ASIAN GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS SUMMIT The Preparation and Standards for Professional Tour Championship Events James Graham Prusa
“The history of most golf clubs is that a committee is appointed, they make mistakes, and just as they are beginning to learn by these mistakes they resign office and are replaced by others who make still greater mistakes, and so it goes on.” Dr. Alister MacKenzie, circa 1929 Essence of the need for tour standards:
Who gave the modern momentum to establishing tour standards? My friend Mike Bodney, former PGA Tour Championship Vice President said it was Dean Beman who shaped golf’s momentum inside the ropes: “ ‘Mike, it’s my job to make as many millionaires as we can out here. That’s what we do here. We work for the players,’ ” Bodney said. “That’s something that’s always stuck with me. That was his whole motivation. He cared enough about the professional game to make sure it all happened.”
The purpose of the PGA TOUR Conditioning Guidelines is to assist the Golf Course Superintendent and the tournament organization in achieving the goal of providing a golf course that fairly tests the Players’ skill and produces fair and consistent playing conditions in all areas. The role of the CHAMPIONSHIP AGRONOMIST
Just think about it… What was it like before there were standards to guide us? But let’s first learn where we in the game came from …
1452 Earliest known reference to golf is made when King James II of Scotland bans the playing of the game (along with football, or soccer) because it is keeping his subjects from their archery practice. The first-recorded sale of a golf ball takes place. 1471 King James III of Scotland reaffirms the ban on golf. 1491 King James IV of Scotland reaffirms the ban on golf. 1502 Ban on golf is repealed by King James IV of Scotland, who takes up the game himself.
1552 First known reference to golf in St. Andrews, Scotland. 1553 The Archbishop of St. Andrews issues a decree giving the local populace the right to play golf on the links at St. Andrews. PUBLIC GOLF’S ORIGINS. 1567 Mary Queen of Scots (who was actually French, and the daughter of James IV) is criticized for playing golf just a day or two after the murder of her husband.
1682 First international golf tournament on record is played at Leith, Scotland. Representing Scotland: the Duke of York (James II) and a George Patterson. Representing England: a couple guys whose names nobody bothered to write down. The Scots win. Andrew Dickson carries the clubs of the Duke of York, making him the first-known caddie. 1743 For the first time on record, golf equipment is shipped from Scotland to the American Colonies.
1810 First known women's tournament held at Musselburgh, Scotland. 1819 Earliest known reference to a professional tournament. It's an event played, of course, at St. Andrews. 1820 Old Tom Morris born this year. 1829 The first-known hole-cutter - the tool for cutting holes into the green - is built at the Musselburgh links (now a 9-hole municipal on the Levenhall links at the Edinburgh outskirts). It cuts holes to a diameter of 4.25 inches, which will eventually be adopted as the worldwide standard. ASIA : Royal Calcutta Golf Club is founded in India. It is today the oldest surviving course outside of the British Isles. The club’s existence had come about in the year 1829 at Dum Dum a northeastern suburb of Calcutta and was christened as the Dum Dum Golf Club.
1832 Mowers made specifically for trimming golf course grass are manufactured, but many courses still use sheep to keep the grass from getting high. 1851 Young Tom Morris born this Year. 1864 Prize money - six pounds - is first awarded to the winner of the British Open. 1873 Royal Montreal is the first golf club formed in Canada, and in the present is the oldest continuously operating golf club in North America. 45 years after established in Asia!
1895 10 professional golfers and one amateur played in the first U.S. Open in Newport, R.I. 1899 the Western Open. But this was not "tour" golf. The events lacked continuity. 1904 the Scottish Greenkeepers Association.
1911 John McDermott became the first American-born player to win the U.S. Open, interest in the game blossomed. 1911 the PGA of Australia is formed -- the second oldest PGA in the world. Then in 2007 the PGA of Australia and the PGA Tour of Australasia amalgamated into “Professional Golfers Association of Australia Limited”. 1913 when Englishmen Harry Vardon and Ted Ray came to the United States to play an exhibition tour and compete in the U.S. Open. When 20- year-old amateur Francis Ouimet defeated the pair in a playoff for the Open at Brookline, Mass., golf became front-page news and a game for everyone. 1920s, a series of tournaments was held on the West Coast, in Texas and Florida. These events were held in the winter, and the golfers played their way east and up to Pinehurst, N.C., in the spring. By the middle of the decade, the tour was doing relatively well -- offering $77,000 in total prize money.
September 13, 1926 Birth of GCSAA as ‘NAGA’. 1932 the first "playing pros" organization was formed in 1932. Two years earlier, Bob Harlow had been named manager of the PGA Tournament Bureau. The tour became more structured following World War II and exploded in the late 1950s and early '60s. When Arnold Palmer, televised golf and President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived on the scene in the late 1950s, the eyes of the world were on golf. This exposure inspired millions to try the game. 1968 most golf historians would trace the "formal" beginning of the PGA TOUR to late 1968, when the "Tournament Players Division" split from the PGA of America and hired Joseph C. Dey as its first commissioner. That organization became the modern-day PGA TOUR. Joe Dey served from early 1969 through Feb. 28, 1974. March 1, 1974 Deane Beman's administration, the value of tournament purses escalated at an unprecedented rate: PGA TOUR assets grew from $730,000 in 1974 to more than $200 million, and total revenues increased from $3.9 million to $229 million in 1993.
1983 GCSAA and the USGA embarked on the joint turfgrass research program and later expanded their cooperation to include environmental impact research. The first matching grants to support local area research were provided through the Chapter Cooperative Research Program in 1995. 1984 ‘Golf 84’ Conference was held at Cambridge University. SIGGA had 4 speakers in Chris Kennedy, Jim Kidd, Alan McDougall and Walter Woods. There were 4 speakers from the USA, Stan Zontec (USGA), Bruce Williams (GCSAA), Dr. Jim Watson (Toro) and Jim Prusa (GCSAA). This conference united the various groups in the UK behind the current BIGGA 1994. Tim Finchem, previously the TOUR's Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, became the TOUR's third Commissioner on June 1, 1994. In 1995, Finchem undertook a restructuring program designed to strengthen the PGA TOUR's core business, which is its competitions; expand the TOUR's international scope and prepare it to enter the 21st century. In 1996, Finchem helped spearhead formation of the International Federation of PGA Tours, as golf's five world governing bodies laid the groundwork for taking competition into the next millennium.
In 1997, the Federation announced the World Golf Championships, which made their debut in 1999 with three events-the Accenture Match Play Championship, NEC Invitational and American Express Championship. The World Cup joined this group in 2000. Since 1938, PGA TOUR events have donated more than $800 million to charity, making a mark in the communities in which the TOUR plays through its charity campaign, "Giving Back...The Heart of the PGA TOUR." The competitive scope of the PGA TOUR also is much broader today. The Champions Tour, formerly called the Senior PGA Tour, has been labeled the most successful senior sports venture in history. An interactive element with fans and television viewers has brought new exposure to the Tour. Since starting out with just two cosponsored events and $250,000 in prize money in 1980, the Champions Tour has grown to more than 30 events. And the Charles Schwab Cup will be competed for the fourth time in 2004.
The Nationwide Tour, under that sponsorship umbrella for the first time in 2003, has been recognized as a virtual extension of the PGA TOUR with its excellent level of play that saw 55 percent of its alumni making up the 2003 PGA TOUR. The Nationwide Tour provides outstanding golf competition in 30 communities while raising significant charity dollars. Among the former players on this TOUR who have gone on to star on the PGA TOUR are David Duval, Tom Lehman, Jeff Maggert, Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink, David Toms, 2003 U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel. Also continuing to grow is the Tournament Players Club Network. When the PGA TOUR opened the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass in 1980, it introduced the era of stadium golf and record-breaking attendance. Owned and/or operated by the TOUR, these courses are the only major-league sports venues owned by the players themselves. January 2004, the tournament playing professionals of Asia formed a new player representative body named the Asian Tour to ensure control over their careers and the development of professional tournament golf in Asia. 2004 SEASON The Asian Tour staged a total of 22 tournaments offering prize money of US$12.3 million in its inaugural season as a new organisation. Vietnam was added to the growing list of countries to stage a professional golf tournament
“I have a photograph from the ’83 US Open at Oakmont of Mr. Fuhrer (I believe he was club chairman) standing behind the 8 th green, waiting for me and Billy Buchanan to finish playing the hole on Friday prior. Fuhrer had heard that the USGA was going to do a sinful thing and the one thing probably never done in the US Open’s 82 previous years…CUT the rough!! Billy left the 8 th green with a cut of his own -- less hair than a ‘crew cut.’ Oakmont wanted none of that. Players be damned. Even with cut rough and rain, unlike Congressional this year, Oakmont held its own. The relationship with Oakmont was severely strained!” -- Ron Read, USGA Regional Director, Western USA
ALLAN MAC CURACH, CGCS First in his field to earn the title of Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS). Helped Pete Dye to build Sawgrass. First agronomist on the PGA Tour – Per Dean Beman! JAMES HERBERT ARTHUR (1920-2004) 1972 Appointed R&A Agronomist 1997 – Practical Greenkeeping Jon Scott Cal Roth
“A golf course that consisted entirely of one shade of green would be merely ugly. There is great charm and beauty in the varying shades of colour of a golf course.” Dr. Alister MacKenzie
Fair, Firm, Smooth ! BUNKERS – not ‘Traps’ Approved rakes outside bunkers Uniform SETTLED floor of 4-5 inches. 2 inches on faces Hand Raking – adequate personnel Use spring steel ‘leaf rakes’ – approval of Agronomist Conduct a SEMINAR to train all personnel in advance
Play Restrictions… Gradual play reduction Maximum 150 rounds per day Advance Week Advance week – minimum Thursday – Sunday
GENERAL FACTORS: For return events, review previous year’s notes and REPORTS. Pay attention to the recommendations and requests of Rules Officials and Agronomist Have adequate equipment and personnel – there are checklists of equipment Designate a coordinator and / or facilitator between maintenance and tournament officials – not the Superintendent 5 -6 foot wide walkway paths at fairway or intermediate (step cut) rough height. Requires thought Fill divots BEFORE and DURING event – use a 50-50% mixture of sand and loam / peat. NOT 100% SAND!!
GENERAL FACTORS: Have at least 8 roller base squeegees on hand and a minimum of 4 portable water pumps in good order – RAIN! Use “Hole-in-White” applicator and enough paint to paint all 18 cups every day. Make sure you coordinate maintenance routes for ALL VEHICLES between the superintendent and Rules Official! Critical in wet conditions and with television.
COURSE MARKING: Will be done during ADVANCE WEEK by the Advance Rules Official I THINK THAT GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS NEED TO BECOME STUDENTS OF THE RULES!
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