Golf Course Management

JUL 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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76 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 the club's website, Twitter and even a blog. To underscore the team concept at Val - halla, Reese, Meier and Hamburger like staff members from all departments to play the golf course and offer feedback and suggestions for improvement. To make that more feasible for Meier's golf course crew, which does much of its deep maintenance on Mondays, Reese allows Meier's staffers to play the course on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings if the course is not booked for a special event. "It gives you a totally different perspec - tive when a member of the operations staff or grounds crew plays the golf course to ex - perience the course as the members do," says Reese. "I can tell you Roger's key staff mem - bers aren't afraid to come up to the clubhouse and chat about course conditions. It's a two- way street when it comes to communication." Of course, conducting a major champi - onship requires major planning and major maintenance, but Valhalla is prepared for next month's PGA Championship thanks to the team coordination between Meier, Reese and Hamburger. They have been planning for the event since 2010, when Meier was hired. "The year of the PGA Championship, our staffng numbers are the greatest change," Meier says. "We have brought in fve addi - tional staff members, primarily turf interns or turf graduates, to assist us with preparations. Unfortunately, the one thing that dictates how the cards fall sometimes is weather, and we all know we can't control it. The great - est challenge for us going into this particular PGA Championship is the 'newness' of the golf course after the renovation, especially the putting surfaces. A lot of study is being con - ducted currently on how they perform under different agronomic and environmental con - ditions to provide the ultimate champion- ship surface." In preparation for the PGA Champion - ship, the Valhalla course will be restricted to golf cars on paths only after the Fourth of July weekend. The course closes for member play two weeks before the PGA Champion - ship and will remain closed for one week after the season's fourth major for recovery and tear down. By then, the team at Valhalla Golf Club will be ready for a brief vacation — and to start planning for the club's next big event. Roger Graves is the senior writer for PGA Magazine. "It gives you a totally different perspective when a member of the operations staff or grounds crew plays the golf course to experience the course as the members do." — Keith Reese Staff members from all departments at Valhalla GC are encouraged to play the golf course and offer feedback and suggestions for improvement. 072-077_July14_PGA.indd 76 6/17/14 3:42 PM

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