Following Florence* there was much to be done to get Carolina back in shape. You may recall from last time CLICK HERE I talked at great length about our preparation on the front end in an effort to encourage the golf course on the back end. I'm happy to report our applications and plans worked to perfection, but we also had extra help.
Jerry Morris showed up very early on Monday morning following Florence. I jokingly told him he should start ball hawking in the irrigation reservoir to save time but he said he wasn't here to look for balls he was here to work and wanted to know what he could do to help. In fact Jerry showed up and helped remove storm debris each of the next two days as well, and when he showed up again on Thursday morning after official practice rounds had started we had to politely turn him away. Thank you for everything Jerry! You were a real trooper and an inspiration.
John Archer also showed up on the Monday following Florence. I spotted someone blowing storm debris into piles in the clubhouse parking lot, then realized it wasn't one of my staff members. John had arrived and started working getting things cleaned up. Later that same day he and Senior Assistant Matt Claunch made quick work of the large pine tree on No. 5 that fell over during the storm. Thank you John, that is some level of enthusiasm.
Greens Chairman Ed Oden and Former Chairman (2009-2010) Rob Campbell, Jr. wanted to help and made the effort to come out and assist where possible. The storm cleanup efforts were pushing us behind schedule with other things we needed to accomplish in the three days the course was closed for tournament preparation. Ed's presence and support was a big help and I greatly appreciate him going the extra mile. Rob also pitched in where possible driving my truck across town to pick up signage and assisting with installation of gallery rope and stakes. They both continued their support of the greenkeeping team throughout the week volunteering to do whatever needed and on occasion attended our daily Agronomy Meetings with the USGA to get a behind the scenes look at true tournament preparation. Thanks Ed and Rob!Not too many places can you take a golf course away from its members for a week due to a @USGA event and still have a few show up the morning after a Hurricane and say “Put me to work”...what a feeling @CGC1929 pic.twitter.com/lwyZoZMf5t— Matt Claunch (@MCClaunch) September 17, 2018
Of course I am most proud of my staff and the fact they delivered on providing the USGA with true championship conditions that withstood the efforts of the competitors. Only twelve of the 264 managed to break par and the low round was a three under 68 shot by Medalist Stephen Behr of Florence, SC. The stroke average over the two days of play was 76.229 with the 397 yard par 4 11th ranking the most difficult with a stroke average of 4.637 (Firm Greens).
|Evening Fairway Mowing|
But one of the things I will always remember about the 2018 U.S. Mid-Am was the "Red Army" lead by General Maffitt and General Cleveland. I was absolutely blown away by the energy, effort, and enthusiasm of so many members each and every day I was moved to tears. I spoke with my peer at Charlotte Country Club, John Szklinski and he stated the same thing. To see the very people that employ us give their time and work so hard to make this the best championship ever was truly awe inspiring. You definitely made me proud.
|Will Barr (Scoring) and Co-Chairman Ben Maffitt|
|General Manger Billy Cleveland Does It All!|
|Greens Chairman Ed Oden|
|Club President William Smith Directs Traffic!|
|Brett Boner Begins Play on No. 1|
|Stephen Woodard Begins Play on No. 10|
One of these days there will be a group of members sitting on the patio drinking cold ones and sharing stories about Carolina Golf Club, and someone is going to say, "Remember that year we co-hosted that USGA Championship and Brett nearly won the damn thing! That sure was a lot of fun!"With friends and family on hand, Brett Boner put on a show as the local favorite advanced to Thursday's #USMidAm final and earned the @Lexus Performance of the Day! pic.twitter.com/Q5VGjqQDie— USGA (@USGA) September 26, 2018
|Chris Hughes on the Bag!|
Yes it was, Carolina. Yes it was!
See you on the course,
Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG
*For a brief recap as reported by AmateurGolf.com on how both tournament courses were impacted by Florence CLICK HERE.