SILVIS, Ill. (KWQC) - Without the hard work of 50 professional groundskeepers, there wouldn't even be a course to play on for the John Deere Classic. Golf course professionals say their work isn't as easy as it seems.
Groundskeepers work to keep the JDC golf course perfect
"There's more than meets the eye of being a golf course professional," said Alex Stuedemann, Director of golf course maintenance.
The fifty workers study soil science, chemistry, and meteorology, to perfect the golf course, which Stuedemann says is relatively similar to the human body. "We're doing it when the temperatures can be 95 and humid. Just like in your home if you leave your bag of bread in that dark cupboard, it can mold. If you can stay in the shower too long your skin can get wrinkly. The same thing that happens to your body happens to a golf course."
So, the severe weather we've been facing has not made tending to the course easy work. "The wet weather that we had from the last April through the month of May was certainly challenging to our operation because we have to work on dry ground to be the most effective" explained Stuedemann.
If they're not working at their prime conditions, it could potentially alter the results of the tournament: "the PGA tour players are out here making a living working on our property and if there's something not consistent about our presentation, it can impact how they play and give an unfair advantage to one player on another" explained Stuedemann.
The work they do on the 170-acre course happens right after the last put, taking 12 months ... and plenty of attention to detail.
"We have a dedicated team of 50 professionals that are managing the moisture daily, morning and night on putting surfaces. We're checking surfaces of the tees for any stress and we're hand watering those. and we've done culturalization and are aerating so that adds oxygen directly to root zone and other things."
Even if today is a breeze, tomorrow may be a different story, "every day is a challenge, a golf course in the change of a dime if we're not cognizant of everything" shared Stuedemann.
The workers typically get to the course at 4:30 in the morning, work a few hours until the players start, and as soon as the last player is off the course, they're back at it getting ready for the next day.