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What Do Golfers Want?

After decades of watching golfers, I think I know what normal golfers want:  Affordable golf within a reasonable time limit, smooth greens, and wide fairways.   They want a digestible sandwich at the turn, friendly folks behind the pro shop counter and a warning, prior to purchasing the green fee, that the course is littered with 97 big bunkers and the rough is at US Open height due to a green committee with a TV golf fixation.   As to those other golfers, the abnormal, the spoiled, the pam

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Supply and Demand

As a member of the National Golf Foundation and also a subscriber to Pellucid Corporation operated by Jim Koppenhaver I have access to enormous amounts of information concerning the business of golf. Recently I have found this information fascinating as it seems since the crash of 2008, the economy has exerted the strongest influence on golf turf management I have ever seen in thirty years in the industry. it seems since the crash of 2008, the economy has exerted the strongest influence on go

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

My Secret Golf Nickname (and how it came to be)

It’s Storytime at Rockbottum CC. During a recent session with Rockbottum Behavior Modification Therapist Dr. Ludell Hogwaller, I experienced a monumental breakthrough.  Using his special donut-hypnosis, he uncovered a long buried childhood memory that finally revealed just how I acquired my secret golf nickname–and why I have an unnatural fear of fish, fishing and fishermen. It all began in ’63, when the US Army assigned Dad–or Cap’n Ahab as I called him–to teach ROTC and coach the rifle team

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My Secret Golf Nickname (and how it came to be)

Its Storytime at Rockbottum CC.   During a recent session with Rockbottum Behavior Modification Therapist Dr. Ludell Hogwaller, I experienced a monumental breakthrough.  Using his special donut-hypnosis, he uncovered a long buried childhood memory that finally revealed just how I acquired my secret golf nicknameand why I have an unnatural fear of fish, fishing and fishermen.   It all began in 63, when the US Army assigned Dador Capn Ahab as I called himto teach ROTC and coach the rifle team

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Are You Ready For The Water Wars?

As one of the last of the Night Watermen, I have always had a special relationship with water and golf. In fact, to this day, I continue to think of myself as an “irrigation guy” forced by extreme circumstances to serve as a GCS. I get along well with water. I can’t swim in it, due to a genetic predisposition toward sinking, but it’s pretty much all I drink and it does amazingly well as medicine for stomach ailments, dehydration issues and Friday night mistakes. Turf likes water and interestingl

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Are You Ready For The Water Wars?

As one of the last of the Night Watermen, I have always had a special relationship with water and golf. In fact, to this day, I continue to think of myself as an irrigation guy forced by extreme circumstances to serve as a GCS. I get along well with water. I cant swim in it, due to a genetic predisposition toward sinking, but its pretty much all I drink and it does amazingly well as medicine for stomach ailments, dehydration issues and Friday night mistakes. Turf likes water and interestingly en

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Timing is everything

My email and phone are blowing up these days with golf turf questions, comments, reports, inquiries about the record early Spring conditions. Golf course superintendents are asking about seedhead suppression timing with Proxy and Primo,wondering about soil temperatures and summer patch preventative control, and most importantly in the northeast US, annual bluegrass weevil sitings. With each of these issues, the old saying holds-timing is everything.   Seedhead suppression is among the most tim

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Who Makes the Purchase Decisions?

An interesting topic popped up on the TurfNet Forum the other day, asking if club managers have more influence on purchasing decisions now than in past years.  I gave it several seconds of deep thought and answered “Yes”, but only in my mind, primarily because I’m not intellectually equipped to debate TurfNetters with years of post-graduate work.  (My post-grad work at Fort Bragg was limited to a short thesis entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Throw a Grenade up a Staircase”–the effects of the lab expe

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Who Makes the Purchase Decisions?

An interesting topic popped up on the TurfNet Forum the other day, asking if club managers have more influence on purchasing decisions now than in past years.  I gave it several seconds of deep thought and answered Yes, but only in my mind, primarily because Im not intellectually equipped to debate TurfNetters with years of post-graduate work.  (My post-grad work at Fort Bragg was limited to a short thesis entitled Why You Shouldnt Throw a Grenade up a Staircase -- the effects of the lab experim

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Golf and Radical Felinism

Rockbottum CC has never managed to get one of our golf course dogs into the TurfNet Superintendent’s Best Friend Calendar.  It’s not like we haven’t tried hard, it’s just that the level of competition is so high.  After all, this is the Big One, The Original, The First golf course dog centerfold calendar . . . it should be tough to be selected.  We’ve tried everything–bribery and threats, pleading and whining–but nothing has worked. The photos we submitted were apparently intercepted by elemen

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Golf and Radical Felinism

Rockbottum CC has never managed to get one of our golf course dogs into the TurfNet Superintendents Best Friend Calendar.  Its not like we havent tried hard, its just that the level of competition is so high.  After all, this is the Big One, The Original, The First golf course dog centerfold calendar . . . it should be tough to be selected.  Weve tried everything bribery and threats, pleading and whining but nothing has worked.   This year, when we realized Bosco and Chopper had been turne

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Ball Washer Strategies: The Top 5

It’s almost time to crank big mowers, defibrillate the pump station and check the lawn furniture:  The tee bench, the 150 yard barber pole, (the g-rated name) and that most essential of all golfer toys, the ball washer. The ball washer WILL function with smooth precision, whether it is the crank-wheel design that allows the operator to make engine starting noises–or the favorite among those of us with delayed maturity issues, the VPM or Vertical Plunger Model.  The VPM, when operated vig

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Ball Washer Strategies: The Top 5

Its almost time to crank big mowers, defibrillate the pump station and check the lawn furniture:  The tee bench, the 150 yard barber pole, (the g-rated name) and that most essential of all golfer toys, the ball washer.   The ball washer must enter the season perfect and shiny.   The ball washer WILL function with smooth precision, whether it is the crank-wheel design that allows the operator to make engine starting noisesor the favorite among those of us with delayed maturity issues, the V

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Are You A No-Show?

As budgets have tightened many golf course superintendents have forsaken their professional development line items. Often when this pinch occurs it is the National Show that gets cut as I have found most superintendents are loyal to their local, state and regional associations. I certainly understand the impetus to cut a fairly big number when not attending the "National Show", but it makes me wonder if there is no longer any perceived value to attending. I am fortunate to be involved in the ed

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

A New Truck for Rockbottum

Skeletal Golf is the driving force that separates Rockbottum CC from other golf courses.  I designed and built Rockbottum in 99, according to the teachings of Skeletal Golf, a cult I founded immediately after I lost both of my posterior seating elements in the tech-crash bubble of that same year.   Rockbottum was meant to be a low overhead, depression proof course -- because I could see another bubble on the horizon -- and the course is doing very well in these hard times.  For those of you wh

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Special Brain Filter

Inside the human brain are all sorts of thoughts and ideas yearning to get out through our unique ability to speak.  Releasing all of these ideas can lead to ridicule, bruises, shame and death.  Thats why humans, especially the humans that have performed well in the process of natural selection, possess a special filter in the brain that suppresses the release of impractical, soft-headed screwball outbursts.   The unfortunate humans born without this special brain filter are subject to unendi

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Of Salts and Trees and Magic BioStimulants

I received this today in my email from a source that shall go unnamed because she/he/it is dumb enough to use the word Doctor around my name. Kind of like using the word Beautiful around Susan Boyle. She can sing, however. I can’t. “Dear Dr. Wilber In a post in the TurfNet Turf Blog Aggregator this week, Sean McCue of Castle Pines said, “While driving around today I noticed an interesting phenomenon from applications of iron and other biostimulants to some of our trees. We have been treating a

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Minimalism

A few weeks ago I was speaking in England at the annual British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association Conference in Harrogate, about an hour and a half from Manchester in the Yorkshire Dales. Outside of the US and Canada it is the one of the premier golf turf educational events in the world.   I was presenting in a few sessions on Sustainable Golf Turf Management, Reduced Chemical Pesticide Use and my overall theme of resource efficient golf turf management.  An Irish Greenkeeper app

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Organic Pest Management

Here at the Rock, we like to think we are progressive, looking to the future  and that future includes preparing to manage our golf course with less.   Less water, less intensive maintenance, less overall input and more emphasis on coexisting with nature, rather than forcibly subduing the natural world; Rockbottum is not only applying the philosophy of rugged minimalism to golf, we are the trailing edge, the back of the pack.   Ludella Hogwaller, although less well known than others in this

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Unnecessary Roughness

The Splintered-Interest Good Parent Syndrome is squeezing golf.   In our modern world, there are so many things to do, so many activities like watching poker on TV, jumping concrete steps on a skateboard, World of Warcraft, Mixed Martial Arts, arguing on forums, and paralytic frozen immobility triggered by the increased gravitational field near any sofathat golf has lost some of the mystique and glitter that once held our game at the top of the mountain of obsessive pursuits.   To further sp

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Best Tee Markers

The best tee markers are...  I dont know what they are.  I thought I knew what they were, until I started reading a discussion on tee markers that unfolded at high speed on the TurfNet Forum.   For years, I favored AITMs, (Angle Iron Tee Markers) short strips of 3 angle iron, due to their low cost and durability.  They were easy to paint every year and it was possible to store plenty of replacement AITMs in the event an angry golfer wanted to test their float characteristics or simply see if w

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

The Valley of Mystery

But there was evil afoot, as we had unknowingly stumbled upon a small kingdom that was under the spell of a powerful golf pro, who reigned from his Pro Castle on the highest peak of the kingdom.  He was a pro of extraordinary power, dark and menacing  

Randy Wilson

Randy Wilson

Spring Symposium Day 2, Dr Bruce Clarke and Feast Recap

I love early morning meetings. 7:30 AM and we get hit with words like Systemic Acquired Resistance and Activator Triggers. It’s a warm yummy feeling, like maple syrup over bacon and waffles and I couldn’t be more happy to be in the front row. Yum Yum Yum. Pass the Pathology, please!! Especially when we are talking about natural plant defenses. To be smart and fair, I should digress a moment as to last night’s activities.  Every year our annual meeting includes a dinner. We turn the 130 or so fo

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