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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.

Jaime Matthews: "I loved it when I was young and single..."

Jaime Matthews spent 13 years as an assistant superintendent before burnout and family responsibilities dictated a career move. Two years ago he took a position with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates the training, feels valued by a family business (albeit a large one), and is very happy with the change. He has no complaints about how he was treated at the golf course, maintains friendships in the turf industry and works with several local golf courses in the Hilton Head area. "We use a

Mindful Resilience for turf and self...

Mindful Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. The ability of an object to spring back into shape; elasticity.  (Oxford Dictionary) So much of our job as Superintendents depends on our ability to build resilience into our systems. We focus a great deal of time and energy on building the ability for our turf to recover quickly from inevitable hardship. The full range of our cultural practices, from nutrition, to hydration, air movement and proper light levels are all

Restoring the Landscape?

In my work I come across the term landscape restoration on a regular basis. Not every day, but frequently enough, and it usually comes from a stakeholder with an environmental agenda. I think this is a great thing. First because I love to hear from any of my stakeholders, but also because I think having an environmentally sound landscape is a very good thing. But what even is landscape restoration? Like many of our landscape management approaches, this phrase means something different to everyon

Roundtable #2

The second "Assistant Situation" roundtable discussion held on Monday, March 14 hosted by Peter McCormick. Participants included Ryan Segrue (Shorehaven GC, Connecticut), Tony Nysse (Mountain Lake GC, Florida), Richard Brown (Orangeburg CC, South Carolina) and John Emerson (University of Delaware).  

Get The Happy Prescription

At Rockbottum CC, we have been hopelessly addicted to opiates of the endorphin variety for decades. * See the Rockbottum Blog post "Exercise, Brain Function and Depression" column and attached films dated August of 2019 for actual science talk. Endorphins, generated by the brain, are the safest, most effective mood enhancement drugs available, although there are certain corporations that would prefer you did not know that.  In the past, these companies were successful at suppressing the use

Great Expectations… Intentions

Every now and then we stumble across an idea or quote that gives us reason for pause. It could be we stop because someone else has suddenly crystallized perfectly a fragmented notion we have been working through in our own psyche. On the other hand, the idea could be one of those lightning bolt moments that catch us completely off guard and forces a hasty retreat into our opinion bunker to reevaluate things.  Recently I came across a quote that seemed to fall somewhere in the middle. I had

Flappin' & Honkin'

In our constant search for inner peace on the golf course, we offer this film from our Boots & Ruck division, entitled:  "Flappin' & Honkin' ". Normally, our stories from the military days are off-limits, but there was just no other way to impart this particular piece of wisdom without data-mining the trauma zone in my skull.   So lace up your boots, shoulder your rucksack and come along for some campfire coffee, philosophy . . . and a tiny little woodstove. No instant cof

Building a Real World 'Employee of the Month' Program

Everyone knows that having a skilled, productive, and engaged team is a critical aspect to a successful operation. For this to occur, the hiring and retaining of good workers is essential. Given the current hiring/retention environment, if you are able to onboard an employee, keeping them is another significant issue requiring sound management and smart retention policy. Employees will stay on a job if they feel the compensation they receive is fair exchange for their efforts. Of course money is

The Positive/Negative GCS Ratio

The owner of Rockbottum CC, Ludella Hogwaller, AKA "Momma",  is always stressing the importance of a positive attitude, a positive work environment and presenting the golfer with a positive golf course.  She even has algae-rhythm formulas to determine if the staff is positive or negative. Momma says two negatives can make a positive.  She proved this by changing Ben, our mean and surly golf course dog, from a negative ratio into a positive.  Momma had Ben's two negatives removed and he beca

Easing In...

If you were to poll most superintendents and ask how they’ve fared over the last couple of years in this profession, no doubt the responses would be as varied as the different grasses we all manage. It’s been a mixed bag of never ending issues and demands, many of which are brand new to us. It would be safe to say that most have dealt with one or more (or all) of the following:  Furloughs and temporary closures  Deep labor issues (related to and independent of the first point)

The Gatorade Ice Dump and the Pivot of 2021...

One of my favorite metaphors in life is "adjustment of the rudder", making small but continual changes to keep one on course to reach a desired destination or goal rather than miss wide of the mark. Normally — and I hesitate to use that word as it’s rapidly becoming meaningless — small tweaks in a good management plan have usually been sufficient. But there are occasions when a hard pull on the tiller — a pivot in today's business-speak — is required to avoid impending disaster, particularly whe

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick in business

What Am I Missing?

I don’t want to wait any longer. I have long contemplated a sustainable landscape that that is acceptable to my organization, achievable by my team and profession, and importantly, beneficial to the environment/ecosystem. But year after year I dance around this subject making gains here, losing ground there, and never really getting down the road to something that answers all of these hugely diverse and sometimes antagonistic objectives. The sad truth is I really cannot say what I am after. What

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

Nature vs Nurture...

From time to time our turf systems meet with varying degrees of stress. These events can generally range from a mild annoyance to full blown catastrophe. The road to recovery can vary depending on the situation and the approach to healing depends on many factors. How we as superintendents respond to these stressors and subsequently guide recovery usually says a great deal about how successful we will be during our careers. Often times the stressor is fairly repetitive and benign (think traf

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in health

Campfire Coffee and American Cupcakes

In this short film, RW explains how not to make an American cupcake and offers up a recitation from Old Uncle Lladnar.   As weakness continues to spread across the land,  we hold to our position of strength, remaining firmly grounded in our Rockbottum Philosophy, "Read a book, not a screen." If you don't have an actual book at hand, we suggest visiting Rockbottumfilms at the link to the right.  Our current best seller is  "Lost Hound of Raven Gap" an adventure set in the mountains of N

The Four Horses' Posteriors

It's Storytime.  Once upon a time, long ago, a country club way out in the boonies--where Dad was the Pro/Supt/GM--held a combined Halloween golf tournament/debutante ball and squirrel cookout.  As Dad was usually reluctant to attend such glitzy affairs, I was instructed to represent him.  Since I wasn't old enough to drive yet, Dad left me behind to close up the pro shop and the maintenance barn--it was an actual barn--plug in the carts, clean the pool and keep an eye on things.  His exact inst

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson in Storytime

Checking All the Boxes – The 3-P Approach

This past month I was fortunate to assume the Landscape Manager position at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. I say I was fortunate because I really enjoyed my job at Mississippi State and wasn’t looking to change roles or location. The job at KU however would be a return to the Head Groundskeeper role and also a return to the Midwest. So I applied and after a visit, an interview, and a first candidate dropping out, I was informed I was getting the nod. In my mind this is the career

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Teamwork

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