Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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

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70 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 handling the courses, especially around The Honda Classic. Makes sense, especially since Nicklaus performed the design and redesign of PGA National Resort & Spa's famous host of that event, the Champion Course, site of the 1987 PGA Championship, 1983 Ryder Cup and 18 Senior PGA Championships. As treacherous as it is beautiful, complete with the famous "Bear Trap" on the back nine, "The Champ" is ranked No. 65 among Golf - week's Best Resort Courses. When the wind blows off the meandering lakes throughout the property, watch out. It's a beast. Yet, tour players love the course because it serves as a great test as they round the club - house turn toward Augusta. Honda Classic competitors had a new ex - perience this year. Nicklaus led another reno- vation that included the addition of Celebra- tion bermudagrass fairways, tees and green surrounds "for major-like conditions" and a redesign of the par-4 14th hole that brings more water and bunkers into play. He also expanded the greens on Nos. 1, 9, 15 and 17 back to their original size. Harvey and Broderick's staff work around the clock before, during and after Honda Classic week to get not just the Champion Course in spectacular shape but the other four courses, too, as they remain open for member play throughout the event. Enter "Café Cart Barn," as Broderick af - fectionately calls it, where food trucks and catering are brought in near the maintenance facility. "The key to keeping your staff happy is to keep them well fed," she explains. Meanwhile, many of the golf and main - tenance staff members are housed onsite. "During The Honda, we roll the greens until 11:30 at night and are back at it at 3:30 a.m.," adds Harvey. Bear necessities From the usual to the not so usual, Broder - ick, Harvey and crew savor it all. At the gateway to the Bear Trap is a statue of a bear erected in honor of the Golden Bear. For a recent television shoot, two trained griz - zlies were brought into the act. Honey was placed in the statue's mouth so the live ani - mals would lean on it. As a buildup to this year's Honda Classic, Golf Channel brought its popular show "Big Break" to the resort. The logistics of flm - ing the show, which began airing last month, were tricky. "While you're only dealing with two or three different holes, your staff must always be on standby," says Harvey. "If weather comes in, you have to drop everything and start from scratch." Keeping it green In South Florida, play is year-round. In order to prevent wear and tear, maintenance best practices must play through, but juggling fve courses is not simple. Broderick and Har - vey set up a rotation based on the reservation schedule to ensure that benefcial aerifcation takes place regularly during the hot, humid and wet summer. For example, they delayed re-grassing the Champion Course range until the Optimist junior golf event was complete last July, in order to promote good range turf. "It's a balancing act," explains Harvey, who aims to aerate each course three times during the season. "I really lean on Jane to let me know which course is available." Meanwhile, lightning is always a concern. And with the resort's Estate Course located a few miles down the road, it may be bright sunshine on one course and a monsoon on an - other. "How Lukus responds to the weather is fascinating, from cold to cloudy weather, to torrential downpours. It impacts everything," states Broderick. Yet, their success boils down to commu - nication. "Jane is inspiring," says Harvey. Michael R. Abramowitz is senior editor for the PGA of America and PGA Magazine. Broderick (left) and Harvey rise to the challenge of managing 150,000 rounds of golf annually and maintaining the more than 650 acres at PGA National Resort and Spa's fve courses. "The key to keeping your staff happy is to keep them well fed." — Jane Broderick

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