Thanks a Lot!


The price of turkey is out of sight, airfares to visit faraway relatives are even higher, and I think there’s another LIV Golf tournament (or is it an exhibition? Maybe a tea dance?) about to be played somewhere I’ll never go. That means it’s the season to reflect on what I am most thankful for in my life and in our profession.

It’s certainly been an interesting year, and I’m thankful for …

The golf boom. It’s good that COVID isn’t as dangerous as it was a year or two ago, and it’s also good that people are going back to the office so we can get our courses cleaned up. Before we had a chance to train the old golfers (assuming they’re trainable), we were hit with a tsunami of new, uneducated players who took out their pandemic frustrations by neglecting to rake bunkers, fix divots, lift their feet when they walk and seem to think the proper number of practice swings is 11.

Poa annua. It’s the jock itch of agronomy: It never goes away. But while it keeps us sod busters — as well as researchers and plant protectant companies — awake at night, it gives us something to complain about, and will continue to for a long, long time. It’s also given me something to talk about with friends like Dr. Fred Yelverton, Dr. Bert McCarty and scores of others. Unfortunately, most of those conversations aren’t fit for a G-rated audience.

Maintenance dogs. They’re irresistibly adorable, curious, frolic at the turn of an irrigation head and jump all over me after running through mud — just before the green committee meeting.

Our profession’s communication skills. With the world literally one thumb touch away, I am flummoxed by my fellow superintendents who don’t know how (or won’t) return a text, a phone call or an email. C’mon, we’re better than this.

Fall golf season on television. Watching professional golf in the fall bores me to death even faster than it does the rest of the year. And I’m obviously not the only one sleeping on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon because the ratings are lower than a nematode’s arse. This silly season allows me to focus on a real sport — ice hockey. Feel free to substitute football, pro or college, if you must.

Frivolous lawsuits. The PGA Tour and LIV are going to throw away millions of dollars arguing over billions of dollars, making lawyers rich and the game better? For whom? Give me just a little bit of that money and we’ll build a labor pool, trim a few (thousand) trees and perhaps eradicate Poa!

Global warming. It pushes our bentgrass green conversions to Bermudagrass, helps the nighttime temps rise and allows us to use more water. All while bringing snow in August.

Or maybe there’s no such thing as global warming? In which case we can stop wearing hats and slathering on the sunscreen. Plus, dermatologist appointments, freeze-drying those little brown spots and melanoma become a thing of the past. I’d call that a head-scratcher, except if you do, you’ll likely bleed.

Labor shortages. Being short-staffed allows us to spend more time away from our families, miss the kids’ sporting events, neglect any hobbies we might have had and spend no weekends at home in the fall.

My green committee chairman. With his internet agronomy degree, keen understanding of turf diseases and highly developed people skills, he keeps his committee meetings lively — and maintenance crews running in the opposite direction whenever they see him coming.

Golf course architects. Because this was the year they finally understood that we can’t grow turfgrass in the shade nor can we drain water up a steep, unmowable slope — despite how much we love hand-mowing slopes around bunkers (especially with a depleted crew).

Daylight saving time. It’s harder to get a sunburn if you’re working more hours in the dark, right?

Aerification. There’s something nice about turning putting into pinball — and having an excuse to give your 20-handicap golf chair a couple of 3-footers now and again.

The readers of this column. I’ll get serious for one second here (but only one). Besides having the utmost respect for all of my dirt-under-the-fingernails brethren, I am most thankful for those of you who keep what we do in perspective and appreciate the tongue-in-cheek nature of my columns. We do a hard job in less than perfect circumstances, so if you ever feel unappreciated where you work, know you are appreciated here.

Tim Moraghan, principal, ASPIRE Golf ( Follow Tim’s blog, Golf Course Confidential at or on Twitter at @TimMoraghan.

November 2022
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