SILVIS, Illinois (KWQC) - The John Deere Classic is next week, which means officials at the golf course are working every day to make sure it's in top shape, and there’s a new program getting college students involved.
“If we have an opportunity to give a student an opportunity to learn and grow, while also helping our company grow, I think it's a win for both sides of the aisle,” said the director of course maintenance at TPC, Alex Stuedemann.
Muscatine Community College has a new program, and it's getting students experience that will come in handy.
“Our industry right now is struggling to find students that want to work outdoors, enjoy job variety, and see the efforts of their work on a daily basis,” said Stuedemann. “When I was asked about it, it was a no brainer.”
The first intern in the program says he's always loved landscaping, and this is a perfect fit.
“It's important to get into because I think sports like these will always be around,” said Cody Hull. “There will always be golf tournaments and it's growing everyday - new tournaments, new courses being built. It's short-handed, people don't want to do this, and they don't want to come out in 100 degree heat and rake bunkers and mow and stuff.”
There's a lot more to it than you might think.
“It's always been perceived kind of in that Caddyshack realm - where you just mow it and water it and that's all you do - but really there's a lot of science,” Stuedemann said. “There's soil science, climate science, weed science, physiology that's involved, and it's a very in depth job.”
With the John Deere Classic coming up, they hope their hard work pays off.
“I don't think many people look behind the scenes,” Hull said. “They may see someone mowing but they don't see the real behind the scenes where we're down on our hands and knees edging sprinkler heads, or like I’m doing today cleaning out a pond and all the algae, all the little things that make it look good for a tournament.”
Hull says he's not the biggest sports fan in the world but he appreciates the opportunity at the course and understands that it's a way for him to beef up those skills. He hopes when the professional golfers come for the John Deere Classic, they understand and appreciate all the hard work that he, and the team, have put in.