Hyde Park Est. 1909, A Donald Ross Design

Friday, February 12, 2016

Volunteering at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

I was very excited for the opportunity to volunteer at TPC Scottsdale. Having watched on TV for the past 5-6 years, it is clear how great the Waste Management Phoenix Open is for the players, fans, staff and volunteers alike.

 

Not only is the WMPO a great golf event, it is also a leader in charitable donations both through Waste Management and the leading local charitable organization, The Thunderbirds. Wit heir combined efforts, Birdies for Charity was created and helps to donate money each year to local charities. Waste Management has also been successful in promoting the event as the "Greenest Show on Grass" by educating attendees, and leading the way in proper recycling, composting and overall sustainability.

 

Work completed for round 3 just before sunrise

Cold, and even frosty mornings were the norm throughout the week and posed an added challenge to the Agronomy team in providing tournament conditions on top of limited daylight hours, record setting crowds and a national TV audience. The leadership of Roby Robertson, Director of Agronomy, and his management team took these challenges in stride. Course conditions looked great on TV, but were even better in person.

 

Lined up and waiting to start evening shift

I had the good fortune to be able to work in many different aspects of tournament prep and detail work throughout the week, including: desert detail, bunker raking, and greens rolling. Best of all, was shadowing assistant Heath Booker part of one evening as he led the Front 9 group and worked with the data collection team as they measured green speeds, firmness and moisture content. The data was used to determine what was needed to maintain tournament conditions throughout the weekend. The data collection was performed and tracked much like we do at Hyde Park. Given the high standards for a PGA Tour event, it shows how seriously we take our jobs of providing our membership the best playing conditions possible.

 

One of the staff members at TPC Scottsdale is a familiar one to the members at HPGCC and myself, Ben Evans. Ben was our international inter from Manchester, England, at Hyde Park this past summer via the Ohio International Program at Ohio State University. He was a valued member of the HP grounds team, and continues his fine work and attention to detail at TPC Scottsdale. In the weeks leading up to the WMPO he was tasked with various detail projects around the Stadium course. During the tournament week, he and 3 other TPC employees walk mowed the approach areas morning and night, most times in the dark. Not an easy task.

 

Ben Evans mowing approaches

It was a great experience to be able to see how another operation is coordinated to perform at a high level during a PGA tournament. Volunteering at events like this can help to learn new ways of managing and performing tasks, as well as meeting and networking with other volunteers all while sharing new ideas.

 

I would like to again thank Roby Robertson and his assistants Josh Minson, Heath Booker, Julio Riojas, Luke Dodge and Josh Krugg for a terrific experience and opportunity at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 

Inside the stadium on #16

For any comments or questions, I can be reached via email at Dan@hydeparkcc.com and on Twitter, @Djlaw308, for daily updates and more pictures from the tournament.

 

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