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About this blog

Paul MacCormack, Fox Meadow Golf Club, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Entries in this blog

The Real Deal...

The Ryder Cup was many things to many people, but for me it was the opportunity to see something up close that I have thought about a great deal. This blog has touched on many things and has hopefully created a balanced framework for many of us to look toward. But it wasn't until I got to spend a week at Hazeltine with Chris Tritabaugh and his crew, that I finally found what I have been searching for: a truly Mindful Superintendent. Chris embodies all of the traits that one would aim for if

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

LIVE from the Ryder Cup: Turf Gel

Beyond the spectacle, the perfect turf conditions and the insane merchandise tent, there is one thing that stands out more than anything else at this 41st edition of the Ryder Cup. It is community. It is the connection that only seems to come when greenkeepers, researchers, and industry representatives gather to work toward a common goal.   I got to spend some time with my fellow TurfNet contributor, Dr. Frank Rossi.   We have discussed the power of connection here on this blog before, (th

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

LIVE from the Ryder Cup: It won't be long now!

Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them... Lucy Maud Montgomery   This post will be the first in a "once on a lifetime event" series. The Mindful Superintendent is on the road this week in Chaska, Minnesota, volunteering with the world class turfgrass crew from Hazeltine National Golf Club. The 2016 Ryder Cup Matches take place here this week and to say I am looking forward to it would be a gross understatement.   While reflecting on our preparation for this exciting week, antici

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Life Hacks from a Mindful Super

When seeds are planted, the seedlings must be watered, nourished, and given room to grow. Just like humans, they require proper growing conditions and ongoing, loving maintenance.   When irrigation systems are new, they require a lot of training. Because they leak it takes a while to get used to the new pipes. As they age they become more unpredictable, leak more, and become much less "depend"-able.   After years of constant rolling, greens seal off and become hydrophobic. Aeration is necessary

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

For a limited time only...

This post may sound like a bit of a rant. Okay, it's a flat out rant a Wilberesque "if it did not happen in a research trial, it did not happen"-style rant, if you will.    My kids were asked by someone the other day if they were ready for school. It wasn't even August (unlike some parts of the southern US, here in the Maritimes we don't return to school until September). My youngest daughter was perplexed by the question and asked us afterwards why adults ask kids such silly questions. Unfort

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Having Visions...

We are now a couple of weeks removed from the 2016 edition of the US Open golf tournament. Hopefully John Zimmers and his crew got some much needed rest, and the USGA has slinked back to their lair to plot their next revenge against Dustin Johnson (I'm not saying the word conspiracy, but you know)   After the dust of a Major settles and we have moved on to our next set of tweets showing  a dozen fairway mowers cutting all at once and balls being dropped into 10" rough, what are we to do with o

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

A Walk in the Park...

Just for a brief moment, imagine the following scenario. You are on your way to the clubhouse for an important management meeting with your GM. Before the meeting you rush to the first tee to check up on your project crew, who is handling the ongoing irrigation project on #1 tee (it has not been going well, and you know if you don't check in, things will only get worse). You arrive to find them standing around scratching their collective heads. You guide them through the next steps and tell them

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Mind the Gap...

It's funny how our minds work. Sometimes the most innocuous thing can trigger a cascade of thought. Case in point: a few weeks back my neighbor told us he and his partner were going away on vacation and asked us to keep an eye on his house. He left us his keys and was off.   Now at any other time this would not warrant a blog post. Not much to see here. But when we hung up his keys it hit me immediately. My neighbor's key chain had the saying "Mind the Gap" on it. I have since found out that t

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Musings from the Sunshine State...

A couple of weeks back, I was fortunate enough to make my way down to Cocoa Beach, Florida with my thirteen year old son Lucas. It was actually our first time in the southern US, and it was a great experience. Lucas is an avid bird watcher, so for him being in Florida in March is like being the proverbial kid in the candy store.   It was a great time to decompress and forget about the real world for a while, something that I am sure most of you can relate to. Being blessed with lots of time fo

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Demons of Greenkeeping #3: Evil Twins

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all. -- Buddha   As superintendents we are subject to a great deal of scrutiny on a daily basis. The seesaw of praise and blame can be incessant. If we are not careful it can suck us down into a ten inch deep aerification hole of constant judgment. An important part of our job involves working to rise above the pitfalls of these two evil twins and arriving at

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

(un) Learning

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. There are a wide variety of reasons for this, but one of best parts for me personally is time given over to reflection. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Year's celebrations, there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting quietly and thinking about life in general. Most of the time there are no great revelations, just me simply taking time to reflect and recharge. But this season one theme has been nagging at me a bit more th

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

The Demons of Greenkeeping... #2

This is going to be the second installment in a series that I meant to finish a couple of years ago (I can't actually believe that it has been that long). The irony of this delay will soon become very evident.   The second demon that we are going to deal with is a sly one indeed. Most times this behavior becomes so habitual that we don't even notice that we partake at all. It can cause untold amounts of worry and anxiety, and can tear at the fabric of our confidence. Many of us that have this

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

This Note's For You...

Musical instruments have always fascinated me. From the trombone to the French horn, or from harmonica  to the acoustic guitar, there is virtually no end to the combinations of sound or the possibility for creation.   One of the most perplexing things about instruments is their relationship to the people around them. To those who do not play at all, musical instruments are a complete mystery; they might enjoy music, but they have no idea how musicians coax the music out of them. Then there are

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

An inventory of joyfulness... Or, a few of my favorite things

A few posts back I touched on thankfulness. It is a powerful tool we can use to not only connect to our inner selves, but to those around us that matter most.   It can also be very helpful to reflect on those things that bring us true joy. I'm not talking about things that make us happy... I mean those things in our lives that create those moments that make life worth living. Those things that only we know; the ones that strike a chord deep inside and bring us both lasting peace and contentmen

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Chrysalis

Back in the heady days of the late 90s, the golf industry was all about the creation of new courses. They could not build them fast enough, and everyone (Green Keepers included) rode the wave of euphoria that was to usher in a new age in golf. Fast forward 15 plus years and that wave has crested, crashed on the beach, and sucked many of us back out in its undertow.   While the construction of new courses dwindled, the golf industry changed its focus and now the buzz words center around restora

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Small Gifts

"Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness." -- Brother David Steindl-Rast, Jesus and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings   When life is throwing you a series of knuckleballs it can be close to impossible to find things to be thankful for.   As greenkeepers we face adversity on an almost daily basis. Unrealistic expectations, unpredictable weather, equipment malfunction...the list goes on

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Winter (Spring) of Our Discontent...

Inspiration is a fickle beast. When you are firmly in its clutches you are like a demon possessed. When you are hunting for it though, you can be truly lost in the wilderness. My friends, I have been lost deep in the forest on a long and tiresome hunt as of late.   My lack of success on this particular pursuit has not been entirely without merit. You see, the last few months here in the Canadian Maritimes have not exactly been a down home kitchen party. We went from record snow falls, ice stor

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

A Tall Tale...

I am a big fan of Game of Thrones. Really dig the HBO interpretation, and have been into the books by George RR Martin for quite some time. It is a compelling tale, full of complex story lines and even more complex characters. The personal stories of the characters themselves are one of the keys to the success of the franchise. The main characters in the story are neither good or bad, up nor down, black nor white... they are human; and with that comes all the baggage of a truly human tale.   W

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Control? Who, us?

I have had a great deal of time to think over the last few weeks. Lots of time. Much of it spent blowing endless mountains of snow off our precious putting surfaces. Here is but a taste...     The above photo is a shot of the first pass across our putting green... on April 8th 2015. We finished clearing it ten hours later).   All of this alone time got me to thinking about the illusion of control. As I become more seasoned, the notion that we have dominion over how things progress becomes

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

To share, or not to share...

A couple of weeks ago another great post came through the TurfNet Turf Blog Aggregator. Andrew Hardy, the superintendent at the Pheasant Run Golf Course (just outside Toronto, Canada), was writing about the difficulties he had been facing with regards to his blog (The Argument for being Social).   Mr. Hardy has been blogging for quite some time now and has garnered quite a following. He is a very thoughtful writer and is not shy about sharing information about the golf course along with a few

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Can't See the Canopy for the Bent/Poa/Fescue/Ultradwarf...

It has been interesting lately watching my 12 year old son, Lucas, embark on a new hobby. He has become consumed with all things bird related. He is watching, photographing, sketching, painting, feeding, and most importantly, enjoying birds. The other day as we were driving in town he remarked that he "never knew that there were so many birds around." We discussed that the birds had always been there, he just had not put his intention on taking notice of them before.   Intention is a powerful

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Water, water, everywhere...

"The highest good is like water. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao."  Lao Tzu   As greenkeepers we have a very interesting relationship with water. In one breath we curse it, and with the next we welcome it home like the prodigal son. We watch it destroy what we work so hard to create, while at the same time watch with awe as it gives life to the very creation we tend. We respect the science behind it, while all along trying to perfect the art of managing it. Long story shor

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Merry Christmas to me...

The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, "If you take care of me, I will take care of you." Now I say, "I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me."   - Jim Rohn   It is always a tough time of the season to write original content. Look around the internet, newspapers, or any magazine and somebody has an article with a few bits of wisdom and usually a list of some sort. I struggled with coming up with a new format,

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Legacy...

Every now and again we get to be part of something wonderful that takes us out of our ordinary life and leads us somewhere special. You can't always put a name to it, but you know that being a part of such an occurrence makes you feel like you are one of the luckiest people on the earth.   I was fortunate enough to be involved in one such event a couple of weeks back. I gathered with my parents, my brothers and extended family in Sydney, Cape Breton to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Ali

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Home is where...

On two different occasions this past week I attended talks that reflected on the concept of "home". Ironically, both talks were given by former American citizens who, until they had moved to Prince Edward Island, had not yet felt as though they had "come home".  I began to reflect on the notion of home, both in the intimate sense of an actual abode, and the broader connection we have to a place or time.   We all come from somewhere. The place we grew up will always reside in our memories, and

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack


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