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Jonathon Scott

Golf Course Superintendent
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About Jonathon Scott

  • Birthday 07/05/1949

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  • Club/Course/Company
    Jon Scott Golf Consulting
  • Location
    4254 County Road 489, Onaway, Michigan 49765

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  1. It comes all the way down to the loss of the single-owner retail store. It wasn't just price that drove people to on-line ordering, it was the absence of anyone inside that knew you and vice versa. If there is no service or relationship with the store anymore, why go to the trouble of walking in the door? I hope the younger people at Toro and all of Corporate America take heed. One day I think this is all going to backfire.
  2. I hesitate to hit the "Like" button on this one because it is really a sad read. Those of us who are still around after 45+ years in the industry know exactly what Peter is lamenting. Web site visits replace sales calls, videos substitute for service tech's, and infomercials replace research. It is the time we now live in. Thankfully, at the distributor level, some of what was lost at the corporate level still remains. I don't know how to exist without relationships. Maybe some of the new generation can still teach me before I'm done.
  3. I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy early in her career and have been a fan of hers ever since. She embodies the passion and professionalism of all great Golf Course Superintendents, Course Managers, and Greenkeepers.
  4. I can't believe I am the first comment here, Dave. There must be others in the que that have not been registered. You are not alone, and many, most, all, of your readers understand. I have been consulting now for over 30 years after having been a superintendent for 15. I have never seen such trauma in our profession as I do now. The expectations far exceed reality, and that translates to stress, anxiety, depression, and a feeling of failure or impending failure. We are at a breaking point in this profession. If something doesn't give, there will be many more superintendents for Ron to interview. It doesn't have to be this way. I am so proud to have been your friend all these years. Keep speaking out, and keep helping. We have that in common, and that is why I keep going. You do the same. Superintendents need you.
  5. This brings back a lot of memories, Dave. Thanks for sharing with a whole new generation of Turfheads. It sure hasn't gotten any easier, and not likely to do so. And Mike, we have all been there, haven't we? You had Dave, and I had Mike Giuffre. Thankfully they were there for us.
  6. As usual, spot on Dave. As a consultant, I am still a salesman in the eyes of the client. Even though I am selling myself, it is no different than if I am selling product. Bullshit doesn't sell in the long run. Find out what the client wants first, and secondarily what you think he or she needs. The latter will follow if you do it right. Well said.
  7. This is better than great advice, Dave. I've learned this the hard way more than once, I have to admit. I will cite one incident where I was at a BOD meeting at an unnamed Country Club trying to help a superintendent deflect some unreasonable demands for perfect golfing conditions year 'round in the desert. Now those of you who have been there know that you almost have to overseed in the Desert SW just to keep the much bigger number of winter members happy. The 12 month residents also want winter overseeding, but no transition because they don't go to summer homes. In this case, the most vocal BOD Member was a 12 month'er. He called into the meeting rather than be there, which in itself tells you something about his character. After I had meticulously explained to those present that it was not possible to have optimal winter and summer transition experiences in that area he proceeded to tell me and everyone listening that this was the biggest bunch of B.S. (my abbreviation) he had ever heard in his life. He went on to question my education, experience, character, and anything else he could think of during his rant. Now, if I had followed the points of your blog, Dave, I probably would still be consulting there. As it was, I was never asked to come back, even though everyone at the table knew I was right. My questioning his education didn't play very well, however. The good news is the superintendent is still there, almost 10 years later, and I still have lots of clients to replace this one. That said, I frequently have a bloodied tongue when I meet one of these people. Well done, my friend.
  8. Your points are all good, Dave, but one that really stuck out to me was Robotic Mowers. Personally, I hate to see this coming, but practically it is unavoidable. There simply are not enough good worker candidates out there anymore to even keep up with the reduced inventory of golf courses. If one person can do the job of three, it will be very hard to not take advantage of the technology. Jay Ervine is spot on, and so are you.
  9. Wish I had been there, Dave. Happy Belated..............
  10. When I went to PGA Tour Agronomy, I thought I knew how to cut a cup. It did not take long for a group of Champions Tour Rules Officials led by Brian "Bruno" Henning to show me the next level of perfection expected at every one of their competitions. It took awhile before they would trust me with the training session that was held before each and every event. When I earned that badge, I realized that the method that Dave is referring to is literally the ONLY way to insure precision and fairness in the cup placement and replacement process. I still get a chance to pass on that wisdom from time to time, and it never gets old. Well said, Dave, and yes you were very good at it.
  11. Spoken like someone who has been there, and there is no substitute for that. Visions of pastimes when I "should have" flashed through my mind as I read your text. And that's how you learn.
  12. I will take honorary and I am sure Jack would, too. Jack would surprise you with his turf knowledge, Dave. He did me many times while I worked for him. Right out of the blue he would throw a turf variety at me or challenge me to explain why I felt this particular tree would cause the green to fail and another not - when he already knew the answer. Jack was always testing, debating, and wanting to learn. He had four different turf varieties on the grounds at his house so he could evaluate them for himself for future courses. He understood water movement, air circulation, light, and drainage much better than people gave him credit for. He had an insatiable curiosity and loved to talk turf with me and at times, his friends. I always had to be on my "game" when we debated, or just fess up and say "I don't know." He knew the next time we talked, I would know, and I did. I don't claim to know what constitutes a true Turfhead. You bestowed that honor on me many years ago, and I am proud to be a member of that group of professionals. To me, Jack would qualify, but then I have an inside track that I'm extremely fortunate to have experienced. But, Jack is only one of my heroes. Be sure that you are on my list as well. Now, don't make me name the rest as I will surely lose sleep over it.
  13. Wow, this gets me thinking, Dave, and I'm glad no one has ever asked me that question. I am going to list one and only one for public consumption, because many people will be surprised and some will even look away. Keep in mind that like you, I have so many Turf Heroes that I would be also losing sleep over who I did not mention. I would much rather tell them in person before they move on to the other world, and I regret I have not for those that have. Nevertheless, my choice is Jack W. Nicklaus. No one ever challenged me more professionally or gave me the opportunities to learn golf, turf, and how they relate to each other than Jack. It goes without saying that he is a hero for what he has and still is doing for the game of golf, his charities, and his family. I want to say that he is also a Turf Hero for me. And yes, I have to tell him that one day before he is gone. Photo by Jim Mandeville
  14. When the GIS shortened the floor time, my experience went to hell. I don't know if there is any way to get back what we lost, but it was the death knell for me enjoying the conference. Now, I have far fewer people I feel obligated to accommodate and perhaps it would work. Let me stress that this is a personal issue and not something that was and is industry wide. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to speak for anyone but me.
  15. One of the reasons I have been a stranger to GIS the last 5 years is because I did not follow the Wilber philosophy and got completely burned out on the experience. God knows what all I have missed in those 5 years, and yes that includes old friends. I just got back from the Michigan Turf Foundation conference yesterday after an absence of 6 years, and inadvertently DID follow this advice. Result? I totally enjoyed being there and will return next year for more. Oh, and I plan to be in Orlando, too. #GolfIndustryShow . Have a great week everyone!
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