DUBLIN (WCMH) – The grounds crew at Muirfield Village Golf Course works around the clock to make certain the course is prepared for play every day of The Memorial Tournament.
After the storms came through Dublin Monday night, the grounds crew arrived at the golf course at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Due to the amount of rain, they had to redirect some assignments in order to get the course prepared in time for practice rounds.
“It was slightly unexpected, we thought we’d get anywhere between three tenths to a half inch of rain,” said Chad Mark, the director of grounds at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Mark’s team consists of 45 full-time crew members, and the tournament brings in 45 more volunteers to get the grounds ready for play each day.
“We compromised what we wanted to achieve this morning, we had to take mowing off of fairways, approaches and tees, redirect those people to help fix the bunkers and get water off of playing surfaces,” said Mark.
Mark works closely with the PGA Tour meteorologist on-sight at the tournament in preparing for severe weather the entire week.
“Mainly for severe weather and lightning for the tournament, for the spectators, so everybody is safe, work directly with the tournament director and the rules officials because the setup of the course has a lot to do with the weather, especially the winds and if they’re expecting a lot of rain, they won’t put those holes in low locations,” said meteorologist Wade Stettner.
The grounds crew volunteers started working last Sunday, but the full-time crew has been preparing the course for rain since last fall.
“Our aerification practices we perform in August to try and help increase infiltration rates so the playing surfaces dry down if we do get a rain event,” said Mark.
He added, “We’re going to make a contingency plan right now that if we have to go back out and move water and pound bunkers and fix things up, we’ll have our best people in the best spots. So they’re working on a contingency plan right now, we’ll execute that at any point the rest of the week if something happens.”