Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get ready for a Jack attack

As you know if you subscribe to the Golfdom Insider, we'll have a story in our April issue of Golfdom that takes a look at Nicklaus' win at the Masters 25 years ago. Written by one of our regular superintendent writers, Ron Furlong, the story includes an interview with Billy Fuller, who was the superintendent of Augusta National at the time.

There's also going to be a documentary on Jack's win on ESPN next Wednesday... here's the press release:

On the 25th anniversary of one of the most memorable moments in sports history, ESPN Films
looks back at Jack Nicklaus’ win in the 1986 Masters in a one-hour documentary airing Wednesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Yes Sir: Jack Nicklaus and the ’86 Masters will explore the magnitude of what happened on April 13, 1986, when the 46-year-old Nicklaus charged from behind and won the Masters for the sixth time. He became the oldest player ever to earn the coveted Green Jacket at a time when many believed the legendary golfer would never win another tournament.

The film includes fresh new perspective from Nicklaus, his son and caddy Jackie, and others such as Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Tom Watson who offer special insight into Nicklaus’ achievement. In the film, Woods, who became the youngest ever to win the Masters 11 years to the day after Nicklaus’ historic win, and Nicklaus sit down separately to watch highlights of the 1986 Masters and discuss their golfing careers then and now.

"Jack Nicklaus' dramatic comeback to win the '86 Masters isn't just a golf story or even a sports story," said John Dahl, executive producer, ESPN Films. "It's a human story of a father and son coming together for something so inspiring that it resonates powerfully 25 years later. The film is a poignant look at that magical father-son journey."

The film follows three hours of live programming on ESPN from Augusta National Golf Club on April 6. SportsCenter at the Masters, a one-hour special, airs at 5 p.m. and will preview the 2011 version of the event. ESPN’s live coverage of the annual Masters Par 3 Contest airs from 3-5 p.m.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 13 -- Can Tiger Cure Your Swing?

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! I hope the NCAA Tournament games were kind to your bracket last week. In case you live under a rock the final four is set with Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler and VCU. Don’t be too hard on yourself Jonesy, it just wasn’t the Jayhawks' year. Before you know it college football season will be here and you’ll be on the hill with a cold beer in your hand.

If your bracket is toast, no worries, I have great news! Tiger Woods wants to help you with your golf swing!

That’s right, Tiger wants to personally help you with your golf swing through an application available for iPhones and iPads called Tiger Woods: My Swing. My Swing claims to help golfers of all levels improve their golf swing through video analysis and instruction from golf great Tiger Woods. With the My Swing application you are able to compare swings against every club in Tiger's bag.

I just have a couple of questions about Tiger Woods: My Swing. Don’t you think Tiger should worry about fixing his swing before he tries to help you with yours? If I wanted swing advice from a struggling golfer with a questionable swing I would ask advice from my Dad or Seth or a hundred other bad golfers I know. At least swing advice from my Dad doesn’t cost $9.99. What a joke. I’ll tell you what blows my mind: I guarantee thousands of brutal golfers are going to purchase this app and think it is going to improve their golf game. How about you mail me your $4.99 and I get Seth to give you swing lessons? I say the chances of your swing improving are about the same and you’ll be ahead $5. That is a hell of a deal! Think about it and let me know when to schedule your swing lesson.

How about Martin Laird! Laird rallied from three shots back with four holes to play to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Laird came out flat Sunday to fall three shots back but came back for a great win. The win puts Laird in forth in the FedEx Cup Standings. Tiger finished seven shots back in 24th place. I guess when you compare 24th place to Johnny Vegas not making the cut, Tiger must be gaining confidence?

Whatever, don’t forget to schedule you swing lesson with Seth. Just shoot me a comment to schedule your lesson and make your check payable to Hendren’s Hyperbole!

Till next time!

--Matt Hendren

Monday, March 28, 2011

Do you QR Code?

Do you recognize this funky-looking box?

Apparently if you take a photo of it with your smartphone, you can get a discount on Echelon herbicide from FMC.

I'll admit, this technology was new to me until recently. Adam Manwarren at FMC introduced me to how this stuff works while I was at the GIS (that's me and Adam in the photo, I'm the one who looks perplexed.)

But now, I think it's pretty cool... there are a couple of these "QR Codes" in each issue of Golfdom... you can learn more about products, like FMC's Echelon or about the Golfdom Summit... out and about, I can scan a QR Code on my boarding pass to track my flight, or I can scan a QR code on a movie poster to see an exclusive sneak preview (did this with "The Mechanic" recently.)

Manwarren is all over this technology, and in fact, he was all over it at the GIS, using it to his advantage to spread the word about FMC's products.

“The opportunity to use new communication technology like videos, QR codes, and social media and through the GIS app smartphones, as well as the Twitter feeds with hash tag opportunities created for interesting dialogue before, during, and even after the show," Manwarren told me.

So my question for you is... do you use this technology yet? Check out my poll and let me know!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Northwest Turfgrass Association names Ramsdell Exec Director

Some news from our friends out in the Pacific Northwest... always good to see a fellow journalist doing well in the turfgrass industry! Best of luck to you, Paul, from the crew at Golfdom! -- Seth

The Board of Directors of the Northwest Turfgrass Association announced that it has hired Paul Ramsdell to be the executive director of the association that provides turfgrass research grants throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Ramsdell will begin immediately with the NTA, whose Turfgrass Universities Research Fund has distributed more than $900,000 in research grants in the past 14 years and plans to break through to $1 million in the near future.

As the current executive director of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association, Ramsdell brings a growing knowledge of issues facing superintendents in the region.

“The NTA board has spent many hours and traveled many miles meeting and hashing out how the new NTA will look and we feel Paul is the person to help us reach these goals,” Tim Mack, president of the NTA and superintendent at Avondale Golf Club in Hayden Lake, Idaho, said. “I for one am very excited to work with Paul on this endeavor.”

Ramsdell, 53, will bring a wide range of experience to the position and ample knowledge of the golf industry in the Northwest. Before taking the position with the WWGCSA, he was the club manager of Kitsap Golf & Country Club in Bremerton, Wash.

Prior to that, he was the editor of the Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine and a senior editor with He served as president of the Northwest Golf Media Association for six years and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

A graduate with a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, Ramsdell has worked for various newspapers including the Seattle Times, The News Tribune of Tacoma, The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., the Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune and the Pendleton (Ore.) East Oregonian.
“I look forward to this opportunity,” Ramsdell said. “It’s been difficult for the NTA to be without an executive director for nearly a year. I believe I can offer stability and sustainability to get the association moving forward again. I hope to use my knowledge of the Northwest and my various contacts to support and promote turfgrass research wherever it is needed.”

As with the WWGCSA, Joyce Phillips, the former controller at Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle and Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club in Federal Way, will be the financial administrator for the NTA.

Ramsdell can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 253-219-8360 or 253-851-2930. The home address for the NTA will become 1802 Weatherswood Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, Wash., 98335

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 12 -- I hope my wife doesn't beat me!

Welcome back to another March Madness edition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! I hope everyone made it a priority to sign up for the Golfdom Bracket Challenge before the deadline last Thursday. If not it wasn’t due to a lack of effort on Golfdom’s part to get the word out! All together 57 people signed up! Not bad for our first go at a bracket challenge.

We also picked up two sponsors for this little game – SubAir and Rain Bird. Thanks guys! When you throw in that Golfdom is also in on the action, I think that means about a third of our field will score a prize of some sort.

As far as the bracket goes there is still a lot of basketball left to play so I won’t get into predictions as to who will win the bracket pool. It wouldn’t matter if I did because I am tied for 19th with several other people including my wife. I am never going to hear the end of it if she beats me! That can’t happen right? I would like to point out several Golfdom employees are toward the top of the list. Is this a coincidence? Has to be, after all I am the commissioner and I run a tight ship!

I don’t know if you caught the poll posted along with my last post but if you didn’t everyone feels the same way I do about Tiger. 100% of the people who participated in the poll don’t think I am being too hard on Tiger and like I have previously stated, majority rules here at Hendren’s Hyperbole! Granted, only eight people took the time to vote but I am sure everyone agrees with me that Tiger is a bum, even if they didn’t take the time to vote.

It has been the busiest week ever here in hyperbole land so that is going to have to be it for this week’s post. I will get back on track next week with some golf takes that will make you cringe a little.

Thanks for reading!

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rounds4Research 2011 nears

Mark your calendars fro April 10-17 to do some golf shopping for a good cause. Here are the details from the fine folks at the Carolinas:

Golf’s great online auction at will run for one week only this year starting April 10. Golfers across the country will bid for tee-times at hundreds of courses across the Southeast including some of the most revered and exclusive facilities in the game. Nearly 300 courses from the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia have already committed tee times. More than 1,000 tee-times at more than 700 courses were up for bid last year.

“Compressing the duration of the auction will make for a shorter, sharper experience for bidders,” says Tim Kreger, executive director of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association, which administers the annual event. “They asked for it and we’re happy to oblige. This will be our third year and a lot of golf lovers know the drill by now. They want to bring the bidding to a head quickly and get out on their course.”

To date, has provided around $130,000 in funding for turfgrass research. That research helps underpin the health and conditioning of every course and therefore the vitality of the industry as a whole, which delivers an economic impact in the order of $12 billion across the participating states of North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. Research efforts also bolster the game’s record as an environmental steward by improving the efficiency of inputs and promoting resource conservation.

Prospective bidders can check out the daily-updated list of participating courses at They can also register for an email reminder as the auction launch nears.

Piloted by golf course superintendents, is a joint project of the major allied golf associations in each participating state including course owners, club managers, golf professionals and the various state golf associations.

“In addition to its simplicity, the beauty of this project is really that it gives everyone involved in golf a chance to support the game itself,” Kreger says. “The fact is it doesn’t matter what sector of the game we are involved in, we all have a stake in making sure it is healthy. Our research institutions have been hit hard in this economy and we are proud that golf as a whole has been able to step up and ease some of the burden they face.”

This year’s auction runs April 10 to 17.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Turf experts make their NCAA picks

Great news! SubAir is going to co-sponsor this March Madness Bracket Challenge with us! Thank you SubAir!

Here's the email that just went out to all the subscribers of Golfdom's e-newsletter Chip Shots:

Think you're the biggest college basketball fan in the industry? Golfdom and SubAir want you to prove it.

There are so many turf schools in the NCAA tournament -- 17 schools by our count -- that we know Golfdom readers have caught March Madness. That's why Golfdom and SubAir - maker of TurfBreeze fans - are hosting the first ever Golfdom March Madness Bracket Challenge! Click here to enter your bracket (join group # 19161 -- no password needed, but you'll need a Yahoo! account) and compete against your fellow turf professionals. Golfdom and SubAir will be providing prizes for the best brackets in the industry.

SubAir's TurfBreeze fans got a lot of greens through last year's awful summer. They know all about big fans. But are you a big fan? Prove it, and win some cool stuff!

To help you with your picks, we consulted with some fellow fans who are also turf experts to see who they're taking in their bracket...

Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

"Listen, nobody's going to beat us. We're awfully good. We're the best team in the nation, just like we're the best athletic program in the nation!

But we are in a tough region. Oh boy, we've got a lot of tough teams. We've got Kentucky, we've got North Carolina... you'd think we'd have gotten an easier road to the championship since our athletic director was in charge of the selection committee!

Ohio State is a nice mix of people. We've got the best freshman in the nation in Jared Sullinger, and we've Jon Diebler, who is a three-point sharp shooter, and he's been really hot lately. But this team is a nice mix of personnel, they're not too young, not too old.

The key to beating Ohio State is if you can guard Sullinger 1-on-1. Because if you double-team him, he'll kick it out and we'll hit the three-pointer.

I think it will come down to us and Kansas. That'd be a great game, wouldn't it?"

Jack Fry, Ph.D., Kansas State University

"I'm a season ticket holder for K-State basketball, so I follow the team closely.

For us, it depends on which team shows up. If we get the team that beat Texas on the road, then we'll be just fine, but if we get the team that managed to lose to Colorado three times, well, we'll be in trouble.

Some people in Manhattan have high hopes, and they'd tell you we've got a shot at making it to the Elite Eight. Me? Well... I have them getting knocked out in the second round by Wisconsin.

If Jacob Pullen is hitting his threes, and if he gets some support, we'll be fine. But Pullen has to be "on" for us to have any success.

The best turf school in the tournament? I can't say Ohio State, because I just can't. I'm sorry, but I can't give Ohio State or Michigan State, those Big Ten schools, any credit! So I guess I'll take K-State... or maybe Purdue, even though Purdue is a Big Ten school as well."

Clark Throssell, Ph.D., Golfdom magazine (former head of Purdue University's turf program)

"Purdue is going to get to the Sweet 16 for sure, and, it depends on how you're feeling, they could be an Elite Eight team, too. They've got a good big man and a good guard, and that's what it takes to make it in this tournament. JaJuan Johnson is their big man, he's awfully good, and they've got E'Twaun Moore, and he's tough.

You know, I won the office pool twice when I was with GCSAA, so I'm looking forward to being in the Golfdom pool that's been set up... those two wins may have been total luck, but I think I do know a thing or two about basketball. I'm not crazy for the Jayhawks like they are in Lawrence, but I do think this will come down to the Jayhawks and the Buckeyes.

And I'm taking the Jayhawks to win it all. They're tough to beat, and they have a great coach. Plus, last year when they lost to Northern Iowa? That was a tough lesson. That will only help them this year."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 11 -- NCAA Tourney and Nick Watney's $12 million

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! This might be my favorite week of the year. The NCAA tournament starts Thursday! March Madness is unbelievable year after year and once the first Thursday of the tournament rolls around everything else just fades into the background.

Hopefully KU is who Jones thinks they are so I don’t have to listen to him cry over an early KU exit! Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Jonesy!

In case you haven’t heard, let me fill you in on the great idea Jones and I had over a couple of beers a few weeks back. FYI, all great ideas are born over a couple of adult libations. Right?

Anyway, we're doing the first ever Golfdom NCAA Bracket Challenge! It is very easy to sign up for and it’s FREE! Just click here, then enter group # 19161 (no password needed.) Then fill out your bracket (don't forget to pick a champion), sit back, cheer on your favorite team and watch as your industry partners go down in a blaze of glory!

On to some PGA Tour golf: Nice work Nick Watney! Winning the Cadillac Championship against the field that was playing is impressive. Nick won by two strokes over Dustin Johnson with a final score of -16. Nick’s projected FedEx Cup standing after the win is 2nd.

I don’t know about you but if I had to predict a winner my last choice might have been Nick Watney. I don’t know a lot about Nick so I did some research and thought I would share a few facts because if I don’t know a lot about Nick I think it’s a fair assumption that you probably don’t either. Nick was born April 25, 1981 in Sacramento, Calif., and attended Fresno State, graduating in 2003. He has won 3 tournaments since 2007 and finished 2nd once. He has had 30 top ten finishes and 60 top 25 finishes. His career winnings total $12,565,377.

Over 12 million in winnings? Not too shabby!

My boy Johnny Vegas finished tied for 31st with a final score of -2. Not terrible if you consider the course and competition but I’m still disappointed. Come on Johnny, I know your better than that, or at least I thought you were! I’m still on the Johnny bandwagon and unless something unforeseeable happens I’m here for the long haul.

For your weekly Tiger update I have the following riveting information. Tiger finished tied for 10th with a final score of -8 and a final round of 66. I guess the thing that bothers me is when he was interviewed after the tournament he seemed somewhat content. When did Tiger start getting content? Is he starting to lose that killer instinct he was so well known for?

That’s going to do it for this addition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! Make sure to go fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket at, group ID 19161. Until next week!

--Matt Hendren

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fire destroys maintenance facility at FarmLinks

I just got off the phone with Erle Fairly, president of FarmLinks. He informed me that everyone is fine, no people -- staff or fire fighters -- were injured during Wednesday morning's fire at the maintenance facility at FarmLinks GC in Sylacauga, Ala.

But the maintenance facility -- which housed some of the most cutting-edge equipment in the industry -- is a total loss.

"We believe the fire was started by lightning, we have the fire inspector here today... the fire started during a storm," Fairly told me. "These things are unfortunate, but we'll rally the troops."

Fairly also was thankful for the help of surrounding golf courses.

"This industry is close-nit, there's been no shortage of support. From industry partners, suppliers, superintendents... courses are already lending us equipment."

Photos courtesy of FarmLinks at Pursell Farms.

The Sharp Park drama makes my head feel like it's about to explode!

Editor's note: The following is the first blog post by new Golfdom contributor Chris Sorrell, superintendent at Eagles Ridge GC in Curwensville, Pa.

I just saw a little article on about Sharp Park.

It's a municipal golf course in San Francisco that has been under fire for some time concerning its impact on two endangered species: special frog and lovely snake. The claim is that the course is harming the animal populations. The interesting thing that is overlooked in this debate is that without the golf course, these two most marginal of God’s creations could not even live there!

The course that was built in 1932 by Golden Age architect Alister MacKenzie (which he actually writes about in his book “The Spirit of Saint Andrews”, pgs. 171-172) was “reclaimed from the sea.” This means that the land was raised from a wetland habitat to make it suitable for golf course construction. While this is not something that we would do today, there were no regulations preventing it then. It matters because in doing this it changed the standing water on the course from brackish water to fresh water. And these two species cannot survive in brackish water! Without the golf course being constructed these little critters would not even live there!

Everyone involved agrees that the course has a bad drainage problem that has resulted in conflict between maintenance practices and the creatures. The City of San Francisco has proposed a $10 million renovation to resolve the situation, but it is not good enough for opponents of the course who want to see it shut down and returned to a natural wetland. They even go so far as to criticize the city’s plan as being a waste of money because the “course will fail as sea levels rise.”

In that case, what is going to happen to the frog and the snake?

It doesn’t seem like concern for these slithery and slimy fellows is at the top of the opposition's agenda. Instead, there is an agenda at the top of their agenda.

Chris Sorrell is the superintendent of Eagles Ridge Golf Club in Curwensville, Pa. He has been a superintendent for four years. He studied turfgrass management at Penn State University. He is the father of two beautiful daughters and husband to an awesome wife.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Checking in from New England Regional Turf Show

Golfdom's Anthony Pioppi is currently up in Providence, R.I., attending the New England Regional Turfgrass Conference & Show. In Tony's words:

It appears to be about the same attendance as last year, maybe down a
little. I would say same amount of booths as 2010.

Listening to superintendents, part of the reason for guys not making
the trip is the fact that heavy weekend rains literally wiped away
every bit of snow off courses close to the coastline. Some had a foot
or more just last week. Some of those guys stayed home to get the
crews going. Long Island, Westchester County is without snow also and
a decent amount of supers come up from there as well.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Congrats to Golfdom's Anthony Williams!

(Pictured) for being named Outstanding Manager of the Year (Resort Division) at the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association awards, and to Evergreen Resort at Stone Mountain for getting the Good Earth Keeping Award for the environmental work being done at Stone Mountain's conference center and hotel!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 10 -- Announcing the Golfdom March Madness Bracket Challenge!

What’s up Hendren’s Hyperbole fans and random internet surfers who happen to stumble upon this awesome blog?

I’ll tell you what’s up! March Madness! That’s right; the NCAA tournament starts in nine days! There are few things that make me happier than watching Tiger struggle or the train wreck that is John Daly and March Madness just so happens to be one of those things. So I am pumped and unless you live under a rock or are a BYU fan, you probably are too!

Here’s the skinny. Over a few cocktails last Friday evening, Jones and I decided the only responsible thing to do about our March Madness itch is to host the first ever Golfdom March Madness Bracket Challenge. What could be more enjoyable than talking trash to fellow industry partners about their brutal bracket picks and winning some prizes in the process?

Answer: Nothing, nothing is better than prizes and a little trash talking!

Details as far as prizes are still in the works, so check back here for details but the group bracket is ready to go. You will find Golfdom’s Bracket Challenge on under the group ID 19161. It’s easy to find and sign up for and best of all it’s FREE! Once you get to Yahoo Sports just click on Tournament Pick’em and sign up to join group 19161. NO PASSWORD IS NEEDED. Obviously, the brackets aren't set yet, but you can register now and the site will send you a reminder once the brackets are official. We'll also be sending out reminders next week as well.

Once you have your bracket filled out just sit back, let the madness consume you and make sure your smack talking is up to par! The good news is Yahoo runs this thing all by itself, so me and Jones won't be in a bar every weekend trying to score brackets. It's almost fool proof!

Let’s get on to a little golf…

Rory Sabbatini won The Honda Classic last weekend by one shot over Y.E. Yang. The win earns him 500 FedEx Cup points and the final spot in this week’s World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship. The field is set with 69 players from 19 countries and includes all of the top 50 from the Official World Golf Ranking. Of the 69 players in the field 60 of them are inside the top 65 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

This week’s tournament should be awesome because all the who’s who of professional golf will be in the field including my boy Johnny Vegas. I am hoping he can get his stuff together, make a great run and be around come Sunday afternoon. If not, I guess I can always just watch the inevitable meltdown known as Tiger Woods.

Check back here and follow Golfdom on twitter for more details on Golfdom’s Bracket Challenge coming soon!

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, March 07, 2011

Turnin' the screw

You might remember I posted a photo of a bumper sticker here during the GIS in Orlando. The bumper sticker said, "My Rain Bird rotor is smarter than your rotor."

Well, I'm going through all this information from GIS about updates to rotors. Here's a little bit about what the Rain Bird folks gave me on their new 751 Rotors -- specifically, they're proud of the ease of adjustment on these new rotors. Also, they're backwards-compatible to any Eagle rotor built since 1992.

Here's part of the press release... look for more information on rotor improvements from other companies in the upcoming days...

Rain Bird 751 Golf Rotors make it possible for superintendents to easily and quickly adjust watering on greens, fairways or roughs as needed. These new rotors offer simple, top-adjustable rotation settings that retain the memory of their part-circle arc setting when shifting between full- and part-circle operations. This unique product is designed to offer quick adjustments for the life of the rotor with a turn of a screw.

It’s not necessary to completely replace an existing Rain Bird rotor in order to enjoy the benefits of the new 751 model. According to Lloyd von Scheliha, product manager for Rain Bird’s golf rotors, courses with older Rain Bird rotors currently installed can easily integrate the 751’s Rapid-Adjust Technology. “Unlike competitive products, Rain Bird’s new rotors offer backward-compatibility with every Eagle Rotor manufactured since 1992,” von Scheliha explained. “That means in many instances, superintendents can simply drop the new Rain Bird 751 internal assembly into their existing rotor cases, saving both time and money.”

In addition to Rapid-Adjust Technology, Rain Bird 751 Golf Rotors offer performance and durability. Field and laboratory tests have found the 751 Rotors to be up to 23 percent more efficient than those offered by the next-closest competitor. For more information about Rain Bird’s new 751 Golf Rotors with Rapid-Adjust Technology featuring Memory Arc, visit or call 1-800-RAINBIRD.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Autographed Golfdom finds its home

I got a call this evening from Sean Tully, superintendent at Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif. "I'm proud of us," he said. "We're both in our offices late on Friday."

Tully was returning my phone call about his winning the autographed copy of Golfdom. I wanted some details -- like, did Tully recognize how cool this magazine is? -- before I dropped this bad boy in the mail.

First of all, Tully definitely recognizes the coolness of this magazine. In fact, Tully collects old issues of Golfdom. His oldest issue dates back to 1965. "The cover story is about the construction of Spyglass Hill," Tully said. "I'm glad you guys do things like (the giveaway)... it's pretty damn exciting."

Tully, who has been at Meadow Club for ten years, is in his first year as the superintendent. He comes from a golfing family. He said his father, who passed some 20 years ago, would really get a kick out of the autographed issue of Golfdom.

"My Dad loved Palmer, he even smoked L&M's like he did," Tully said. Palmer is an honorary member at Meadow Club, but whenever he sees him he gives him his space. "He's just trying to play golf, you know?"

Tully also has a Nicklaus connection.

"My Dad was quite the golfer -- he qualified for the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1961. He used to brag that he beat Nicklaus as the low amateur, but I looked it up, and Nicklaus was invited to play, while my Dad missed the cut!"

Tully said he first found out that he won from his boss, who saw the notice in last week's Golfdom Insider e-newsletter.

"He told me, 'Did you see the Golfdom Insider? You won something.'" Tully says. "I said, 'Did I win an iPad?' Then I saw it was the signed issue. That's pretty cool, too."

So will the magazine be on display in his home or his office?

"Definitely my office at work," Tully says. "I have two daughters and a dog at home. Who knows what would happen to it there!"

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Apel new GCBAA executive director

The Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) recently announced Justin Apel as the association’s executive director. The move was made effective at the GCBAA general membership meeting at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando.

“I’m excited to lead the GCBAA into what will be a defining period for the association,” Apel said. “I intend to use my knowledge of associations, government and technology to continue the advancement of the GCBAA.”

Since 2006, Apel has served the GCBAA as executive assistant and most recently as assistant executive director. Before joining the GCBAA, Apel was the information and education director for the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts, the trade association for Nebraska Natural Resources Districts, for four years. He also spent two years from 2000 to 2002 as legislative aide to Nebraska State Sen. Cap Dierks, who chaired the Agriculture Committee.

Apel holds a Bachelor’s of Agricultural Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He fills the role vacated by Paul Foley, who announced he was retiring after serving in the capacity since 2006.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Convo with Baltimore CC super Tim Kennelly

I was watching Saturday Night Live (sad, I know) the other night and I saw a (terrible) skit where comedian Russell Brand is a homeowner, and the TV crew from the Home Network comes to his house to tell him he's the grand prize winner. Brand gives no emotional reaction in response, much to the chagrin of the TV host. Hilarity, sadly, did not ensue.

But I was reminded of that skit as I picked up the phone to dial Tim Kennelly, superintendent out at Baltimore CC, the other day. I wondered, what would be his reaction when I told him I was flying him out to Pinehurst, N.C. in November to join us for the first ever Golfdom Summit?

Lucky for me, his reaction was better than Brand's.

"Any time you get an opportunity to learn and improve yourself in this industry, you have to take it," Kennelly told me. "It's an opportunity to grow professionally, that's the best way to put it."

Kennelly, like me, has never been to Pinehurst.

"I've met Bob (Farren, director of grounds at Pinehurst) before, and he invited me to come out and see it, but I've never had the chance to get down there. Now I will," Kennelly said. It would have been about a 7-hour drive from Baltimore to Pinehurst, if he had to drive it. "I've heard a lot about the work (Bill) Coore and (Ben) Crenshaw have done on No. 2... I'm excited to see it!"

While I had him on the phone, I asked him how the Golf Industry Show treated him.

"To be honest, I haven't been to the last two... This one was a lot smaller than the last time I went. But bigger isn't always better," he said. "I had meetings with the Bayers and the Syngentas... it was easier to get around to them. Before, you couldn't cover the entire place."

Kennelly did have one complaint about the show: the bad slot for the USGA on Friday morning, after many people had already left the show. Kennelly is a member of his local USGA Greens Section Committee, but still felt compelled to leave before the USGA's Friday session, to get back home at a decent hour.

"But it's just like taking care of a golf course -- it's never perfect. You can't make everyone happy," Kennelly laughed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 9 -- Winter doesn't rule

Greetings from the Hendren’s Hyperbole think tank in wonderful Kansas City! I don’t know about you but I am really, really, REALLY ready for spring! I have had about all the snow and sleet I can handle. I am ready to get the 2011 season rocking. It’s kind of funny because I'm always ready for winter to arrive so I can catch my breath. After about two weeks of winter I'm ready for spring to arrive.

I know, I know, I should just be happy living in the moment but that’s not me. I am always ready for the next challenge to present itself. Change is good and always welcome!

On a personal note, over the weekend I booked a weeklong trip for my wife and me to the Dominican Republic in April. We're looking forward to playing some golf but have no clue what courses to play. If anyone has information on courses to play and courses to skip fire me a comment!

Thanks to Leastman for your comment last week on John Daly’s brutal wardrobe and entertaining personal life. Comments from readers are what make or break Hendren’s Hyperbole, at least in my eyes!

Congratulations to Luke Donald for getting over the hump and capturing his first victory in the PGA in five years at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Luke has had 28 top ten finishes but just couldn’t get over the hump. It was an impressive victory and a long time coming. Donald played 89 holes during 6 matches and never trailed at any time. He also produced 32 birdies. That’s 7 more birdies than any other competitor. Luke only had to play the 17th hole once and never had to play the 18th hole. That is an impressive display taking on the top 64 players in the world. Nice work Luke!

Was anyone surprised Tiger got bounced by 16-seed Thomas Bjorn in the first round? I think the real surprise would have been if he didn’t. Tiger only managed to birdie 4 holes and conceded 3 holes, a lackluster performance even by Tiger's new standards. Like always here on Hendren’s Hyperbole, Tiger…..what a bum.

That’s going to do it for this week’s Hendren’s Hyperbole. Keep those comments coming and let me know if you have a PGA favorite or not-so-favorite you want to be put on blast here on Hendren’s Hyperbole. I'm always interested in knowing what readers truly want to read about.

--Matt Hendren