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The Wilber Agronomic Gazetteer, 2013 Edition

Dave Wilber


(gazetteer |gaziti()r|

noun---a geographical index or dictionary.

ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in the sense journalist): via French from Italian gazzettiere, from gazzetta (see gazette). The current sense comes from a late 17th-cent. gazetteer called The Gazetteer's: or, Newsman's Interpreter: Being a Geographical Index)


I used to send out a yearly rundown of the craziness of my travels and someone suggested that I should more widely distribute this as it was supposedly good reading. I stole the concept and word from the back of Tom Doak's Confidential Guide to Golf (which I have a preprint copy of and hold hope that Tom gets so famous, I can sell it and buy an airplane and a small island to fly it to, even though I promised him I never would). 



The idea was to blather about a bunch of cool things that I had seen or done or ingested over the past year. When I was really in world traveler mode this was easy... you know, best airport to get lost in, best restaurant in Tuscany, etc. But now that my world is a little less geo and mostly more graphic, the things I can write about have changed.


So, in it's new TurfNet oriented form, here it is, like it or not. 


Best Golf Club Lunch: There is no better Club Sandwich than The California Club at Claremont, CC in Oakland, CA. The addition of bacon and avocado to make it Wilber Style is the deal. 


Biggest Surprise Agronomic Product: MagnaPlex from Precision Labs. The Synergy with Duplex and Magnus makes this a winner if you've got some bicarbonate laden water and layering from topdressing over a heavier soil. 


Strangest (and maybe coolest) Thing Seen On The Freeway: Picture me driving through Davis, California and being passed by and waved to by and mooned by 5 carloads of naked sorority sisters on some kind of initiation thing for UC Davis. Yay for initiating the sisters and the university greeks, I say.


Dumbest Social Shenanigan Amidst Turfheads: The @grassgoober Gate on twitter. What a gigantic trainwreck and a learning lesson for so many.


Product That Should Rule The World, Yet Doesn't (yet): It's no secret that Joel Simmons and I have been humping each other's legs for years, but I have to say that his Granular Organics, in particular his Renovate Plus should just been part of everyone's move to the Pre and Pro Biotic thinking that will indeed prevail in our world. Earthworks has been ahead of their time for a while. They sure aren't old news. Why does everyone want the flavor of the month to save their jobs?


Online Rockstar Of The Year: Matt Crowther of Mink Meadows in Martha's Vineyard. There is so much cool and so much love and so much fun that comes from Matt. He's a necessary element in my personal social media feed and forum reading. I love Matt. You should too. I hope one day to visit him for about a whole summer and really learn to grow grass.


Turfhead I Most Admire: Andrew Hardy of Pheasant Run near Tononto. Andrew is one of the best writers in the turf world with a blog that defines what good communication is. But that's not why I admire him so much. He handles a complex gig nearly by himself (no assistant and no irrigation tech last summer). Does all the spraying. Deals with twin autistic boys and has Judy, the super's model handful of an awesome wife. I'm in awe of this guy. Isn't it time we stop giving awards to golf pros and coat and tie supers and realize that guys like Andrew just make our business and the game what it is? And this man is so humble, I can almost see the note in my inbox now telling me he doesn't deserve the words. Yes you do, dude.


Worst Moment For Me On The Road: I felt really bad one morning when I got in the truck, but couldn't miss the meeting with Bo Links and Richard Harris, who had been begging me to come to Sharp Park GC just south of San Francisco and talk about grass. I had stops along the way and I just got worse. Finally (and I'll spare you all the details) I was peeing blood (least gory way for how it happened) and passed a couple kidney stones. Took a vicodin I found in the bottom of my overnight bag and made the 3pm meeting. There's no honor in this kind of road war. I was messed up for weeks over this and still kind of am (if you'd like to donate a kidney, please call Peter McCormick and get on the list).



Best Meal of 2013, Anywhere: Dinner. Buccano's. Cozumel, Mexico. Grilled chile rubbed lobster tail over hazelnut gnocchi and pumpkin puree. Yeah. Plus the Egg Nog and Mexican Cinnamon Daiquiris made me glad I took a cab.


Worst Turfhead Move Seen In Repetition: It's simple. Thinking Syringing will really cool things down. Not really. Maybe for a moment. The moisture has to be in the ground for the cooling to be evaporative.


Most Memorable Dumb Green Committee Guy Question: "If we don't take the tree out that is killing the green, do you think the green will ever be any good". Mind Boggles. And it was asked a dozen or more times.


Crazy Amazing Turf Nerd Award: Thomas Bastis at The California Golf Club in South San Francisco. He's some kind of love child of the Spock, Sting, Woz and Reinhold Messner orgy. I can barely speak to and understand the guy at his lofty level and I speak advanced Vulcan, Klingonese and Turhead. 


Friends Who Make A Real Difference: Scott Bower and (again) Thomas Bastis. I don't think I'd be here without them. There's a bunch more of you, as well. I'm just running a suckupathon for these two.


Best Rental Car: Everyone used to really love this category because I was in 1-3 rental cars almost weekly. This year, 5 in total. Best one. the Jeep with no doors and very little brakes in Mexico. The rest were total POS's with the chevy trailblazer leading the way.


Golf Course I Most Want To Visit in 2014: Rock Bottum CC for some hang time with Randy and Buddy (and Momma, although that scares me a bit)!


Thing I Have My Eye On for 2014: MLSN Soil Guidelines. 


Product I Wish I Could See: The concept that equipment/things don't have to be connected themselves. It's about a connected individual interacting with the world via the handset already in their hands. Think about it. Do we need a world of obsolete "smart" tech hardware?


Funnest Project of 2013: I got to make a happy birthday video short for the first super I ever worked for, Mike Kosak. He turned 60 this summer. I worked for him the summer he turned 30. He's older. I'm not. Not.


For now, that's the list. Probably not what you wanted, needed or expected. Oh well.


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Outstanding, Dave. If you're going to GIS, come on Monday and hang with us (including Randy, Buddy and Momma) on Monday night. They will be at B&P on Tuesday as well.

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