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The Turfgrass Zealot Project, Ep. 22 with guest Jim Ferrin of Timbercreek GC

Dave Wilber

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I'm calling this episode "The Epic Episode". Epic Monologue. Epic Guest. Epic Length. Epic!! (and no, I don't mind over-using the word Epic)

 

Jim Ferrin, CGCS is one of those people that I think everyone should know. I'm biased. I've known him since 1990. When we were just young guys coming up in the business. Jim has excelled. He's a great turf manager. A great people manager. A student of Golf, Agronomy and Life. He's won a ton of awards including the coveted Leo Feser award from GCSAA. He's served in just about every possible way to make our business better.We have an epic conversation. We always do. Because no one can melt my brain like Jim.

 

I also happened to turn on my microphone and record an Epic Rant. One of those things that I've been trying to write for years and finally the words came to me. So I pulled the starter rope and pressed record. Result, a word strimming session, a buzz cut of one of the things I think is most wrong with our business and why that thinking promotes lack of innovation.

 

It's a feature length episode. Epic length. But I didn't want to cut it up into little pieces. Like an epic drink, it needs to be taken in one big awesome gulp. Or a series of small drinks at your own speed. But I couldn't and wouldn't cut it up. That's just not fair.

 

You can reach Jim Ferrin at ferrinj@scrca.org

 

The Turfgrass Zealot Project is sponsored by Klingstone. Proven Bunker performance for over 15 years. www.klingstone.com

 

 

 



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Dave, can I get the first 10 minutes in written form before they pull it? Thank you so much for what you have expressed so very well. I truly wish I could convey this to my fellow peers so clearly stated by you. You hit me right in the heart. Please don't stop.

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I've had similar calls/threats in the distant past, more from the Alphabets than academia. It was more of a head-scratcher than an irritant for me. Empirical validation is fine, and certainly should be required for product marketing purposes, but there's nothing wrong with anecdotal results that work for an individual, on his golf course. Seeing is believing, as the saying goes. And to invoke another euphemism, "to each one's own".

 

Time to take a deep breath though, Dave. No sense letting something like this blow your head apart.

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Look....don't mistake my passion for blown apart head space. This has been an internal rant of mine for years. Nearly 30 years. It just took one unsuspecting phone caller (who, by the way, saw the error of his ways a few days later) to tip my scale. I pushed record in the TZP studio and Boom Baaa Baaa!!

 

I mean really. Where are we without passion??

 

And Mark Hoban...I'm overwhelmed by that comment.

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AWESOME!! Thanks for speaking out!

 

"Insanity"? "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"

 

Keep it up Dave!

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Great rant! But the real steak in this one for me came later. Reversing the vortex? Spray solution energy? Albrechian theory? C'mon Dave, you cut those loose and don't even expound a little!!! More cowbell!!!

 

Must. Have. More. Zealot.

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It's coming Patrick. In small micro doses. Because you know, there is no universality research. :-)

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I think we need a bit of both, Dave. It still comes down to trust and respect for the person doing the talking. Research usually follows field initiatives. It verifies what we see and do, and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't we have a decision to make whether to dismiss the research or go with it. It is just another tool in the box. Science and Art can coexist. Great discussion point. Reminds me of our group Turfbyte discussions back in the day. Except it would take a day to upload all of what you said :-)

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I want to put an addendum on my previous post because I just now had time to listen to the full Jim Ferrin interview. I have known Jim for some years, but not as well as you, Dave. This was a great dialogue between the two of you and I felt as if I were sitting in the back of the room listening. The stories about Walter Woods and his influence on the both of you are priceless. I got a chance to talk to him this year at BTME, along with Jack McMillan and a host of other pioneers of our craft and there is no way to put a value on such times. Keep doing what you do, my friend. You are carrying on what we started in 1985.

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