Jim Wallace, the superintendent of Course No. 1 at Medinah CC in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, a six-year GCSAA member and our guest blogger during this week's Ryder Cup competition on Medinah's Course No. 3, checks in with his report on Wednesday's golf course maintenance activities:
5 a.m. — Morning managers meeting ... reviewing a few adjustments from notes we gathered yesterday, and going over some specifics on mowing and bunker procedures. I love working with this team of people we have here at Medinah. Whenever the bell rings, they are always ready to go and take on the task at hand. Everyone is contributing in our meetings and giving thier feedback, which is allowing us to continue to make adjustments and improve a little bit each day.
5:30 a.m. — Loading up and heading out Riding with me today is Steve Chappell from the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Scotland, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup matches. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Steve over the past few days and its been great to hear his perspective on things coming from the other side of the pond. We head out into darkness and get into position on our first holes.
6:10 a.m. — Teams are cleared to start cutting in most areas. There are few places as beatiful as Medinah when the sun is coming up first thing in the morning. Looking around the property its a constant reminder of just how fortunate we are to be here for this amazing week and to be a part of this spectacular event. The PGA has really done an outstanding job turning a beautiful golf course into a beautiful city, the tents and chalets that line the holes all around the golf course are really something to see.
7:15 a.m. — Lots of spectators already starting to file in and make their way around the golf course, along with the volunteers for beverage stands, spectator traffic and security. Our teams are moving along at a good pace today; the first tee time on Friday will be 7:20 a.m.,so each day we are doing a sort of simulation to make sure our pace is well ahead of that first group.
9:30 a.m. — My team is wrapping up our last hole ... the golf course is looking great! Team Europe is starting up their practice rounds and the granstands on the first few holes are packed. We are even seeing some spectators build up on some of the back nine holes to stake out their favorite spot and set up shop until the players come through. It's quite an impressive sight when our entire grounds staff is all heading back to the maintenance facility in a long line. Now its time to get everything washed up and re-organized so our shop staff can get mowers checked in and ready for the next cut.
3:30 p.m. — Quick review meeting before our afternoon run and off we go. Its really starting to feel like fall out here, a beatiful time to be in Chicago and great weather for golf. I walked every green this afternoon and things are looking great out there. A few leaves are starting to come down in spots, and we are even starting to see some nice fall color from a few of the maples. Things ran smoothly on our evening shift today, so we are focusing on touching up some rough mowing, ball mark repair, bunker detail and cleaning up a few leaves. Its starting to get pretty dark around 7:15 p.m., so right about that time we started getting everyone back to the shop to re-organize and clean things up to get ready for tomorrow. One more practice round tomorrow and its showtime!