Monday, July 2, 2012

All Grown Up

In my 11 seasons here at Chautauqua Golf Club I have only have the privilege of having two interns. One of whom is Jimbo Hayes who is currently the 1st Assistant Superintendent at Congressional Country Club, the site of this past week's AT&T National PGA tournament.

As we all know, thunderstorms rocked parts of the Midwest and Mid Atlantic leaving an absolute mess in the Bethesda area and Congressional Country Club late Friday evening. A storm my wife, Beth, and I experienced first hand as we were sightseeing in DC.

At Jim's invitation we were in town to visit with him, spend the day watching the action at the AT&T National and I was to have the opportunity to ride around with him during the evening course prep. I don't think it needs to be said how those plans turned. Jim insisted, however, that we still stop by the club to see him and get a quick tour that morning.

What we saw, or didn't see, was amazing. By the time we arrived at 11:00 that morning the crew had all in-play areas cleaned up except #18 which they were just starting on. Let me tell you, the praise that Tiger Woods and the rest of the tournament players is giving the crew at Congressional is 100% earned and not just typical tour player hyperbole. Those men and women should be proud of what they have done.

As a turf geek, I must say that just as impressive was the condition of the turf given the number of days in the upper 90's and 100's, especially the greens. They weren't the slightest bit stressed, even under the stress of high heat and tournament conditions.

Jim started with us at Chautauqua as a lanky, blonde haired, smiling, part time employee while attending school at Jamestown Community College and stayed on long enough to decide that golf course management was his future career path. I hope Jim was able to get as much out of us as we were of him. Now, as a grown man in his late twenties, he is still smiling and loving the game of golf as he gives everything he has to Mike Guiffre and Congressional Country Club.

Jim, to say I'm proud wouldn't do it justice. Now get some rest!

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