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Trailing Thoughts: Building a Winner

What makes a team a winning team? As demonstrated by the 2023–24 Detroit Lions, building a winner begins with the complete buy-in from the team’s high performers. The team’s core shares the same work ethic, attitude and goals of the organization. While this Lions team came up a little short of their goal, they remain poised to be successful for years to come as long as they remember the core strengths that got them there. The best teams in golf course maintenance are built like a succe

Your Team is Speaking to You. Are You Listening?

What’s the pulse of your team when they walk into the break room in the morning? Are they bright-eyed and still buzzing about last night’s big game? Or do they shuffle in like zombies and sit mostly in silence, staring down at their phones? If your morning meetings are preceded by awkward silence, or if your staff stiffens up the moment you appear, then it might be a warning sign that you’re coming up short on building a winning team culture. People who want to be there engage in conv

Adam Garr

Adam Garr in CourseCares

My Hope for 2024 ...

Planning is the linchpin to success. You may be successful with planning, but the odds are longer. In grounds management having a good plan will help the manager communicate direction to the team, help build excitement toward an outcome, alleviate problems before they arise, and build the organizational support essential to fulfilling the plan. Last blog I looked backwards in order to understand where our operation is and how we got here. This blog I look forward to 2024 and share some of the bi

Trailing Thoughts: Life is Like a River

Our lives, much like a river carving through a canyon, are never on a set path. If you aren’t happy with the direction your life is going, you can always change the flow of your river. A year ago, I found myself mired in a job that I found to be morally at odds with my personal values and unfulfilling on a professional level. I traveled to Big Bend National Park in Texas, hoping to unplug from turf for a while and reflect on my career and my life path. In Santa Elena Canyon I watched t

The Season...

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. — Lao Tzu There is a natural flow to seasons. No matter where one is situated, the shifts and changes in the natural environment follow their own patterns. Sometimes these patterns will alter and slowly evolve into something slightly different, but overall the seasonality of the natural world doesn’t change. When viewed through our human lenses, a season can appear to exist in singularity. We say things like “the start of another s

Looking Backward at 2023...

Ah, the New Year. The annually recurring time when we reflect on our previous 365 days and take stock. It is a time for looking back and grading out what we accomplished, but also what we struggled with. I get caught up in this time as much as anyone. In this blog I’ll stay in my professional realm and give, at least from my perspective, a clear-eyed assessment of where I took my work, and where my work took me. This assessment may not meet with agreement by all in my organization. It is my view

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Review

Our Roots are Showing...

It has been difficult lately not to become a bit disenchanted with the modern game of golf and, in particular, those tasked with determining its future direction. From behind the ropes we watch as millionaires and billionaires squabble over who actually has dominion over the game, arguing about everything except the things that matter. Those in charge of tending the future of the game have become infected with greed and the notion that they know what is best for everyone else. The descent of the

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Our Most Important Film Ever

A few days ago, I slipped into a Mom and Pop coffee shop for a latte' and a blueberry scone.  (Ordinarily I'm not allowed to eat flour, but my handler was distracted by scented candles and Christmas lights.) The place was packed, full of people jammed next to each other, mesmerized by smartphones, tablets, and laptops; not a single soul looked up and took notice of me.   I could have been Genghis Khan on a zebra and only the barista would have noticed. Taking my coffee out onto the sid

The Blind Shot...

Within the game of golf there are few things more thrilling than the blind shot.  A close approach shot or a tee ball into a short par three can leave us clambering up and over a hillock or dune to see where we ended up. There is usually a good deal of luck or chance involved, along with a good dose of both joy and despair, but the anticipation that shots like these provide make for a lot of fun during a round. But like anything in this life, too much of a good thing can be problematic. In

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Here It Comes

It almost feels like we are just sitting quietly while AI takes over our turf careers.  AI promises to help us work, but what if it intends to render us obsolete?  Shouldn't we at least offer some resistance? Contrary to popular narratives, Rockbottum Science states "AI does not think for itself, it's merely an improved algorithm."  If AI could actually think, we'd already be dead.  My Dad dealt with first generation AI, (Adolescent Imbeciles) and AI golf course personnel management was jus

In The Back Of The Night

It's that time of year when strange things happen, so it was no surprise when Freddy and Toad--effectively half of the Rockbottum CC crew--went missing while leaf-looking up on Dead Owl Ridge. Taking a great risk, Bodell saddled up to go find Freddy and Toad in the dark forests of North Georgia . . . and now Bodell and Willie are missing, too.  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Rockbottum Radio: Positivity Defeats Adversity

In this episode, RW hands out the coveted Rockbottum Major Award for the best TurfNet Forum Topic ever.  Momma has a lively discussion with a government official who mistakenly believes Social Security is an "Entitlement" while helping him realize the folks north of Richmond need to improve their listening skills.  Also, RW explains how to achieve positivity on the golf course by being positive, not just sounding positive.

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Podcast

Managing Landscapes in a New Weather Paradigm...

As of writing today Kansas City is 6.49” below our average YTD rainfall of 27.42”. Additionally, over the last 6 weeks our average temperature has been 3F over average. In the last 28 days we have had 12 days over 80, 7 days over 90, and 9 days over 100. One of those days the high was 112F. Most people don’t dig into climate numbers to this extent, and it is important to know this isn’t just my opinion. But rainfall this summer is not the focus of this writing. Rather I want to share my sense of

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

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