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Rerouting from NZ to a new project in Philadelphia...

I returned to the United States a few months ago and recently took a job as the Old Course Superintendent under Ben Dewan, Director of Grounds, renovating the Cobbs Creek Golf Course in Philadelphia, PA. Even though I still yearn for Ireland and New Zealand, I am thrilled to be involved in a massive undertaking that will significantly influence the city of Philadelphia and the Cobbs community. The course was designed by Hugh Wilson and the Philadelphia School of Golf and Architecture in 191

Techno-Phobia, Back From The Digital Grave

Because a great many TurfNet villagers have never seen "Techno-Phobia", we gave a wad of money to a techno-shaman to resurrect a dead hard drive containing the film.  Dating back to 2006, Techno-Phobia is a collection of harsh predictions for the golf industry that have since come true. We re-released it for several reasons, the first being our reply to golf industry writers--with no experience as superintendents--who doggedly preach the glorious future of tech while simultaneously attempti

What Coffee Does Momma Really Drink?

Rockbottum CC is overrun with unrepentant coffee snobs.  Momma, Willy, and Ludell drink only one brand of coffee and only through a stainless steel French Press.  Exactly what coffee Momma buys has been classified for years, but recent security leaks threaten to reveal our dark secret to the unwashed public, especially those consumers of instant, freeze -dried and that stuff that came in C-Rations. To get ahead of the story, we released this short film, before Buddy could put his spin

They Want Their Clutter Back

In this short film, Willy of Rockbottum reveals the real reason you might not want to skip pulling cores this year.  Also, Rockbottum News will avoid controversy this summer and stick to kinder, gentler subjects like . . . those pro tour cupcakes, the ugly rumors that golfers are demanding the return of tee clutter, and the truth behind the uptick in golf course fightin' and brawlin' and harsh language.  

Who are you?

The identity of the Greenkeeper has always been one of adaptation and evolution. From Old Tom Morris, to Bill Murray’s lovable Caddyshack character, Carl Spackler, to our present day incarnation, Superintendents and Course Managers have moved out of the back shed into the boardroom. Our roles within the structure of our clubs and courses have grown over the years and in many cases seen us become key players in the overall vision within our properties. Within the framework of this evolution,


Nick Colombo joins us as our 2023 Greenkeeping, the Next Generation intern, this year in video format from Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. Nick will be at Sentosa for six months under the auspices of The Ohio Program and Mike O'Keeffe. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Nick is a recent graduate of Ohio State ATI in Wooster, OH, where he was president of the Turf Club. Prior to attending ATI, Nick worked on the renovation of Muirfield Village Golf Club and at Old Elm Club. Nick is an avid hockey f

Got Rock Trouble?

Rock trouble on the golf course can be a real challenge.  From granite outcroppings in the fairways to boulders in the wrong place, rock can be . . . hard.  On several courses near Stone Mountain, Georgia, we battled turf-killing, reel-dinging, golf ball flinging, tine-breaking, PVC-rubbing rock for decades.  The rock always won. Even the giant excavators were impotent when facing big, hard rock.  Oh, sure, we tried dynamite, but golf course neighbors had a tendency to complain and call the


In my last post, Just Enough, I explored the idea that the ethos of authentic links greenkeeping practices might be a path worth studying as we move forward in the age of climate change. As we examine our industry post pandemic, can we simplify and return to the roots of our craft? Can we honestly look at our industry as a whole and begin to ask the difficult questions that are in such dire need of answering?  As I was writing that last piece, I stumbled across a quote from a teacher of min

The Case for a “Strong” Groundskeeper...

Local governments are managed by different types of relationships between elected representatives and appointed/hired staff. There are several types that basically take the place of executive/legislative branches and divide power amongst these various parties. One variation of this government is known as the “strong mayor” system where the mayor has almost total administrative authority with discretion to set priorities, establish budgets and decide most personnel decisions. While the city counc

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Operations

Are You Using Filters?

A few days ago, I discovered people have been using digital filters to enhance their online appearance and dating marketability.  This is pure deception, as some of these filters are capable of structural alteration, moving facial bones around like some kind of tikkity-tok plastic surgeon. Online filters remind me of something that happened decades ago, during my first tour as an assistant superintendent.  We were in an inflationary economic cycle and it was fiscally necessary to have a roo

After four years and six internships, this is it!

This is it. My time at Tara Iti and in New Zealand is done. Just about four years since beginning the process for my bachelor’s at Ohio State and six internships, including Bob O’ Link, Merion, Muirfield, Vineyard, and Adare Golf Club. After six months of working, I am in my last internship and final moments at Tara Iti Golf Club.  Working at Tara Iti has been an unforgettable experience, and I had unlimited opportunities for learning thanks to Brian Palmer, Dylan Griffin, and Hayden Stuthr

Just Enough...

On my way to BTME in England this past January, I was lucky to have a layover day in Dublin, Ireland. I was even more fortunate to have a good friend, TurfNet’s own, Jon Kiger, as a tour guide and facilitator of good times. We experienced a wee bit of history and culture (and yes a pint or two of Guinness) but the tour that has stayed with me most from that day was our stop at Portmarnock Golf Club. Founded in 1894 and located on a peninsula just outside Dublin, it was everything a proper l

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Essentialism

Tara Iti thrashed by Cyclone Gabrielle

Cyclone Gabrielle is considered the worst recorded storm in New Zealand's history. Gabrielle brought constant 40mph winds and another 10 inches of rain to wet soils and dropped over 500 trees at our course. This storm shut down North Island for a week, making commuting for the staff impossible. All of North Island was in the middle of it.  Some of the estimated 500 trees that fell during Cyclone Gabrielle.   Trees sitting in water drop

The Show Must Go On…

For the first time in nearly three years we are almost finished a full, in-person conference season. From the GCSAA Show, the BTME, the Carolinas and all shows in between, we have made the transition back to meeting face to face and by all accounts it’s been well received. After two plus seasons of virtual and hybrid education, everyone appears to be genuinely happy to be back at our respective events, shaking actual hands. For me personally, it’s been a quiet return to travel and speaking.

Paul MacCormack

Paul MacCormack in Wellness

Investing in the Landscape...

Our grounds management efforts, no matter the purpose or location, require funding to carry out the goals we are expected to perform. Some fortunate grounds managers amongst us may have ample budgets that readily support these expectations. My personal experience, and that of many peers I have heard from, reflects a different financial reality. Usually, we are expected to make dollars stretch, or simply forgo some of the grounds improvements we propose. Here at the University of Kansas, I am, fo

Rockbottum Radio: We Tried to Warn Us!

In this episode, RW gets tangled up in AI when he tries to use Chat-GBB to write the radio show and that failure results in a spirited rant aimed at those we entrusted with getting out the water conservation message. Just as the way forward is revealed, Count Noomskool of the World Globalar Golf Forum arrives and waves huge sums of money at Momma, in order to subjugate Rockbottum CC's verboten individualist attitude.

Member Tournament Prep at Tara Iti

Tournament week here at Tara Iti. The Kayne Cup is a 40-hole member-member tournament. It has four different formats. Two nine holes better ball, Chatmin 9 hole, nine-hole scramble, and a four-hole shoot-out. This is the first Kayne Cup since 2018 since COVID. My favorite part of working on a golf course is seeing a beautiful sunrise. If you look close enough, you can see the Waxing Crescent moon. Starting the week was the 2023 women's Kayne Cup that started on Sunday-Tues
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