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Randy Wilson

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  • Club/Course/Company
    TurfNet Media Network / Rockbottum Country Club
  • Location
    Rabun County, GA

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  1. Randy Wilson

    Cell Phone Policy . . . revisited

    Dave, Momma's been foolin' with that store-bought makeup again. Thanks, Tony
  2. A few years back, we examined the pros and cons of crew phone use. Since things continue to change--with phones now serving as cameras, music players and surveillance devices--we thought you might want to revisit Momma's solution for irresponsible phone use. But be careful . . . I had an entire high school football team threaten to quit if they couldn't have a "phone break" during practice. Yeah, I know . . . get off my lawn.
  3. Randy Wilson

    Did The Golf Cart Create The Modern Cupcake Golfer?

    Mickey, I see you one of them well read individuals. Cain't slip nuthin' by you.
  4. Randy Wilson

    Reinventing myself for a life-long dream...

    Welcome to TurfNet, David. Glad you're here . . . and also the football coach part, too, cause we got way too much hockey on here.
  5. Purely apocryphal, but my Bio-RAM can recall a time when golfers weren't so picky and whiny and demanding about things that didn't matter in real life. Although I have previously fixed the blame on color TV and 50 weekends a year of Las Vegas Showgirl grooming standards, I think I might have isolated the true cause: The introduction of the portable sofa to what was once a rugged adventure sport. If I rewind back about 50 years, to a time when it was more about playing the game than the current model of riding around in an English country garden/adult theme park without fear of a DUI, it becomes very clear. All this petulant golf squawking arrived at roughly the same time our cart fleets exploded in size to meet a rapidly swelling demand. Of course, all the riding around instead of walking caused other things to rapidly swell: Expectations, budgets, craniums, infrastructure, midsections and eventually . . . asses. Now, even with a 40 days and 40 nights of rain event, the golfer of today is no longer willing to tolerate "staying on the path" or the "90 degree rule" because they are the customers . . . and they have been conditioned to squeal "Customer Service! Customer Service!" like Gomer yelling "Citizen's Arrest, Citizen's Arrest!". That's why I have an innovative solution to the "Special, entitled, always whinging Cupcake Golfer of Today". Watch this short training film to learn the secret.
  6. For your entertainment, we present, from deep in the bowels of the Rockbottum Films vault, our second major production: "Customer Service". The audio in this historic film is clippy at times, even glitchy, (it was pre-Sennheiser) but we didn't think you would mind. After all, where else can you watch a GCS push a mean old lady golfer into a deep bunker? You know you've been tempted to do the same thing.
  7. Randy Wilson

    Fred & The Anti-Stress

    It’s June. Most of the tv addled golfers have forgotten April, thanks to a severely damaged attention span, one of the gifts of the modern technocracy. But the stress merely continues to build through June and then the heat of July. Some areas will suffer from freight-train rain, while others endure a seemingly endless hot, dry bubble of desert air. Add in a few members just back from a member-guest with all sorts of ideas they picked up in an entirely different budget climate--or my favorite, the member on a campaign to bring in “new blood”. Stress rises when your spousal unit announces the kids don’t recognize you anymore and have grown weary of the excessive hours and vacations in the winter. Especially vacations shortened because some of the time off has to be sacrificed on the altar of The Big Show. There is only one way to combat this stress and it’s not beer. It’s fitness. Our topic today is fitness for the GCS and the rest of the turf industry professionals. The GCS comes first in this subject as they often get more than their share of the stress, but there is plenty to go around. Now I know there are folks who say there is much more stress in other fields, like law enforcement, medicine and the military, but some of those areas have a built in stress relief factor, like great big bursts of adrenaline, flash-bangs, helicopters and running and jumping. Turf does not have adrenal bursts—unless you count unannounced, unsanctioned visits by consultants with a column of former assistants in tow, all looking for a GCS job. So let’s toughen up and prepare to deal with stress in a healthy manner, rather than beer, likker or Big Pharma. Your brain can generate it’s own Big Pharma and it’s unlikely to kill you, destabilize your family or impart that hilarious side effect where you wake up in the middle of the night and discover you’re robbing a grocery store. Let’s talk fitness and training. *Note: The following pseudo-science comes straight from Sgt. Rock Bottum and his years of training in multiple sports, both as an athlete and a coach. (Sgt. Rock’s credentials will be revealed in a later article.) When choosing a sport or activity for stress relief there are several factors to consider. An important factor is Sustainability. I know you’ve heard that word before, but in this context, it’s easy to define: It means a sport or training activity that you can keep going over the long term. While the 90 day wonder-workout may provide a great “jump-start” into a training lifestyle, it can come with injuries and that day when you realize you just don’t want to go “do it” anymore. Next, it is important to select a sport you like and train for an event, a race, a contest, or just an adventure. This “adventure” could entail hiking a section of a long trail or maybe an epic ski trip. Often, we choose a sport, get comfortable with it, progress to the level of obsession and then burn out like a sparkler sizzling at both ends. It’s important to consider more than one obsession, in case of injury or mental fatigue from the level of dedication required. Endorphins are critical. Endorphins are opiates produced by your brain after around 30 minutes of activity where your heart rate is elevated. The resultant “high” from an endorphin kick has the ability to blow out the stress of the day and make you forget whatever it was you were worried about. Some sports, like cycling, running, swimming and others of the aerobic type, come with huge doses of endorphin blasts to the brain. You must be careful with these brain opiates. My brother Mike, a former Army Ranger, was given to huge endorphin surges, after long road bike rides and his wife took advantage of the situation. Mike once woke up, after a fearsome bike ride of 60 miles, to find himself shopping for shoes with Teresa, and holding not only her purse, but those of other spousal units who recognized Mike’s condition. (Goofy smile, relaxed demeanor and unfocused eyes.) Load bearing vs non-load bearing sports. Load bearing activities would include running, hiking, weight lifting and the like. Non-load bearing would mean cycling, swimming, rowing and things where you aren’t supporting your own weight. This is critical, especially as you age. Why? Because of bone density. With brittle bones, you can become like the old folks who fall down and break hips and femurs. A few years back, there was a medical study on the bone density of Tour de France riders. Samples taken before and after the race revealed a massive loss of bone density, in some cases almost a 50% loss. This does not happen with long distance runners, although they have their own difficulties, usually due to overuse injuries. Aerobic (which is some foreign language that means “with oxygen” and Anaerobic, “without oxygen”) are two important factors. Aerobic could mean an activity like slow jogging, cycling at a speed where you can still talk, or rowing for an hour at a pace where your heart isn’t trying to explode out of your chest. Anaerobic is high heart rate, short term burst activity like sprinting or high rep lifting with no breaks. Sometimes referred to as “interval” training, this type of work can be very beneficial, if carefully mixed with aerobic training and common sense. (I had none of that last one.) Check with your doctor before you go anaerobic, or if you’re like most of us since the unaffordable care act, make sure your affairs are in order. Here at The Rock, we have always used a seasonal approach, changing sports as the weather changes. Blending walking with cycling and hiking and running and gym time--when it’s really hot or doing that endless monsoon thing--has worked for us. You can also walk the course in the morning before the crew gets out, combining the walk with your morning scout. Wear a daypack and walk fast if you want some endorphins, because normal walking, while healthy, will not endow you with much in the brain opiate area. If you run the course, stay off the hard surfaces, as the pounding from that activity—unless you are a nearly perfect mid or forefoot striker—can lead to ankle, knee and back pain. Running your turf is great training and less impact than trail running. It’s possible to ride your mountain bike on the paths early, without seeing golfers, but don’t take your skinny-tired road bike out there on the cart path unless you're in the mood to grow some new skin. Which sport or training activity is right for you, the high tech GCS? I don’t know, try several and find out which one rings your bell. I’ll be showing you some training methods as the 100 days go by. Here’s one featuring Fred Gehrisch, CGCS, a regular cast member of Rockbottum CC, and an avid martial artist. Fred trains at Your Time Fitness in Clayton, Georgia and allowed us to film his Anti-Stress Method. Fred trains solo for an hour and then teaches a fun, lighthearted but tough kick-boxing class. We slipped in during a holiday period, when the class numbers are usually down, and shot this film on GCS Anti-Stress.
  8. Working for a big urban muni in the Deep South with monthly floods and a constantly changing command structure had a negative effect on my health. While the chain of command at a high dollar private course can often be a pressurized environment, the sudden and bizarre reversals of policy on the municipal facility I inhabited regularly produced staff meetings worthy of a Polanski film. At one point, I was stripped of my authority to issue cart path only edicts, as that power belonged in the hands of the pro, someone who understood “revenue”. It didn’t last long, however, due to lots of photographic documentation of his decisions. There were other blood pressure spikes. Like when I scrimped to save $50k in my budget and it was given to Recreation for referee uniforms. Referees! Or when personnel admin types took over employee selection and sent me potential Manson family members, or when the purchasing department substituted pitchforks for bunker rakes. (Better price.) My own personal turning point arrived in 1992. I had been summoned to a gathering of non-elected bureaucratic “experts” to help solve a problem with our two munis: Consistently poor greens. (By poor, they meant “dead” for long periods.) This was due to pushup greens on red clay with no drainage--surface or otherwise--heavy play, fairway bermuda coerced into putting surface duty and enough trees to shoot a Tarzan movie. As a political imbecile, I stupidly suggested my standard fix: Buy some chainsaws and do a quick greens rebuild, adding that I had performed this miracle on my last three courses. The various and sundry desk pilots and bean counters snorted at me, while chanting magic budget incantations. Then the great and powerful golf pro mounted his throne and said, “Yes, we must rebuild the greens to bentgrass, as the poor simpleton alludes to, but we shall only rebuild one green per year to avoid loss of revenue.” (Bureaucrats enjoy striking fear in one another with that ‘loss of revenue’ phrase.) I protested, on the grounds that it would take 18 years to convert to modern, competitive putting surfaces. Some of the bureaucrats sided with the golf pro, because, well, “he’s a golf professional, he understands these things”. A few in the meeting—those with actual job experience—sided with me and this triggered an outburst somewhat akin to a bunch of primates in the upper levels of triple canopy jungle engaged in a territorial dispute. There was lots of shrieking and howling and pounding of chests and the flinging of objectionable materials, very much like the last two elections. I will reluctantly admit to being one of the more enthusiastic participants, going full-on howler monkey. (Never drink a double-shot espresso prior to a meeting.) That night, I experienced some sort of irregular fibrillation, where my heart would stop for what seemed like several seconds. This event tends to wake you up, kind of like a zombie reaching up out of the grave, with all of the grunts, gasps and wide-eyed facial contortions one would expect. I soon found myself hooked up to an EKG, an ultrasound and some device called a Holter that I had to wear for 24 hours. Then I met with three cardiologists. The first two were more interested in golf than my heart and after another howler monkey outburst, I was handed over to a heart specialist from Belgium. She was very tuned in to my situation—because she actually listened to my answers—and quickly determined that job stress was my problem. I had triggered this malady by severely cutting back on my formerly neurotic exercise routine, in a failed attempt to be more responsible. I thought I could be more grownup and maybe even a better golf course fixer. She further explained that with our very recent birth of a child and the resultant increase in stress associated with no sleep, an angry wife and worries about the future, I was a borderline raging stress maniac about to burst. I was given a prescription that said get my lazy butt back on the bike and ride hard until the stress has been vaporized. I was confused. “But Doc, I gave up Walter Mitty training to be career responsible! What about my fibberlatin’ and my atrials and such? How long will I have to train like this?” She answered in that superior Euro accent, “Until they find you dead on the side of the road . . . which will be a long time from now, unless you keep stressing at work. Keep doing what you’re doing now and you’ll be dead before your son enters elementary school.” I reveal this deeply personal story in order to help those of you entangled in job and family stress. Over the next few weeks, I will tell you the secrets of fitness and health I accumulated down through the years. Although I’m not a formally trained expert, I am still here. A couple of short films on the topic are on the way, so stay tuned to Here At The Rock.
  9. Don't miss this year's Turf Field Day at Rivermont, because even if your job requires doing things "the way it's always been done" . . . eventually you will need to be familiar with other ways to get it done. Mark Hoban is the tip of the spear. Come see what he's up to now.
  10. Randy Wilson

    Spot Spray Techniques at Rivermont CC

    Dave, I think Mark's spirit animal is the hawk. I live up in the mountains and I have never seen so many hawks as I have on Rivermont, right in the middle of a super congested urban area.
  11. Randy Wilson

    Spot Spray Techniques at Rivermont CC

    It ain't magic, it's mathematics. Like two negatives make a positive? Two doofus make . . .
  12. How does Rivermont CC look so good and play so well on a such a minimalistic spray regimen? Learn one of Mark Hoban's secrets by watching this short film.
  13. While preparing for the long anticipated Rivermont Field Day, Mark Hoban is forced to explain his organic philosophy to some golfer that wandered in off the street.
  14. In this tale from The Greens of Wrath on Rockbottum Radio, young Randy relates the story from Burnt Run Country Club, circa 1971, when he employed certain hallucinogenic tactics to get his night waterman job back. Presented by Vinylguard Golf.
  15. You know, Randy . . . that guy with the vengeance problem.
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