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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

The Craft

So much of what happens in our daily lives is taken for granted. When you walk into a grocery store and you want a certain item, do you ever pause to think about how it got there? How often do you reflect on all the steps along the way that brought that certain piece of fruit or vegetable or loaf of bread to the shelf in front of you? Our lives are often times so busy and distracted that the idea of pausing and reflecting on how something comes into being seems like a foreign concept.  Most

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Introspection

Perfectly imperfect: Old stone steps and a succession of dogs...

There are two sets of stone steps at my home in Vermont. One, leading up to the front door, was freshly hewn at a local quarry when we built fifteen years ago. The other, old and trodden, was rescued from an old church about to be torn down. The new steps are all crisp edges and smooth surfaces, appropriate for a formal front entrance, a testament to craftsmanship and quality of manufacture. They are beautiful but at the same time somehow sterile. The old steps are across the drive and lead

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in Life

Tales from the Night Waterman (2007)

The following is a reprint from 2007 for a special request. True confession:  I was a teenage night waterman.  It began innocently enough, with an impact Rain Bird fixation.  As a pre-teen golfer and offspring of a pro/super/general manager, my playing time often was compressed to that golden hour just before sunset when the big impact-driven sprinkler heads began to appear on the course. They stood tall, threw water over 100 feet and emitted a soothing, rhythmic noise that could be he

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Rockbottum Radio: A New Plan for Golf

In this episode of Rockbottum Radio, a serious discussion breaks out amidst the usual goofiness, pointing out how golf is about to enter The Fourth Turning.  The Rockbottum gang attempts to prepare for the onset of anti-logic perpetrated upon golf by the Rad-Greens and other irrational, oxygen-starved attention seekers.  Join us for the brilliance of Ludell, Momma, Willy and Boof as they duel with a carpetbagger from out west somewhere.

They Seek To Divide Us

There are divisive forces among us, like the Anti-Golf protestors who descended upon a golf course up north in much the same manner as the traffic blockers in London or the farm occupiers in Holland. They portray golf as a bunch of carbon-drenched rich folks still living on plantations.  (Never mind that carbon dioxide only makes up a tiny fraction of the atmosphere and turning 200 acres of turf into free housing would mean even more asphalt hot spots and increased surface runoff.) Gol

The Benefit of Doubt...

As Superintendents & Course Managers we manage a great deal on a daily basis. Conditioning of all sorts, staff issues, weather, member and customer expectations, budgets and financial drama… by times the list can appear endless. But there is one thing above all that, and based on how we manage it, can have a deep impact on not only our operations, but on our overall well being.  It’s the very thing that has the biggest influence on just about every decision and prediction we attempt eve

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Wellness

Pruning on a Commercial Scale

Pruning is an essential horticultural task in all grounds management operations. We prune to control growth, promote flowering, improve aesthetics, and remove dead/dying plant parts, etc. Pruning on a small scale is relatively easy and will not usually be disruptive to the overall maintenance operation. But what happens when you are on a 1000+ acre campus and the magnitude of pruning exceeds the labor resources you can throw at it?  Poor plant selection and years of poor pruning

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Technique

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