The EarthWorks Podcast

Listen to The EarthWorks Podcast below! Join our EarthWorks Agronomy Team as they discuss a wide range of topics including: Biological Soil Management, Carbon Based Fertility, and real life experiences managing turf out in the field.

You'll get to know some of the industry experts in the fields of golf course, sports turf and lawn care management. These casual conversations are more than just tech "jargon of carbon". You'll hear real stories from real people.

To stay updated with our latest podcast subscribe to The EarthWorks Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and iHeart Radio.

The EarthWorks Podcast Videos

Many of our podcasts reference visual that have been captured on the full versions. You can view them in their entirity below.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Ben Wilmarth

Mistakes made, lessons learned, and a chance at a golf course start up…for the second time. Join us this week as we talk with Ben Wilmarth, Superintendent at the Osprey Meadows GC At Tamarack Resort. He had the opportunity to re-start the venerable Robert Trent Jones II course built in the early 2000’s and then shuttered in 2016 due to bankruptcy. We also discuss many of the common mistakes turf managers make and the importance of talking about them to help others avoid similar pitfalls.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Pete Bachman

Welcome Pete Bachman! On this edition of the EarthWorks podcast Pete chats with Jack about the importance of perseverance, networking, and everyday hard work. Join them as they reminisce about their time together in college and what it was like to be part of Penn State’s Spanish for Agriculture minor during its inaugural year.

EW Podcast - Sit In with The EarthWorks Agronomy Team

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Monday mornings at EarthWorks have been a geek session for our agronomy team. After discussing business issues, we spend another hour learning. Lawrence Mayhew, our chemist and internationally recognized humic substance expert, joins us and we talk “dirt”. After 30 plus years in the business if learning wasn’t still our first priority and passion, we would have failed our clients and ourselves. Take this opportunity to be a fly on the wall and hear how we navigate some tough science.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Dave Wilber - Construction & Renovation

This week Dave Wilbur joins us to talk about construction and renovation. What are the pitfalls to avoid? What are non-negotiable steps during the planning and execution stages that will yield the best results? Tune in for this and much more. There’s a nugget or two in this podcast, whether you’re planning a project or not. Thanks for tuning in and subscribing on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Armen Suny Part 2

The second go around with Armen is as good as the first. Armen shares his thoughts on sand greens mixes. We talk about what is good and what could be better with a sand construction mix. Once again the conversation with Armen is lively, funny and worth listening to.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons, Jack Higgins and Lisa Kiefer with Mark Nuzum

Fertilizer prices have been on the rise for a year and are showing no signs of slowing down. We interview Mark Nuzum, a long-time business partner and expert in the fertilizer market, to discuss where the prices are today and where they might be for the next couple of years. Carbon based fertilizers are not rising at the same rate and this may be a great opportunity to discover the long term cost value of “organic” fertilizers. We also talk with Lisa Kiefer, Vice President and Operations Manager at EarthWorks, to better understand today’s freight market and where it may be heading.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Patrick Coakley

Join us for a visit with Patrick “Irish” Coakley live from the Myrtle Beach STMA Conference and Trade Show. Patrick tells the funny story of where the name “Irish” came from and we go through his career managing sports turf. Irish has been involved in Minor League Baseball for his entire career, and we have a healthy discussion about the state of where Minor League Baseball is today.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Keith Wood

Keith Wood, Director of Greens & Grounds at Quail Hollow Club is no stranger to hosting tournaments. This year their tradition tournament, the Wells Fargo, will move north and instead Quail Hollow will be getting ready for a new venue for the fall 2022 Presidents Cup. Keith also talks to us about his career, lessons learned, and the construction work done at Quail Hollow to prepare for the 2017 PGA Championship which is coming back in 2025!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jason Pierce

Greenkeeping runs deep for Jason Pierce, and it better because he’s got a lot to manage! Forty-five golf holes at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, VA plus a role as Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist for Kemper Sports. Jason puts a lot of effort into staying organized and efficient probably because he learned how to green keep during a time when you were forced to make more with less. This is a characteristic that he has carried throughout his career. You will also enjoy hearing Jason tell some great old “Joel Stories” from his early days of building greens at Whitetail Resort in PA and Heron Glen in NJ.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Chuck Barber

Chuck Barber, Superintendent at St. Charles (no relation) CC in St. Charles, Illinois is our guest on the EarthWorks podcast this week. Of course we "talk turf", and also included some personal interest topics: Chuck’s recent health campaign, taking risks, raising kids and the work/life balance. Chuck discusses positivity and how leaders in the industry, like Dave Wilber, have influenced all of us. It was thoroughly enjoyable to be a part of this winding path through so many interesting topics. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to get weekly updates.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jeremy Hreben

This is a great talk about working for a municipal golf course. These golf courses have some unique challenges in providing excellent golfing conditions at an accessible price. It’s also a nice chat between friends that have supported each other’s career - and that’s what it’s really all about! Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Allen Reed

Allen Reed has an awesome perspective of the full evolution of the sprawling FC Dallas complex. He started as Field Manager 16 years ago, just weeks after construction of the stadium field began. Allen keenly recalls great details from his time at FC Dallas and shares entertaining stories of his introduction into the world of turf. Enjoy this interesting talk from a renowned Major League Soccer Field Grounds Director.

EW Podcast Highlights

This week we highlight the three most popular EarthWorks Podcasts to date featuring: Recruiting Consultant Armen Suny, Superintendent at Winged Foot Golf Club Steve Rabideau, and our friend and independent consultant Dave Wilber.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Zach Bauer

Zach Bauer of Valley Country Club in Colorado is one of the up and coming superintendents in the west. Zach and Kevin discuss a wide range of topics including: construction projects he’s overseeing, staffing and retention ideas that have worked in a very tight job market, and of course hobbies he enjoys to get his mind off of work. Zach’s passion for the industry is very apparent and he offers many ideas that could be applicable to everyone. Please enjoy the conversation and hit the subscribe button to automatically get updates on future interviews.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Pat Jones

Pat Jones is one of the most recognized names in the golf course industry and has been a passionate advocate for superintendents for over 30 years. He spent most of his career as a writer, editor and public speaker working for many major turf publications. He started his career in public relations and fund raising with the GCSAA. He may be best known for his research and tracking of the state of the golf course maintenance markets across the country and we sat down with him to discuss some of the trends that he sees happening today.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Kevin Hauschel

interest to his position as West Coast Sales for Greensight a company that provides drone technology to turf managers. This technology is providing a tremendous return on investment by allowing the turf manager to see from above areas of the property that may not be obvious from the ground. Join us for this fascinating conversation.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons & Jack Higgins with Lawrence Mayhew - Eco Adaptive Chemistry

The EarthWorks team introduces the term Eco Adaptive Chemistry. This term is gaining strength in the worldwide agronomic community. The concept observes natural soil systems and helps define the symbiosis between minerals, microbes and plant roots. Eco Adaptive Chemistry helps explain how a soil really works.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Steven Ball

Steven Ball is a young superintendent with mountains of experience. Ballyhack Golf Club is a stunning links course in southwest Virginia and a jewel of the nationally renowned Dormie Network. This conversation uncovers tools Steven uses to reduce compaction and manage the very heavy clay soil on the property. Steven doesn’t hold back and this is a very insightful conversation. Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jerad Minnick

What are you looking to learn from a 25 year veteran turf manager at one of the busiest facilities in the country? If it is how can you optimize your aerification for the ideal playability of the field and satisfaction of the client athletes it’s covered here!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Matt Muhlenbruch

Matt Muhlenbruch has has one of the best resume’s in the golf business. He escaped the stresses of the Mid Atlantic summers to move to the west coast where he worked at the Olympic Club during the 2012 US Open, moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach and recently did a major rebuild at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles. A great conversation between two guys from Jersey!

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Joel Simmons

We turn the tables on our regular host this week and interview Joel Simmons. Joel founded EarthWorks in 1988 with business partner and mentor, Jerry Brunetti. Joel and Kevin discuss the early days of the company including the challenges of building an organic based company well before it was vogue. A highlight of the podcast is a nod to the brilliance of the formulations that Jerry put together years ago. We also talked about the future of EarthWorks and Joel’s vision for the future. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to our podcast if you haven’t already done so.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Dean Graves

Dean Graves spent the majority of his professional career as a golf course superintendent in the heat of the Mid-Atlantic region near Washington DC. He is currently the principal of his own consulting company and consults to golf courses all across the country. We had time to catch up and talk about his career where he was fortunate enough to work at three golf courses within miles of each other. Dean shares a lot of wisdom about everything from agronomy to managing people.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Michael T. Huck

Mike Huck, owner of Irrigation and Turf Services joins Kevin Hicks to talk about his many career steps including his affiliation with an aftermarket sprinkler nozzle market, his time as an agronomist with the USGA, and finally hanging his own shingle as a consultant for water rights, irrigation auditing, and turf consulting. We discuss his early years as a course employee in Wisconsin, his venture west to Cal Poly Pomona, and some of the equipment that many of us “old timers” worked with early in our careers. Mike’s 40+ years in the golf business has impacted countless turf managers. His continued work on the state of water in the western United States will keep golf and turf at the table as tough decisions are made about who gets an ever-dwindling water supply. Please join us for an interesting conversation! And don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast or catch us on the EarthWorks YouTube channel.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Lawrence Mayhew - Humic Acid

Debunking the Myths of Humic Acids Lawrence Mayhew is generally recognized as one of the world’s premier experts in humic acids. He is a chemist and one of the founding members of the Humic Products Trade Association (HPTA) a not for profit organization set up by chemists. HPTA builds accepted standards for testing humic acids to protect all consumers. In addition they fight the over the top claims that gave humic substances a bad name and promote the value they provide to a turf soils program. Lawrence answers questions on humic acids and helps us debunk the myths and mysteries of what this powerful substance can do for any turf manager.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Troy Flanagan, The Olympic Club and Lorabeth West and Jessica Lenihan

This week’s EarthWorks Podcast celebrates the 29 female volunteers of the recent US Women’s Open held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. This podcast includes three separate, but related, interviews. We begin with Troy Flanagan, The Director of Golf Maintenance discussing his historic vision to build a large team of female volunteers for the tournament grounds crew. Troy talks about how satisfying the experience was and the incredible energy that these women brought to the event. We also have the pleasure to speak with two of the women who worked on that crew, Lorabeth West of Hillcrest CC in Los Angeles and Jessica Lenihan from Hayden Lake CC in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Lorabeth and Jessica both express what an exceptional experience this event was for all of the volunteers.

EW Podcast -Kevin Hicks with Randy Booker

This week we have a great conversation with Canadian superintendent Randy Booker of Otter Creek Golf Club. Randy has been on a path to regenerative golf maintenance. The regenerative concept goes beyond the current “sustainable" buzzword to a level that has allowed Randy to not only eliminate pesticides, but to also shift turf species on his golf course. We discuss some topics not commonly heard in the turf industry: the inputs that create a fungal dominant soil biology, the steps he took to get to where he is now, and how every superintendent can implement some of the things he’s done to improve the position of their course in the greater environment.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons & Kevin Hicks with Dave Wilber

In Part I of our water testing conversation we discuss irrigation water - your “biggest input” and potentially your “biggest red flag”! Dave goes through a sodium rich water sample and talks about how to manage the potential damage that this water can cause your soil and your plant material. This in depth conversation evaluates every line item on the water test in detail. After listening, you will better understand the importance of this report. In addition to the technical talk, there are a lot of common sense tips. This conversation will help everyone using irrigation water, regardless of crop, understand the impact that water has on your plant material. Stay tuned next week for Part II of the water test conversation.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Pete Wendt

Pete Wendt is one of the premier golf course superintendents in the country and is just finishing up a major renovation of the championship course at Congressional Country Club. We talk about the changes and the challenges of the new layout and his career as a superintendent that has spanned four decades, including building Kinloch Golf Club. Throw in a little agronomy and a lot of fun!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons & Jack Higgins with Josh Saunders - 2021

To celebrate our one year anniversary we have a follow up with Josh Saunders of Lancaster Country Club. It’s a two part podcast hosted by Joel and Jack. Josh is telling stories, talking tournament prep, and updating us on the construction of a new 14,000 sq. ft. putting green.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Bobby Solar Jr.

Get ready for the most informative tree talk on the internet! You’ll never meet a more passionate or smarter tree expert than Bobby Solar. He’s BoboPedia! Seriously, this talk answers all the questions about the best way to revitalize and fertilize trees and shrubs. Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Pat Finlen

This week we visit with Mr. Pat Finlen the General Manager at Winchester Country Club in Meadow Vista California. Pat is the former General Manager and Superintendent at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, former President of the GCSAA, and host of the 2012 US Open. Pat brings his years of experience to a conversation that is full insight for any turf manager.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Duane Sharpe of Brett Young, Canada

We welcome Duane Sharpe to this week’s EarthWorks podcast. Duane has followed a similar path to our host, Kevin Hicks from Caddy to golf course maintenance worker to superintendent, and finally BC Regional Sales Manager for Brett Young in Canada. We discuss the transition from one side of the desk to the other from superintendent to sales rep and how we all are in this crazy business to help each other. It’s quickly evident how passionate Sharpee is for the industry and what has made him successful over his 35 year career. There’s so much talk of going to “The Dark Side” when moving from superintendent to sales, but after this conversation, we hope you’ll see it just a little differently. Enjoy!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Tyler Bloom

Work force development is a weakness for many businesses. Finding staff and crew in the turf industry may be our biggest challenge. Tyler Bloom talks about the challenges of finding qualified employees and the steps his company is taking to make this easier.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Gina Rizzi

Our guest this week on the EarthWorks podcast is Gina Rizzi. Gina is the president of @RadiusSportsLLC and ARCUS Marketing. We talked about her business model and what industries her companies serve. Our discussion then shifted to BMP’s, marketing strategies for our business, and where golf goes from here. We’re thrilled to have Gina weigh in on the environmental opportunities that are available to the golf and sports turf industry. We love the feedback we’re getting on the podcast and be sure to subscribe to our podcast on whatever platform you choose.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Armen Suny

One of the Icons of the Turf Industry - Mr. Armen Suny talks of his time at Merion Golf Club, the state of the industry and some helpful tips on how to land that big job.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Jason Sanders

A fascinating conversation with Jason Sanders about how medical marijuana production helps so many children who suffer from seizures. Jason is the Production Manager at Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation, a medical marijuana facility in Austin, Texas. Join us to talk about growing grass!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Tony Girardi

Meet Tony Girardi who has been the Golf Course Superintendent at Rockrimmon Country Club in Connecticut for 26 years. Tony talks about a few tough years on the course and how he changed his agronomic approach to keep the course healthy.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Matthew Crowther

Join us for a conversation with the “Cape Crusader” Matthew Crowther, the recipient of the GCSAA’s President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. We talk about what this award means to him and what he has done over his long career to positive effect his environment.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jerad Minnick

In my opinion, real progress is made when we reevaluate standards and norms that are outdated or simply misinformed. Our guest Jerad Minnick is shifting the paradigm in the world of athletic field maintenance. As he says, “Grass can take more!” Listen to his drive to reform maintenance practices in order to prove to the public and local sports communities that real grass fields are the best option. Listen to the end to hear about his experience with the month long MLS is Back tournament in July of 2020.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Jeff Broadbelt or Dryject Inc.

Join us for a conversation with Mr. Jeff Broadbelt of the Dryject Corporation. We talk about of his years of experience as a golf course superintendent, how he helped Architech Gill Hanse get his start and of course the aerification system Dryject.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Juan Casiano of East Orange Golf Course

This weeks interview with Juan Casiano really goes head first into two aspects that I love to discuss: The importance of accessible and high quality public golf, and providing high quality golf while in an environmentally and fiscally responsible way. Juan displays some of his tactics in this discussion, and has a good time ripping it up with me!

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Dave Wilber

Tune into this week’s EarthWorks podcast to hear Dave Wilber of Wilber Turf and Soil Services talk about many of the renovation and construction tips and tricks he’s picked up with the consulting business he began almost 30 years ago. We talk about green construction, sands, water, and the future of the industry. It was a fun talk that should provide lots of nuggets for your next renovation project. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you like our content and want automatic updates. Thanks so much for listening.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Stephen Rabideau of Winged Foot Golf Club

Steve gets specific about the preparations for the 2020 US Open. He also recounts many of the positions he’s had in his career leading up to his current job as the Director of Golf Courses at Winged Foot Golf Club. He was a gracious guest to the EarthWorks podcast. You’ll enjoy this conversation with one of the greats in our industry.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Justin Woodland

Justin Woodland; an ‘out of the box’ superintendent

This week we’re pleased to have Mr. Justin Woodland on the podcast. Justin is the superintendent at The Barn Golf Club in Pleasant View, UT. In addition to running the family-owned golf course where his father is the pro and many family members pitch in to run the 60 year old facility, he is the owner of Airgronomics, LLC.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Mark Nuzum of United Granulation Services

Mark Nuzum is a pioneer in the organic fertilizer business and has been our business partner here at EarthWorks for over 25 years. Mark and I talk about what goes on to get a quality organic fertilizer into a bag so that you can easily spread it on your property. It is not as easy as you think but a fascinating conversation.

EW Podcast - Chad Kuzawa with Kasey Kauff, Tony Bevelo & Jeff Bradley

Talking golf and golf course construction with Jeff Bradley of Coore & Crenshaw as he visits the group at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas. Jeff joins us alongside Kasey Kauff and Tony Bevelo of Trinity Forest and shares some great stories on golf course construction and his travels through the years. Join us a for some laughs as we get to know these guys in this casual roundtable discussion.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Chad Price

How do they change out that field so fast? Join us for a visit with Mr. Chad Price from Carolina Green the company that have been building athletic fields and growing sod for some of the biggest sporting events in the country for years. Chad will talk about how they move into an NFL stadium and replace the entire playing surface days before a big game. Interesting conversation for any turf grower.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Jay Lo Monaco

There is no better personification of “deeper respect” than today’s guest, Jay Lo Monaco, he’s class act. He’s also an innovator that is willing to take chances for what he believes! Listen to our conversation to learn how Jay did away with the tired old lawn care model of quick-fixes that induce larger problems for an approach that works with nature not against it.

EW Podcast - A talk with Dave Wilber - Agronomist

Dave Wilber is one of the predominant agronomists/consultants in the turf industry. His career has included golf course construction, superintendent and Brookside Consultant. We talk about how Dave got into the business all the way through construction and how with just a little amending you can save years of hard work.

EW Podcast - Kevin Hicks with Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS MGfrom Des Moines Golf & CC

We’re excited to have Rick Tegtmeier from Des Moines Golf & CC on the podcast this week. Rick has been the Certified Golf Course Superintendent and Master Greenkeeper at DMGCC for the last 20 years. In our discussion, we talk about renovation work to all 4 nines of the prestigious 36 hole Pete Dye designed course that sits on 450 acres in Des Moines, IA. The renovation work culminated in the hosting the the Solheim Cup in 2017, but Rick and his team haven’t let off the gas since then. It was a great discussion with one of the best guys in the turf business…with an interesting personal connection. Tune in and enjoy!

EW Podcast - The Thanksgiving Podcast!

The Thanksgiving Podcast! The Agronomy team at EarthWorks shares a few moments sharing what we are grateful for this time and year. Theres a bunch of laughs and a lot of good stories and information that can help anyone in the turf industry.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Justin Mandon of Pasatiempo Golf Club

Pasatiempo Golf Club was Alister McKenzie’s favorite course and where he lived much of his life. Golf Course Superintendent, Justin Mandon, talks about this beautiful property, some if its history and most importantly the issues and solutions that the club devised to deal with very expensive and very low quality irrigation water. A lot to learn here.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Mike Kozak

Mike Kozak has been a mentor to some of the best superintendents in our business. He has built golf courses and managed them both as a Superintendent and as a General Manager across the western United States. He gives us some insight on how to find and mentor good young superintendents that can be of help to anyone one managing a turf facility. Mike is now enjoying retirement traveling the country in an RV with his wife stopping to visit friends and family and visiting a few golf courses along the way.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Luke Knutson of Rockville Golf Links

We’ve got a really great perspective for you this week on the excellent state of the golf business from Luke Knutson at Rockville Links Club in Nassau County New York. I also have a great time learning out Luke and architect Jim Urbina have restored the 100A property to be an “ocean of short grass and strategic bunkers” that is a new adventure for the golfer each round!

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Rusty Mercer of Streamsong Resort Golf Courses

Streamsong Resort Golf Courses were all built on an old phosphorous mine where the rock phosphate was stripped from the soil of years of extraction leaving superintendent with Rusty Mercer with very little to work with. Rusty talks about building back the soil on this vast property along with the differences of three of the top modern architects use to build the Streamsong Resort golf courses.

EW Podcast - Joel Simmons with Todd Bohn of Big Cedar Golf

Todd Bohn, Director of Agronomy at Big Cedar Golf, has one of the biggest jobs in the industry. He manages five world class golf courses at one of the greatest golf destinations in the country. We talk about the vision that owner Johny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, brought to this spectactular property in the Ozark mountains, construction and some of the best achitechs in the business.

EW Podcast - Jack Higgins with Gavin Neil of St. Andrews Links

Have you wondered what greenkeeping is like on the other side of the Atlantic? Hear about the day in the work life of my buddy Gavin Neil. We recount some stories from my time at St. Andrews Links and also get some stories of the important greenkeeping practices on the Links.