Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year, A New Name

Finding a suitable name for this blog has always been a challenge of mine. At first it was titled "Pender Harbour Greenkeeper" but this name lost its meaning when the focus of the blog changed from course condition updates to alternative turf disease management techniques and observations. As the blog focus shifted I wanted to disassociate my golf course name from what I write about. It became less about the golf course and more about the trial and error of maintenance practices. Seeing a picture of a wildly out of control fusarium outbreak is also not what I wanted golfers searching for my course to see! I briefly changed the name to Jayturf’s blog but that had little meaning to me.
Not what golfers want to see when they search for
Pender Harbour Golf.
It wasn't until I was on an 800 km trip back from Christmas Holidays that I came up with a good name for the blog. My wife and I were listening to a Ted Talk podcast about Hacking.


Most people think about computer criminals when they hear the term "Hacker." Over the years the meaning of "hacker" has changed to reflect someone who does "interesting stuff, usually in some non-conventional way. You can hack anything from hardware, to DNA, to life itself." - Chris Drake.


To me, what I do and write about is interesting. If it wasn't interesting, I wouldn't do it. It is also a step away from how I was taught to do things so it fits the new definition of hacker quite well.


In Chris Drake's Tedx talk he says, " One thing in life that fascinates me is the idea of right and wrong. How many people does it all take to start doing something before it's no longer wrong. Well it's actually the reverse of that idea that I find more interesting. How long can you resist doing something before you become the fool for not doing it too."


Now I can't say that what I am doing, writing about, is right or wrong.  All I know is that what I am doing, have done, is never enough. How can we push it a little further? For me the turf disease battle, art of greenkeeping, pesticide safety concerns and timely pesticide ban threat has ignited a passion and drive to try and look for change. Maybe I'm the fool for not doing what everyone else is doing? I hope that maybe I can inspire change for the good, whatever that is.


I would be a fool, however, to think or proclaim that I am the only one doing this sort of thing. Most Superintendents I know are turf hackers in their own right. They might not be into hacking turf disease but that's OK. Superintendents are a creative bunch and I owe all my success to the help of other turf industry professionals and my family!


This is why I feel that the name "Turf Hacker" fits me, and this blog perfectly. Happy 2014!