Its been an interesting couple of weeks for a few of us with myself, Craig and David all volunteering as tournament support at various venues. David Dukelow was out handmowing greens morning and night for the Open de France at Golf National in Paris. Craig Parry spent his time up at Castle Stuart, hand mowing greens for the Scottish Open. Last but by no means least, I was lucky enough to assist for the US Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin.
My week in The States consisted of a mixture of tasks, from changing holes to raking bunkers and assisting with the stimpmeter readings. The set up for the tournament was different due to the nature of the course design. There is a bridge which connects the front and back nines which the maintenance team couldn’t cross as it needed to be used by the players and spectators. This meant that the maintenance team had to be split in two with around 35 guys on each team for the front and back nines. The back nine team led by Jeff Wilson the Superintendent on The River Course and the front nine team in a temporary staging area led by Ron Bierwith the Superintendent on The Meadow Valleys course. Communication between the two teams had to be pretty good as it was like setting up two golf courses but they had to be exactly the same. The USGA were out taking stimpmeter and firmness readings on both nines to ensure the course played the same. It worked really well with a tough course set up as you would expect from a US Open.
The winner was Na Yeon Choi of Korea who shot a course record 65 on the 3rd day.
I see it as hugely beneficial for an all round experience, to see other venues, how courses are managed and set up. With The Duke’s hosting the European Amateur Championship in 2014, the more experience that our team can gain will be invaluable.
That’s all for now, after all the tournament excitement we need to get back to repairing bunkers again! Fingers crossed for some sunnier days ahead.
Posted: July 23rd, 2012 under Course Maintenance, European Amateur Championship 2014, Golf Championships, US Women's Open.
Tags: European Amateur Championship 2014, Golf blog, golf course maintenance, Greenkeeping Blog, old course hotel blog, US Womens Open 2012