This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
No Sleep For the Team

Keeping Pebble Beach in perfect shape during U.S. Open week was an around-the-clock job

Assisting in preparing a golf course for a major championship is a special occasion. When the major championship was the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the level of excite- ment for those responsible for grooming the golf course reached an all-time high. Years of planning and

months of preparation reached their zenith when the fi rst shot was hit on Thursday morning and concluded when a worthy champion was crowned on Sunday afternoon. I was behind the scenes at Pebble Beach the third week of June during the U.S. Open as part of the golf course mainte- nance volunteer group. Most of the volunteers

came from a variety of posi- tions within the golf main- tenance industry including spray technicians, salesmen, golf course superintendents, consultants and assistant superintendents to make up the talented volunteer base. A majority of the 100-plus volunteers were on site all week to work alongside the 30-plus crew members from Pebble Beach.

The unpaid volunteers

travelled from across the country to assist Superinten- dent Chris Dalhamer with course preparations. Michi- gan, New York, Massachu- setts, Hawaii, Texas, Oregon and Florida were just a few of the states represented. A

68 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2010

U.S. Open at Pebble Beach also drew volunteers from international addresses including Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Thailand and Australia. Many of the unpaid volunteers were housed in a nearby dormitory while other volun- teers made their own

Pebble Beach Superintendent Chris Dalhamer (former NCGA intern) and

Mike McCullough

The rough at Pebble Beach

reached four–fi ve inches

in some spots.

arrangements for housing. Golf course maintenance volunteers got an early start each day. A morning brief- ing was held at 4:15 a.m. to go over the work schedule and assignments. There were roughly 20 duties on the job board each morn- ing ranging from mowing greens and raking bunkers to picking up trash and spot watering fairways. The number of work- ers dedicated to each task ranged from one or two vol- unteers to as many as 8-14 individuals completing the designated assignments. Two crews were de-

ployed each morning—one for the back nine and one for the front nine. Tee times for the fi rst two rounds had a #1 and #10 start so the entire course had to be ready at the same time. This strategy stayed in place for the weekend rounds even though the players start on the fi rst tee only. The army of workers hit

the course at 4:30 a.m. to get everything ready for the day’s play. Once the morn-

ing assignments were

fi nished between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. the crew came back to the maintenance shop to eat breakfast. While the practice rounds and actual tournament rounds were occurring volunteers networked with each other, caught up with old ac- quaintances, got in a nap or watched a little golf. Lunch was served at the maintenance shop between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. One of the perks for the volunteers was the food, which was prepared fresh each day by some of the staff members. Volunteers did not go hungry as they had a variety of items to choose from the menu. Afternoon assignments

started around 5:00 p.m. or earlier depending on when the last group was safely through an area and wasn’t disturbed by a fl eet of equip- ment. Once the tasks were completed around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m., the crew was able to go back to the dorms or hotels to grab as much or as little sleep as possible before getting up and doing it again

the next day at 4:00 a.m. Many volunteers took

off prior to the champion being identifi ed on Sunday evening and were back to work at their regular jobs on Monday morning. The lack of sleep subsided, better eat- ing habits returned, but the memories made that week will last a lifetime. I was fortunate to be

able to take green speed and surface fi rmness readings for the week. Having an up close and personal view of how fi rm and fast the put- ting surfaces are highlights how precisely the players hit and putt the ball. I was thrilled to be

involved with the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The loca- tion, the volunteers and the champion made for a magi- cal week. I can only hope to be so lucky to help out again next time.

by Mike McCullough Director of Environmental and Water Resources


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
Produced with Yudu -