For Jim Devaney and Nick Alley, it is business as usual on the Upper Course at Baltusrol Golf Club. Even if big business is happening on that other course at the New Jersey property.
On the Upper Course, they are maintaining bunkers, mowing greens, things like that. All except, though, on No. 11.
Although the Upper Course has seen its share of major events, the focus right now is on the Lower Course. That is where they have a particularly busy day planned today for the PGA Championship, which is playing catchup following storms that rolled through the area Saturday. Although TV cameras show the Lower Course early and often, there is focus being placed on the Upper Course, which was the site for the 1936 U.S. Open and 1985 Women's U.S. Open.
Led by Devaney (pictured on the left), Upper Course superintendent, and Alley (on the right), his assistant, the Upper Course certainly is not being ignored.
"We are trying to keep the Upper alive, keep it healthy condition," says Devaney, who arrived in 2004 as an intern at Baltusrol. "We've got a system."
Parking on the Upper Course is being used on No.s 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 14. Rain Monday, then yesterday's rain event, posed issues, and creates quite a repair task once the PGA Championship finishes.
"We've flattened out ruts, thrown down a lot of seed, let that work into the soil for us," says Devaney, who in what spare time he has on the Upper Course is helping out at the Lower Course, and his help is needed more than ever as the crew and volunteers have faced a hefty challenge to make the course playable today. "You can't stop the machine."
Alley, who came to Baltusrol in 2012 as an intern, relishes doing double duty on both courses.
"It keeps me busy," says Alley, adding, "and it makes the day go by fast."
Working for Devaney is not only rewarding but also a good lesson in what a leader is all about.
"He's brilliant. His turf knowledge is so wide," Alley says. "He's on top of everything all the time. He's able to explain how, why, and when he wants things done."
Devaney, though, says that Alley has proven to be more than capable of taking charge when needed.
"I bounce back and forth between courses, so it's nice to have his set of eyes on things," Devaney says. "He's on top of our plan."
Together, they seem to be pulling it off.
"We make it work. That's what we do," Devaney says.