Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Taking One for the Team

Poor Bud Selig. He must follow Barry Bonds in his stretch run to break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. Having to witness Bonds hit No. 756 and cheer as he is rounding the bases is cruel and unusual punishment. But it comes with the territory. But Selig must do his job as baseball’s commissioner.

We’ve all done things we don’t want to do because we've been thrust into highly volatile political situations. We’ve had to take one for the team, so to speak.

As superintendents, I’m sure you experience this all the time. We want to hear some of your I-took-one-for-the-team stories. Tell us what you had to do and how you garnered the strength to do it. Feel free to blog here.

— Larry Aylward

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Manufacturing Transparency Hard To See

It began with chemicals in toothpaste and tainted dog food. Then children’s toys were found with lead paint. Now, Chinese-made tires are raising the ire of the automotive industry and its subsequent consumers.

U.S. officials have told Foreign Tire Sales of Union, a small New Jersey importer, to recall 450,000 radial tires for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans after the company disclosed that its Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented the tires from separating. Tread separation is the same defect that led to the recall of millions of Firestone tires in 2000.

The company first suspected problems in October 2005. Almost a year later, in September 2006, the Chinese manufacturer, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber, a former state-owned company based in eastern China, acknowledged that a gum strip that prevents the tread from separating was left out of the manufacturing process.

In the burgeoning era of globalization, it’s increasingly difficult to determine subtleties in the supply chain. I remember the scorn from my father when I was shopping for foreign cars. I was fresh out of school, and I needed a good deal. He guilted me into buying a Ford, which I later found out was built in Mexico with mostly Japanese parts.

Do you know where your products are made?
Would you be able to detect a manufacturing defect if you found one?

— David Frabotta

Media Relations? What Media Relations? USGA Needs to Get Its Head Out of the Bunker Sand

If you're a tournament golf fan, you probably know of Tim Moraghan. He was the United States Golf Association's long-time director of championship agronomy who participated in 21 U.S. Opens. He no longer holds that title. Moraghan either quit or was fired. Nobody knows for sure because nobody is saying for sure.

I called the USGA the other day to see if the association was ready to issue a statement on Moraghan's departure. The media person I spoke with obviously had a gag order placed on him. He answered none of my questions.

Meanwhile, rumors circulate of what might have happened. This has been brewing, some say. Something happened at Oakmont, others say. This goes back to what happened at Shinnecock in 2004, others say.

I hate rumors. They damage credibility and rob people of their dignity.

The USGA needs to get its head out of the bunker sand and come clean on this matter by issuing a statement. The USGA needs to shut down the rumor mill.

— Larry Aylward