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Monday: GO TIME!


Peter McCormick

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Sunday was basically a dry run -- a chance to 'find our feet' as they say over here. Monday morning represented our first day of reporting at 4:15 for 'first breakfast' -- a continental breakfast with tea and coffee.

 

The goal each day is to have everyone done with breakfast and out on the course by 5:00 AM. Since the Pro-Am was still two days away and many players were still on the road from the weekend events, there were just a few golfers on the course. This meant our work could go on without interruption.

 

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Monday morning staff briefing. Note no large hospitality tents for the maintenance crew!

 

My morning assignment is to keep each tee complex (pro tees and members tees) clean and tidy. That means picking up any trash or broken tees and generally making sure they look presentable for the day. Monday morning I did this alone.

 

David Escobedo is primarily on bunker duty, on one team that covers all 18 holes. There are only 57 bunkers on the course. Monday morning his primary duty was rolling most of the bunker surfaces. David described the sand as a very fine, comparable to talcum powder. The roller is 12 inches in diameter. The group walked from bunker to bunker and hole to hole on Monday.

 

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One of two Tru-Turf R52-11TC rollers in use at Portstewart Golf Club.

 

Marty Richardson is mowing tees this week. On Monday he took a Baroness 'pedestrian' (aka walking) mower set at 7.5 mm -- approximately 0.295". Tee and green mowers don't use buggies and trailers so they are walking their mowers between the holes. The primary utility road through The Strand Course is nicknamed 'the M1' after the major North/South highway through Ireland. It takes you most places you need to go on the course.

 

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Marty and other staff walking their tee mowers on "the M1" (above), and Marty mowing (below).

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Dana had his first full day in the shop on Monday. Bernard was trying to find the perfect height of cut and adjusted it down twice to a slack 3+ mm. His goal is to have the greens speed at 10.5 feet. Dana, Derek and Kieran spent much of the day making these adjustments. In addition they also inspected and set a variety of loaner equipment.

 

Some photos of Dana adjusting mowers and consulting with Head Mechanic Derek Morris. Note the clean shop! "A clean shop is a sign of a good manager..."

 

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Monday's morning session ended between 9 and 10 which allowed us to get back to the house for some much needed sleep. The afternoon session began at 5 PM after an early dinner.

 

I was the only one with a different assignment in the afternoon. I was on the divoting crew. We pulled and filled mostly fairway divots throughout the course. Dana, David and Marty kept their morning assignments. 

 

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The Monday afternoon divot crew.

 

-- Jon Kiger

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Nice report Jon, Shop and entire operation seems very well organized. Watched some golf this morning, rain seems to have held off. Course looks great. Keep the reports coming. Wish I was there.

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