Nothing gets a maintenance crew at a major to line up faster than chow time ... this is the line preparing to tackle dinner Monday afternoon.
The dinner line Monday wrapped almost completely around the maintenance hospitality tent.
This, my friends, is how detailed maintenance planning for a major has become — the full assignment sheet for the week, standing more than 6 feet tall.
A closer look at the week's assignment sheet.
The Northern California contingent that has volunteered to assist at The Olympic Club this week. Later, I'll have a photo of the Kansas crew on hand (gotta give props to the home state!).
Our fearless leader this week, Olympic director of golf maintenance operations Pat Finlen, CGCS, addresses the team prior to Monday afternoon maintenance.
Olympic's equipment manager Kevin Rendueles speaks with the greens mowing crews before they hit the course Monday afternoon.
Crews assigned to mow the practice putting green discuss a Plan B when they arrive to find said green still filled with players and surrounded by hundreds of spectators.
Two of Kansas City's finest — Todd Bohn, superintendent at Wolf Creek GC, and Greg Burdiek, assistant superintendent at Milburn G&CC — prep the new Toro eFlex greensmower for it's duties on the fourth green at Olympic.
Bohn takes care of the greensmowing while Burdiek and his partner in crime, James Mohs, an assistant at Shadow Glen GC in Olathe, Kan., handle the task of moving the plastic sheets where the mower completes its turns.
That's the USGA's managing director Kimberly Erusha, Ph.D., taking Tru-Firm readings on the approach to the fourth green Monday afternoon.
The obligatory major-championship photo of the procession of fairway mowers hard at work, here moving up the fourth fairway.
As the sun slid lower in the afternoon sky, picking up the mowing lines became more difficult. So both Burdiek and Mohs would mark the line with their foot to give Bohn a target to mow towards.
More mowing shots from the fourth green.
How much grass does a greensmower pick up with an afternoon single cut following a morning double cut at a major. Not much.
Hey, more mowers! Another obligatory major-championship photo of the processional of mowers.
As the crew moved to the eighth green and the light began to fade even more, mower lines became more and more difficult to see.
Making the final passes on the eighth green before heading back to the practice putting green to try that task again.
This is what has become of much of Olympic's Ocean Course, which has been covered in tents, walkways and nearly 20,000 tons of gravel. Yep, that's a bunker you see directly below those stairs.
This might have been the first piece of golf course equipment that made me stop in my tracks — a massive fairway roller (yep, a fairway roller) from Salsco. In essence, it's a triplex rollers, with side roller units that swing out from the sides like some fairway cutting units. Impressive.
A banner in the maintenance hospitality tent thanking the many sponsors, which include GCSAA, the California GCSA, the Environmental Institute for Golf and Kansas City's Jack Stack Barbecue (providing tonight's meal for the staff).
Organized chaos as crews prepare to take to the Lake Course for Tuesday afternoon rounds.
Following Wednesday's USGA news conference, DGMO Pat Finlen, CGCS, took time to speak with members of the media about course conditions at Olympic.
Equipment manager Kevin Rendueles (center) and some of his crew attempt to solve a riddle surrounding the greens rollers in use this week — how to attach lights to them so they can be better utilized during morning rounds.
In honor of Flag Day on Thursday, every piece of equipment that rolled out of the maintenance facility had a flag attached to it in some form or fashion.
Yep, that's Kansas City's own Jack Stack Barbecue representing at the U.S. Open and feeding the maintenance crew (and a certain magazine editor) on Thursday evening.
The bounty that was Jack Stack Barbecue — ribs, pulled pork, brisket and all the fixings.
Olympic's director of golf maintenance operations Pat Finlen, CGCS (left) and Lake Course superintendent Justin Mandon prior to Friday morning rounds.
Mandon (right) and volunteer Dean Hall moisture levels on the 12th green.
The approach to the 12th green at The Olympic Club's Lake Course got a little water Friday morning.
Set-up work, including the increasingly challenging cup-cutting process, on the 10th green.
An example of just how detailed cup cutting for a major championship can be.
Course set-up activities attract a crowd at a U.S. Open.
USGA officials ran this tape measure across the full length of the 11th green during their course set-up work.
Even the finest bunker work is no match for the random wanderings of birds looking for food in the bunkers at The Olympic Club.
Mandon (far left) and members of the maintenance team work on a greenside bunker at No. 15.
On this bunker at 15, sand had begun to slid under the bunker liner, pushing it into view. To fix that problem, crews must remove the sand from under the liner by hand, then push more sand on top of it and pat it down.
Mandon hard at work on the troublesome bunker faces at 15.
More work on the greenside bunker at 15.