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My first introduction to a pod of any known kind was in 1977 when R2-D2 and C-3PO avoided capture from Darth Vader’s Stormtroopers by jettisoning aboard an escape pod. Over 30 years later, Captain Paul Azinger utilized a pod system for his American players based on U.S. Navy Seal training to break the European stranglehold and win back the Ryder Cup at Valhalla.

The first iPod was invented by Apple and released in October of 2001. Seems the format of podcasting as it is known today caught hold in late 2004 and there are now more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available. A survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital indicated 55 percent of Americans listened to a podcast in 2020, up from 51 percent in 2019.

A little over two years ago, I had never listened to a podcast … then Pullin’ Weeds came along. Pullin’ Weeds is the official podcast of the Carolinas GCSA and it is hosted by executive director Tim Kreger and Allen Knight of 421 Media.

The podcast was the idea of Rob Daniel III, who was president in 2018. He envisioned a way to highlight and interview folks from across the chapter that could be archived and consumed on your own timetable. Considering he passed the gavel to me in November of that year, I became the first guest in January 2019. As a result, I had to be instructed how to reinstall the purple Podcasts App on my iPhone just to give it a listen.

Less than 30 months later, I have 23 podcasts in my library. Rob, look what you have done! And those are just golf- or turf-related. I cannot imagine what a normal person is like with interests outside their work environment (nerd alert).

The world of golf, turf and golf course architecture alone offers so many choices one cannot possibly consume them all. And how does one find the time to listen? Well, Rob was on to something. The daily ride to and from work is an easy way to catch up. And morning setup is never lonely with a good podcast in my pocket.

Also, the ability to speed up the playback time is a real key to streamlining lengthy episodes. I find the 1.5 speed to be best suited for my ears, but I have heard of folks that can go above that. That is right, you can speed up the podcast so if you need help, just ask your 12-year-old.

The GCSAA has a podcast, so too does BIGGA. If you are into golf course architecture, there is The Fried Egg podcast with Andy Johnson and Garret Morrison, and the Feed the Ball podcast with Golf Digest’s Derek Duncan.

The history nerd in me has loved the TalkinGolf History podcast hosted by Conner Lewis. It is a member of the TalkinGolf network of podcasts, which is where I learned about guys like Rod Morri and Adrian Logue from Australia, and their Good-Good Golf Podcast.

Rod also hosts a podcast for Golf Australia magazine called The Thing About Golf. The premise is in the name: what is the thing about golf for each guest? And those guests include everyone from touring professionals, architects, golf course owners, and more. There was one episode that featured Richard Forsyth, course manager of Royal Melbourne, that I found fascinating. European golf writer John Huggan has recently shared hosting duties and he has a couple of great episodes with guests Nick Price and Dame Laura Davies.

One of my favorite episodes was Rod’s recent conversation with Tasmania’s Mathew Goggin. Mat and his family have a home in Charlotte, and he frequently plays and practices at Carolina Golf Club. Mat is the most cerebral professional athlete I have ever come across and I always look forward to our chats.

Two folks on the other side of Ohio from the Golf Course Industry HQ, Kent Turner and Dan Francis, have started a podcast called Zoned Out Turf. They are only three episodes in, and I had a great time talking turf and life with them recently.

And recently the USGA Green Section launched a podcast, and their first guest was Jared Nemitz, director of golf course and grounds at The Ford Field & River Club in Richmond Hill, Georgia. The topic was the benefits of data collection in golf course maintenance.

So, there you have it, a little podcast info for anyone looking to find something new to tune in to. For starters, tune in to Superintendent Radio Network hosted by Matt LaWell so you can hear the best voice in podcast land. Kent Turner is a close second.

Now if you will excuse me, a new episode of The Plus Four podcast just dropped. The show highlights the personalities, passion and pursuit of hickory golf. I know — nerd alert!

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG, is the superintendent at Carolina Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina and past president of the Carolinas GCSA. Follow him on Twitter @CGCGreenkeeper.