Sunday, May 2, 2010

NCGA Area of Emphasis: Special Event/Tournament Preparation

We recently hosted the Western Intercollegiate Golf Tournament at Pasatiempo. This is one of a handful of premier collegiate events in the United States, and definitely one of the top events on the West Coast. This tournament has a storied history with Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods being just two of the names on the long list of well-know PGA Tour players who have competed in this event over the four decades that it has been held at Pasatiempo.

Last year the conditions were extremely difficult with the winning score being several over par (which was mostly due to the green speeds being upwards of 12 feet on the Stimp Meter). This year the goal was to keep the presentation of the golf course difficult yet extremely fair for all of the teams. Due to the extreme undulations of the Alister MacKenzie designed greens, we knew that the key to maintaining the integrity of the event was going to be by controlling the speed of the greens.

This year our plan was to keep the green speeds at around 10 to 11 feet on the Stimp Meter so that the scores would be more representative of the talent of the players rather than let the golf course run them off the property again. We accomplished this by not lowering the cutting height past what is normal for daily play (.115), and only single rolling during the days of the event. We did come in and mow the greens in the evening prior to the start of the event due to excessive growth rate that was a result of the late-season rains that we have been having in the Santa Cruz area this Spring. The greens were double verti-cut and top-dressed one week prior to the start of the final round, and mowed and rolled for four days leading up to the start of the event.

Because our goal at Pasatiempo is to provide tournament conditions on a daily basis there wasn't really many things that we did differently from our daily maintenance routine other than some minor detail work that we focused more on during the week leading up to the tournament. We had started burning in our fairway mow pattern several weeks before the event (a dark/light block pattern that can be seen in the picture featured at the top this blog), and other than that there were just minor adjustments that were needed on the maintenance end of the operation to prepare for this event.

The set up for the tournament was set two weeks before the first round by myself and our head golf professional; Ken Woods. We set four hole locations based on historical tournament data and used white paint to mark the locations. On the days of the event we had two of our staff cutting cups and myself supervising the set-up and using hole-in-white to paint the cups. The only thing out of the ordinary was that we had to cut two locations in each green on Saturday. Because the players were playing 36 holes on Saturday and were started in a "shotgun" format, there wasn't any time in between rounds to cut the new locations, so the players were instructed to move the flag stick to the new location after the completion of their first 18 holes.

In the end we had a very successful tournament with coaches, players and tournament officials very happy with the golf course. The winning team was the 4th ranked Oregon Ducks with a team total of 12 under par, and the 6th ranked UCLA Bruins coming in second with a total of 6 under par.

No comments:

Post a Comment

My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.