Monday, October 1, 2018

Mid-Am Recap, A Lot of Fun!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Monday, October 1st and although the sting of another Ryder Cup defeat is fresh in everyone's mind, my staff and I are still on cloud nine after successfully co-hosting the United States Mid-Amateur Championship.  Can you believe in the past 15 days we went from enduring Tropical Storm Florence and cleaning up the golf course to grooming and providing championship conditions to test 264 of the best mid-amateurs from around the world.  In a word, amazing.  

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!

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

Number 3

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!
All Smiles!
Greens Chairman Ed Oden
Club President William Smith Directs Traffic!

What can I possibly say about Brett Boner and Stephen Woodard that hasn't already been stated.  In case you missed it, Julie Williams from did an amazing piece on them CLICK HERE prior to the beginning of match play.  She may or may not have been tipped off by a local golf course superintendent who happens to be their biggest fan not related.  ;)
Brett Boner Begins Play on No. 1 
Stephen Woodard Begins Play on No. 10
Anyway, I couldn't be more proud of both men for qualifying, playing in front of the home town fans and advancing to match play.  Then Brett Boner makes a run so deep that turns a magical moment into one that none of us will ever forget.  It was so cool for me to see so many of you each afternoon at Charlotte Country Club as we walked the fairways with our man to lend our emotional support.  Who will ever forget that semifinal match with 2016 Champion Stewart Hagestad and the resounding fist pump on the last!
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!"  
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 on how both tournament courses were impacted by Florence CLICK HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment