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About this blog

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

Entries in this blog

Do unto otters...

I stumbled across an interesting question on Twitter a while back. Posed by consultant John Bladon, it read:     It was an interesting post to me for a few reasons. I know that business is business, but I always liked to think that on the turf side of things our shared trials and tribulations overshadow our differences. I love that when I ask a question on TurfNet or hit up a local super at the conference seminar there is no hesitation with an answer... turf guys just want to help.   Alas

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Life... in general

I recently had the good fortune of attending the movie The Giver with my oldest daughter, Maria. We had both read the book a couple of years back and were excited to see the show. Thankfully we were not disappointed. The story examines the basic human condition and how we go to extreme lengths to shield ourselves from pain and suffering. The lasting impact of this is that whenever we work hard to shelter ourselves from the pain of our emotions, we also end up cutting ourselves off from the best

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Therapeutic weed(ing)

Here at Fox Meadow we have what I am sure is not a unique problem. Back when the course was built the original owner had a vision for a grand clubhouse and grounds. No expense was spared including a large number of elaborate gardens, a beautiful fountain feature, and a fantastic view of the Charlottetown harbor.  Undoubtedly it makes a great first impression of the property, but not much forethought was given to the cost of long term maintenance.   Fast forward 15 years.  Our program to mainta

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

A good chat...

I had one of those rare conversations with a good friend this past week. It was the kind of chat that leaves you feeling spent afterwards, but it was worth it in so many ways. Our talk wasn't one of surface banter that we as a culture so often engage in. You know the way most of us converse most of the time; both parties say lots of words, but in the end don't really say much at all. Nope, our conversation was of a different breed, and is one that we all need to be having with our friends and fa

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Walkin' a mile...

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these." George Washington Carver   So much of the information we ingest on a daily basis is based on judgment. Take to Facebook, Twitter, or even your daily newspaper, and you will find no shortage of opinions on any range of topics. In our race to share, like, or tweet, someth

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

The best laid plans...

As superintendents, we are masters of the plan. We are constantly generating schedules, programs and standards for our courses. We work with our management, architects, arborists and agronomists to chart the course for our properties and make them all they can be. But then life happens, nature happens, and our best laid plans go astray. It is at this point that the best greenkeepers shine. They are able to take the hiccups and trap doors and use them to their advantage. Whether it is a major ra

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Potential...

With spring upon us (well, most of us anyway... it is still very cold with some snow on the ground in our neck of the woods), our thoughts turn to renewal, newness, and potential. The last one really struck me over this past weekend. As I was sitting staring at the instruments in my living room (upright piano, bass, fiddle and multiple guitars), I reflected on what tools like those mean to different people.   To artists, writers and musicians things like a blank canvas or a grand piano represe

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

The Onion in the Ointment

A few weeks back I was reading through a blog I follow and fell upon this post: becomingminimalist.com i am flawed. It sums up the importance of owning up to our flaws and accepting them. It presents the premise that only when we face our flaws honestly and accept them,  can we move forward and work towards change.   The blog spoke to me in a few important ways... the first reminding me of the power of awareness. Do you remember that old tag line during the little life lessons from the ABC aft

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Mind over Matter... Fundamental #3: Mindfulness

Have you ever wondered where the title for this blog came from? It is a common enough refrain, "be mindful of such and such...", but what does it really mean? In the final installment of this three part series we are going to try to answer the question, what is mindfulness?   Mindfulness is a meditation practice that has its roots in Buddhism dating back to around 2500 years ago. It not a religion per say, rather a disciplined approach to mental well being. In recent years mindfulness has caug

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

You are what you eat…

Fundamental # 2: Eating Well   Reflect for a moment on how much time we spend fine tuning our nutritional programs for our turf. We research the latest technologies, soil test, tissue test, and use complicated cocktails in an effort to dial in the exact needs of the plant. We spend a great deal of time, effort and money to build a nutritional foundation that will allow our turf to stand up the stress and rigors of the long golf season.   Now, shift gears and think about how much effort you p

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Let's get physical...

Fundamental # 1 is physical fitness. There are not too many things in this life that give you better return on your investment than getting into shape.  Despite the prevailing wisdom, it doesn't have to cost much either. It changes everything, from the shape of your waistline to your state of mind... and when your outlook changes, life gets more manageable.   Our intrepid bloggers here at TurfNet have been touting the benefits of getting in shape for years. You can watch the Rockbottum crew he

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Distraction...

Recently I had the chance to catch up on a few webinars (one of the main perks of TurfNet). One that I particularly enjoyed was Frank Rossi's "Plant Health, Plant Smealth." In it Dr. Rossi talks about the role of plant health elicitors in our turf programs. He speaks to their efficacy in some cases, but is quick to caution us not to become too dependent on them as a quick fix. The one line that stuck with me was, "we get distracted."   Dr. Rossi made the critical point that if we see these pr

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Busy Body...

Just the other day my wife told me a story an acquaintance of hers shared. It was the story of a little girl having a difficult time adjusting to her newborn sibling. The little girl had been an only child for the first five years of her life and was now fearful that her parents wouldn't have enough love left for her after they loved the new baby. We've all have heard the tale in one version or another and the answer is always the same; Love grows with each new child that we embrace. This little

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

New Year?

It's mid January and we are well under way with 2014. We have shaken of the dust of last year, got out our pen and paper and are ready to go to town with our long list of New Year's resolutions. This year is going to be different, I can feel it, it's going to be the best ever (screeeetcccchhh ? insert the sound of the needle dragging across the vinyl).   Hold on. Let's take a step back and think about this for a minute. Where is your list of resolutions from last year? Does it look disturbingl

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Merry Christmas!

I admit it. I am a sucker for this time of year. Once the snow starts falling, the tree is up and the eggnog starts to flow, it can be the very best time of the year.  For most of us, the general business of the golf season is wound down, so it can be a great time to sit back and relax.   Yet the holidays can get away from us if we let it. If all we focus on are Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, and all the shopping days until Christmas eve, it can be easy to lose focus. The marketing machine is i

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Forgive and forget...

"One forgives to the degree that one loves."  Francois de La Rochefoucauld    I had planned on a different post this week, but the recent death of Nelson Mandela changed my mind. I am not sure if there has been another person in my lifetime who has effected as much positive change as he did. He was many things to many people; a revolutionary, a saint, a shrewd politician... but for me personally his greatest lesson came in his ability to forgive.   Mandela spent 27 years of his life imprison

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

The devil is in...

I was fortunate enough to take a few days off last week and take a fall trip with my extended family. This trip has grown into an annual family ritual that we all enjoy. This years edition took to the beautiful town of Mahone Bay, located on the south shore of the province of Nova Scotia.     While it was great to get away and recharge a wee bit, there was something else that caught a great deal of my attention while in this town. Mahone Bay is an old town with a rich shipbuilding heritage.

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Looking up...

The mentors in my life have been a strange lot, coming in all shapes and sizes. Some have been quiet, while others never shut up. Most of the lessons were of the hidden sort, revealing themselves over time rather than cracking me upside the head. They have all played a part in shaping my life thus far and, if I am lucky, will continue to do so.   As superintendents we all have had teachers and mentors along the way. They taught us the nuts and bolts of the turf industry and, if we were fortuna

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Thin moments...

I was lucky enough this past week to sit in on a wonderful discussion with a good friend and former professor of mine. Based on the title of this post you might think that we were discussing weight loss, but you could not be further from the truth. The talk itself revolved around those unexplainable moments in our lives, often referred to as 'thin moments', when the barrier between our everyday reality and a larger, more universal reality is shattered. Something cracks through the haze of our ev

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

No expectations...

"My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations." Michael J. Fox Over the weekend I had an interesting chat with my sister-in-law. She was reflecting on the malaise of her generation (she is 28) and how it relates to job prospects and general quality of life. The conversation eventually swung around to the topic of expectations and how they are directly linked to contentment. Her basic premise was that people who trundle through

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Wellness

Thanks a lot...

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment. -- Henry David Thoreau   Last week I was fortunate enough to turn the big 4-0. Leading up to the day people asked how I felt about this milestone. My tongue and cheek response was usually the same, its better than the alternative. The line was said partly in jest, but in reality I secretly mea

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Show me the light!

Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything Thats how the light gets in   Leonard Cohen, Anthem   I was walking through a dense grove of older spruce trees the other day. By all appearances, most of the trees were on the downward slide of their life spans, and not looking very healthy. Its an eerie sight, rusting branches, old mans beard, and lichen as far as the eye can see. But then I came upon a clearing, no more than a dozen fee

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Make a new plan, Stan…

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have one of those great conversations with my assistant/mechanic/brother-in-law/great friend, Finn. We do it quite often and it is one of the best parts about working closely with someone you really enjoy being around. The talk revolved around a recurring theme with us: having a plan.   Our chat centered on the tale of two courses in the area. Course A has been around for a long time and is your typical country club in your typical town. Like many private cl

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Innie or Outie?

A couple weeks back our intrepid Maestro penned a thoughtful piece (Information overload and sensory flashbacks...). It was full of a lot of the wisdom and down home honesty that we have come to expect from Peter, but for me, it was also interesting to read between the lines a little.    I have been picking at a fascinating book called The Introvert Advantage, Making the Most of Your Hidden Strengths, by Marti Olsen Laney, Phy.D. The basic premise of the book is that once those who crave solitu

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack

Guest Post: The Human Element

For this week's post, I am going to turn it over to Callum Haughn, fellow TurfNetter and assistant superintendent at Mill Ridge Golf Course, located in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Callum helps out writing for our local associations quarterly magazine, and his last submission was good enough to share here...   The Human Element By Callum Haughn   It takes a lot of different people with a lot of different personalities to make up a successful workplace. Managing these personalities can sometimes be

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack


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