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Raising Mowing Height Makes Sustainability Sense

Grounds management in any organization is a complex undertaking requiring the performance of myriad tasks necessary to fulfill the desired strategic objectives. For many, if not most of our grounds crews, sustainability is one of those strategic objectives. While sustainability is a moving target based on one’s definition, sustainability for me means decreasing resource consumption while increasing resource service. Too often pursuing sustainability is a complex undertaking resulting in difficul

JP McManus Pro-Am: What People Can Do When They Act Together...

“This event brings the community together to see what people can do when they act together.” — J.P. McManus, owner of the Adare Manor resort, after the Pro-Am held July 4/5. The gallery starting to gather for the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor. The JP McManus Pro-Am charity event, held every five years, has helped raise over $140 million for McManus's home city of Limerick and helped bring the community together. Ten of the top eleven players in the world played in this

Mental Toughness in the Heat

Every few years, it gets hot.  This thrills the mass media because it allows them to pound the fear drums and increase their ratings.  So, whenever it gets warm outside, we release a training film full of helpful tips designed to strengthen mental toughness in the heat.  As a bonus, here is a column from ten years ago, explaining our most valuable strategy for dealing with the heat: The 100 Days of Hell Actually, it's more like 120 days for those of us trapped on a bentgrass plantation

St. Andrews during Open Week: Off my bucket list

“EVERYTHING HAS LED TO THIS”  is printed in bold letters on the signs strategically placed around the grounds of St. Andrews Old Course to welcome the start of The 150th Open. For years, I have been wanting to visit St. Andrews and even put it on my bucket list after learning more about the course’s history in Dr. Danneberger’s class back at Ohio State. This week, I had the incredible opportunity to check it off my list. I visited St. Andrews with Jon Kiger of TurfNet on Monday and Tuesday

A Pound of Cure...

Pause a moment and think about a time when your playing surfaces suffered. Disease, traffic issues, weather events… any or all can force you to take measures to mitigate the damage. Perhaps you add medicine, raise the HOC, or divert activity away from the area all together in order to alleviate the pressures and allow space for recovery. Basically you were forced to confront vulnerability and then impart measures of care and nurturing in order to fix the problem. How many times in your care

Prepping for the JP McManus Pro-Am

We are now less than one week from the JP McManus Pro-Am to be held here at Adare Manor on July 4 and 5. The course remained open to the hotel residents until June 27th, at which point the course was closed to all but greenkeepers so we could get it dialed in. Last week the weather started to improve with night-time temps around 53 degrees Fahrenheit and 63 during the day but we are slightly below optimal growth. We have this unique weather station on the resort called Meteoblue that gives

The Birth of Skeletal Golf Theory

In the early summer of 1969, Dad took the reins of Polvadero Country Club, an emaciated crispy nine-holer located in the dry and dusty Kettleman Hills near Coalinga, California.  Destined to be the Head Pro, GM, GCS, and Bartender--that last one was kind of tough for a non-drinker--he took immediate action. First, Dad evaluated the staff, which consisted of Fernando, age 35, who also worked close by at a cotton farm; in addition, there was 14 year-old me, a fairly useless, easily distracted

A visit from home, and a break in the rain...

This week Dr. Ed Nangle, my professor from Ohio State ATI, stopped by for a visit at Adare Manor. I was happy to show him around the course and introduce him to my co-workers. What I found very interesting was that Dr. Nangle attended school with David Bailey, assistant superintendent here.  Me with Dr. Ed Nangle, my professor at Ohio State ATI. It rains quite a bit in Ireland but that is not enough to hold back the crew at Adare. The course drains very well thanks to wall

On Efficiency and Having Fun...

I just finished my second week at Adare Manor and I am starting to feel more confident on the course. The assistants have been awesome and have given me many different tasks. This week alone, I mowed the rough and fairways, rolled and sprayed greens, raked bunkers and plugged divots. I was also given the opportunity to cut the greens. Do you know how nerve-wracking it is to mow a 27,491-square-feet green? If not, I can be the first to tell you that it is quite an experience. The

Rutgers Winter School 2022: Observations, Anecdotes and Life Lessons Learned

I had the pleasure of speaking to the 2022 graduating class of the Rutgers Golf Turf Professional Management School back in March. I somewhat invited myself, I guess, since Robert Moinichen, class president, had contacted me over the winter in search of a speaker and asked who the most recent Superintendent of the Year was. Well, we don't do Superintendent of the Year anymore, I had to tell him, but if you're really stuck I'd be happy to do it myself. As a Rutgers alumnus with deep roots in

The Hills of Kansas...

I have lived in the Midwest for a number of years. Although some may group all the Midwest into one image, this does injustice to the amazing variety of landscapes (not to mention people) that are here. One common Midwest misconception I had heard was that Kansas is flat. When I drove across Kansas, from Missouri to Colorado, I walked away (drove away as it were) believing this. I remember the hours of straight and flat driving until finally catching a glimpse of the mountains looming far ahead.

Getting to Adare Manor, and orientation

I flew into Ireland about 9 a.m. on May 14. Getting through Dublin airport and customs was very easy, and I was lucky not to lose any bags during the trip. I ended up taking a three-hour bus trip from Dublin airport to Limerick and a taxi from Limerick to Adare Manor. The taxi driver was very helpful and told me about his time in the United States while also relaying facts about each town we passed through. I arrived at Adare Manor and was blown away by the beautiful property. I will add more pi

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

California's ill-considered attempt to convert municipal courses to affordable housing is expertly explained by John Reitman in a recent news article featuring Craig Kessler of the Southern California Golf Association.  Craig played a key role in helping to defeat the bill, defending municipal golf and citing the critical role the muni plays in recruiting future players.  In Reitman's article, Craig said, " . . . municipal golf is the meat and potatoes we all grew up on . . ." That's a smoo

The Beginning of a New Adventure

My name is Patrick Andrews, and I graduated earlier this month from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in turfgrass science. Before that, I earned an associate degree at Ohio State ATI in horticulture in 2020. During the past four years, I have been able to build a large professional network. In 2019, I worked at Bob O’Link Golf Club in Highland Park, Illinois with director of agronomy Scott Pavalko. My 2020 internship was at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylva

Mindful Resilience: Intention

Imagine for a moment your life as a Superintendent without the idea of intention. Think of all the cultural practices, data collection and measurements. Think of crew management and leadership development. Think of all the things that we accomplish during the course of the season that require vision, discipline and intention. If our daily processes are not rooted in our core values; and they are not the soil from which everything else grows, the season can be long indeed. Goals and discipli

Finding (and Creating) Happiness, Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace...

Occasionally one finds glimmers of light and hope amidst a train wreck, including the one cast upon us by Covid, the ongoing political circlejerks here and in many other countries, and now the  strongarm antics of the madman across the water (no offense to Elton John) in Russia. A somewhat convoluted happenstance when researching our weekly Turf Blog & Social Aggregator a few months ago led me to contact Stuart Butler, senior greenkeeper at Royal St. Georges Golf Club in southeastern En

Find Work/Life Balance

In this rather insensitive film, Momma crashes her bike, Buddy reveals his true name and the secret of his success, Tiffany tells a horror story, Bodell and Jimmy Cole explain why they jumped off the assistant superintendent ladder and Willy details how the Wilsons survived decades of pressure golf through existential mountain biking. Learn how you too can ride the mountain bike to attain improved mental stability, physical wonderfulness and at the same time, attract assistant superintenden

Jess Atmore: Non-Traditional Approaches, and Having Fun

Jess Atmore, golf course superintendent at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, grew up on a golf course but took a non-traditional route to becoming a superintendent. With a recent need to fill an assistant position, he took another non-traditional route to hiring one. In yet another departure from the norm, he manages his staff like a hockey team.

Tyler Guy: "Work/Life Balance... WHAT?"

Tyler Guy, golf course superintendent at Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club near Chattanooga, TN, joins Peter McCormick to add his take on "Work/Life Balance" to the ongoing "Assistant Situation" conversation.  After speaking in generalities for about half an hour, Tyler went on a tear so we cut right to that.
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