The 2012 Ryder Cup matches are underway on Course No. 3 at Medinah CC in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and our very own guest blogger inside the golf course management operations there — Jim Wallace, Course No. 1 superintendent at Medinah and a six-year GCSAA member — checks in with a report on what took place Wednesday:
5 a.m. — Morning managers meeting on the final day of practice rounds ... we are expecting each team to be off the golf course pretty early today to get ready for the Opening Ceremonies. We have so many wonderful industry professionals that have volunteered their time to us this week that we are able to increase the size of our teams this morning and try to get things done a little quicker. We are hoping to get going a couple minutes earlier this morning and we'll be watching the pace closely as we near the first round of matches tomorrow. We want to make sure we are well ahead of golf out there.
5:45 a.m. — All teams are in position on starting holes and ready to go. Just waiting on the sun to pop up so we can get going. It's such a great feeling being on a golf course as the sun comes up, and with an event as big as this one, it's really neat to have that moment at first light when you feel like you are the only ones out there and it's all yours. Everyone is eager to get going out there and all of our equipment is staged and ready to go.
6:05 a.m. — The first teams are cleared to start cutting and things are starting to move. Weather is again fantastic today, these cool nights have the turf looking happy! You can hear the buzz of mowers starting to move and the buzz on the radio confirming that the cuts are looking good.
9:28 a.m. — All teams are wrapped up with morning prep and we are at our rendezvous point ready to exit the golf course back to the shop. We have quite the interesting commute back to our shop since we can't go back through the golf course into play, it takes us about 20 minutes to get everyone in a line back to the shop and cleaning the equipment.
11:30 a.m. — Mid-day update meeting ...we are getting together to review and finalize our plan for getting out in-between rounds on Friday and Saturday to change pins and prep the golf course for afternoon play. Medinah is an interesting challenge in terms of logistics for getting around and staying away from play. Ross and Curtis have really thought through the process and have an excellent plan to accomplish what needs to be done and stay out of the way of the play that will be on the golf course. With Medinah No. 3 being a continuous 18-hole golf course, there are certainly some challenges with being out there while play is going on, but as always our team is up for a challenge and we are excited to get out there and execute the plan.
2:45 p.m. — Pre-meeting before afternoon rounds. Most of the players have headed in to get ready for Opening Ceremonies, so we are looking to head out there around 4 p.m. to get a start on afternoon touch-up work. The golf course was virtually empty by that time with everyone being over at the Opening Ceremonies, so things moved along pretty quickly this afternoon. The golf course is looking great, and you can tell that both our staff here at Medinah as well as all of the gracious volunteers are really enjoying what they are doing out there. We are all extremely excited for the matches to start tomorrow morning.