Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Was A Total Sellout

Hello Turf Nerds, Turf Heads, Turf Monkeys (I'm calling you out, Turfgrass Zealot!) and every head greenkeeper, green committee chairman, general manager, assistant super, spray tech, irrigation tech, bunker captain, entry level greenkeeper, golf pro (doubt it), hacker or golf kook that happens to stumble across this blog.  I've waited far too long to voice my opinions concerning this extraordinary profession of greenkeeping.  It certainly is a f'd up world to be associated with, but I truly love it! Particularly, those singular moments when I'm introduced to someone, and through the casual progression of conversation, the inevitable question is asked......

"So what do you do for a living?"

"I'm the head greenkeeper at Newark Country Club".

"Cool.....what do you do in the winter?"

Well,  random person, this winter, along with painting tee markers, ball washers and flagsticks, while also felling the occasional tree (when approved by the green committee),  I took a serious personal inventory concerning my regimented approach to the art of a maintaining turf.  What I was accomplishing in the past wasn't art at all.  It was at best, an arbitrary, paint by numbers style of greenkeeping that focused on maintaining "green" playing surfaces,  with no regard to the inputs I was abusing for the sole purpose of keeping my job.  I applied nitrogen with machine like precision.  My only intention when spraying pesticides was to "prevent" those pesky turfgrass pests from ever occurring , and I  totally (over) watered our fine turf areas with the reckless abandon of a Trump crony spewing "alternative facts".   And this approach to greenkeeping always bothered me even though I was producing average (at best) playing conditions, while keeping member expectations at satisfactory levels.  It nagged at me because of who I am....

 ....a person that has always been attracted to the outcasts of society that consistently question main stream America for the singular purpose of making this wonderful country we all live in a better place...

In my youth, I was a steady protester against the environmental and social injustices of our country. A   huge reason why I was attracted to greenkeeping, besides my love of the game, was to make a difference environmentally.  And if I am going to be completely honest with myself, I have done a pretty shite job when it comes to being an environmental steward.  I was a total sellout, and longed to do a better job.....but how?

Fortunately,   I came across some pretty spectacular greenkeepers while researching the internets.  They (and others) are actually doing some impressive work pertaining to limiting inputs in an effort to dramatically improve the environment.  Dudes like Dr. Micah Woods who is a treasure trove of knowledge, and shares it willingly on www.asianturfgrass.com and his excellent "Viridescent" blog.  Jason Haines, a Micah Woods disciple that totally adheres to the MLSN/growth potential philosophy when it comes to growing grass is another greenkeeper that I feel is fully pushing the environmental bounds in an extremely positive way.   Check out Jason's website at www.turfhacker.com if you need a little environmental inspiration.  Chris Tritabaugh is another greenkeeper with a minimalist approach that is so f'ing admirable that if you aren't inspired by his style, you're a total kook.

These fellas, and what I consider to be their alternative style to greenkeeping have inspired me to do what I've always felt was right, but was always scared to attempt. And that is, implementing a minimalist approach to greenkeeping in an effort to be a true environmental steward.  The Walking Greenkeeping blog is where I will be documenting my efforts to become a more responsible turf manager.  I can't wait to do.....nothing.

Other topics I'll be addressing on this blog....

Why I am the Walking Greenkeeper.....

The dwindling labor pool....

Are management companies good for the golf industry.....

And of course.... my attempts to being a minimalist greenkeeeper

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the kind words Joseph. Keep us updated! Take care 😀

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  2. You're welcome, Jason! And thanks for checking out my blog. Can't wait for "WN G" to comment on this piece!

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  3. HA! you know you've made it big when he comments on your blog!

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  4. Replies
    1. Sweet! I'm so stoked you read this, Dave! Hope you're feeling better!

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