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The Nudge...

Paul MacCormack


Every now and again we get a nudge in the right direction. It can be from a loved one, a stranger, or a good friend. They see something special in you or an opportunity in your future that you just haven’t noticed yet. It’s not that you wouldn’t ever see it on your own, it’s just that they are looking at the situation through a different lens. 

Over a decade ago my amazing wife Jill told me that one day we would be writing together and that folks like you will be reading about what we had to say. At the time I thought she was foolish, but lo and behold she was right. That vision has led me down so many interesting paths since then, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her prodding.

 About a year ago I had a similar experience with a good friend. I was speaking with fellow TurfNet blogger and turf Renaissance man Frank Rossi when he dropped a bombshell of an idea. It involved taking the Mindful Superintendent to a whole different level and encouraged me to begin speaking publicly. He felt that Chris Tritabaugh (Hazeltine National, MN) and I would make a great team and that we should start sharing our stories together. At first I was skeptical, but it turned out to be a great suggestion. Chris and I spoke at last year’s GIS in Texas, and it was a fantastic experience (and if you are interested, we are presenting again in 2019 in San Diego).

But it turned out that public speaking was only part of Frank’s grand plan. He was envisioning something far more revolutionary and challenging. Through his travels and accrued wisdom, Frank saw many superintendents and turf professionals who were having a tough time. These greenkeepers were struggling with finding a balance between the demands of the profession and living a fulfilling life beyond the golf course. He felt they needed to hear the message we had to share but this time in a completely different setting. Frank believed we should create an event dedicated to resting, learning, and reimagining what it means to be a golf course superintendent. 

Frank believed we should create an event dedicated to resting, learning, and reimagining what it means to be a golf course superintendent...

Initially I felt quite unsure about his idea, yet within the uncertainty I knew there was enough merit to not cast it aside without giving it a shot. Every time I shared the idea with someone they had the same reaction… surprise, a pause, then total support. With every interaction the idea gained momentum and things began to fall into place. The pieces of the puzzle began to fit and this grand scheme began to slowly turn into a reality.

Fast forward to today. In just over two weeks from now, the initial “Mindful Superintendent Leadership & Wellness Retreat” will take place in my home province of Prince Edward Island, Canada (Oct. 4-8). A dozen attendees from across North America will come together to discuss mindfulness, leadership, and what it means to be a superintendent in today’s industry. We will explore themes like simplicity, balance, and creating a sustainable personal framework to take with us moving forward. We will rest, disconnect, reconnect and have a ton of fun in the process.  

Chris and I feel incredibly grateful for this unique opportunity and we are looking forward to learning and sharing along with the first group of superintendent attendees. We could not have come this far without the vision and courage of people like Frank Rossi and the support of David Kuypers from Syngenta Canada. 

So the next time someone takes you aside and shares an idea that might seem a bit “out there”, just pause and think it over. You never know where it might lead.

(The second part and follow up post to this one will be a recap and synopsis of the event. Stay tuned…)


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Thanks so much Hector. We all agreed that an event like this was long overdue...and hopefully can grow to the point that it reaches a lot of folks in the industry.


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