pollinator Decline Solved!

Although our research is still in the infantile stage, we are releasing our Pollinator Decline findings early, to increase our chances of winning one of those environmental awards.    The following film will reveal just how far we will go in the name of science . . . and winning trophies.   (And you thought we were just a bunch of imbeciles.)         

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Verticutters Reunion Tour 2017

We are aware of how you watch Rockbottum Country Club films.  You like to binge watch on cold, wet, winter days.   That's why we rely on really short films during growing season and offer the lengthier films after the hard frost creeps south.   In keeping with that strategy, we thought this would be a good time to announce The Verticutters going out on tour next year by playing a few of our greatest hits.          

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

I Was Almost Killed For Not... Listening

When I was young, I suffered from the delusion of indestructibility, triggered by hormones and too many Roy Rogers movies.  While Roy offered good advice, all I seemed to absorb involved fist fights and six-guns. Years later, I was offered the most valuable bit of wisdom I would ever receive and those same hormones almost caused me to ignore it at a critical moment.  I would have surely died had this knowledge been delivered by an ordinary man, but fortunately for me, it was spoken by a grizz

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Rockbottum Ideas Stolen . . . Again!

With the recent announcement of a major university conducting experiments in pest control using sonic waves, Rockbottum CC is forced to cry "FOUL"!   Once again, we are expected to sit quietly as others take credit for our forays into futurism and what has been called "golf sci-fi".   Well, not this time.  We are releasing proof of our earliest sonic pest control--and not just with something harmless like nematodes, but truly fearsome beasts.      

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Pollinator Dilemma

Dr. James Rittenhouse, noted pollinator researcher, is beginning to gain national attention with his controversial bee/hornet/butterfly/hummingbird/buzzard DNA swaps.     In the following short film, Dr. Rittenhouse interacts with one of his subjects.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Infamous "Tweety Bird Incident"

Have you ever had a protected employee (PE) you couldn't get rid of?  I had several, beginning in '72 with Mickey, a lifeguard who drew a paycheck all winter, courtesy of our maintenance budget.  Mickey was such a great lifeguard that he earned 20 hours a week during the off-season, appearing only to collect his check.   Dad wanted Mickey to help with tree work during the winter, but the owners insisted Mickey was a PE because he taught Sunday School and also was excellent at car washing.  Eve

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

This Grass Could Save Us... Okay, A Few Of Us

Bermuda grass, more commonly known by the scientific Latin designation "muda", (pronounced mooda) is my favorite grass.  After years of the "Walking Dead" lifestyle of BBA, (bent below Atlanta) experimenting with various fescues, poa triv, perennial ryes and zoysias, returning to muda was like a homecoming.   It was Tif Eagle that brought me back.  On the advice of Milton Abel, former GCS and current CEO of Classic Golf, I chose Tif Eagle for the giant greens at Rockbottum CC and it has been g

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Golfers Who Move Tee Markers

When I was a small child, one of my daily assignments was to move the tee markers--by hand--which I did with great enthusiasm.  (This was before I learned to nudge them along with the tee mower.)   For some mysterious reason, on Saturday mornings, the markers sometimes found their way back to their original slap worn-out position and the blame landed on me.  Upon further investigation, I discovered the culprits:  Gamblers.   Golfers who played for money wanted the course set up to their adv

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Excuses

From the archives of Superintendent News, April '03:  A collection of worker's excuses worth remembering.   I have fond memories of life as a GCS; working outside, playing golf, free turf advice from almost everyone and a nearly endless list of incredibly inventive worker's excuses.   TARDINESS "Sorry I'm late, Boss, but when I got home at dawn this morning, my wife started shooting at me with her .45 and--hear that?  See, I ain't lying, here she comes now."   "Not my fault I'm late.  Al

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Secrets To "Good" Greens

From the Rockbottum CC archives, first published in October of '05.   Since I probably will never again work in a supervisory position on a golf course, I have decided to reveal my most guarded trade secrets.  (No, not the special fungicide recipes I acquired from top Atlanta superintendents by means of industrial espionage.)   I'm referring to the survival secrets that allowed me to grow "good greens" in a difficult environment and remain well below the clubhouse complaint radar.   Before

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The HackerZapper

Are you fed up with golfers wearing those razor-wire spikes, refusing to keep all four tires on the path at greens and tees, and not repairing their ball craters?   Then do something about it.  Order the HackerZapper from Rockbottum CC today!  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Steve Mason, Sky Valley Georgia

Steve Mason, TurfNet member, is the golf course superintendent of Sky Valley Country Club, a stunningly beautiful "hidden gem" of a golf course, tucked into the mountains of Georgia at nearly 3500 feet.     Unlike many courses in the Appalachians, Sky Valley was skillfully positioned in the gentlest part of the valley and lacks the claustrophobic feel of a layout that was narrowly carved into the side of a mountain with dynamite.  The pastoral view of the valley is magnificent and alluring.  (

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

When Howling Mad Golfers Tried To Kill Me*

Have you ever found yourself fleeing through a heavily forested golf course at midnight, pursued by a mob of enraged golfers with guns?   It was the summer of '71.  Burnt Run CC (not the actual name) was a small town southern pseudo-country club inhabited mostly by good people, poor golfers, and rural socialites.  On one fateful night, something terrifying took place and the result was Dad's forcible abdication from his role as Burnt Run Pro/GCS/GM/F&B and Recreation Director.   Prior to

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson


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