I have been on vacation since Tuesday of this week. I traveled to Tucson to volunteer at The Gallery Golf Club. My father in law, Murray Hart, was a member at this golf course until the time of his passing in 2021. He always volunteered at the PGA events held here in the 2000’s. Tiffany and I were fortunate enough to be chosen to volunteer this week for the LIV golf league event.
Political views and stances will most likely play a huge part in where people stand with the development of the LIV golf league. I don’t, in general, let politics affect the majority of my life decisions and I was personally honored to be chosen to follow in my father in law’s steps of volunteering at this beautiful golf course.
On Thursday morning everyone met in the maintenance facility at 4:00 am for the daily debriefing. We started off raking debris from the island desert areas along the cart paths. Once the sun was closer to popping up behind the mountains everyone started their mowers and headed to hole 18.
Tiffany and I mowed the intermediate cut of rough on the golf course Thursday thru Sunday mornings. About 6:10 each morning there was just enough sunlight to see where you were mowing and off we went. Hole 18 was completed then everyone moved to hole 1 and continued in progression through 17. We were gathered on 18 waiting patiently to start the process each morning.
The Gallery waiting to start.jpg
The intermediate cut is also sometimes called the “first cut” of rough. It is a single mower pass completed between the fairway cut and the primary rough. At The Muni we use our 6″ outfront mower to complete this cut of rough. It allows a smooth transition between the fairway and primary rough and gives the player a little better area of turf when they miss the fairway by a couple of feet.
The cup changing process is quite intricate and time consuming when it’s a professional golf event. A towel is laid on the green to eliminate any foot printing around the hole. Multiple side views are taken once the cup cutter is started to ensure it is perfectly level. Many golf balls are dropped and rolled around the area to visualize where a slightly missed shot will end up. A lot of people provide a lot of information for something as simple as changing a cup in a time frame of about 20 minutes per hole.
All sand traps are hand raked in the bottom of the trap and up the sides keeping perfect uniformity throughout the entire trap. Motorized trap rakes are used to smooth the desert areas on each hole. They never use anything but hand rakes on the course itself.
Every hole has five separate tee boxes for players of all skill levels to enjoy the golf course. Quite a few new tee boxes were constructed for the LIV event to lengthen the course to over 7500 yards playing to par of 71. The 7th tee has a large Saguaro Cacti right off the side that has taken a lot of golf balls over the years. Some are still embedded inside.
The par three 8th hole is playing at 171 yards for the players this weekend. I think it is a pretty neat looking view where you need to carry all of that yardage unless you want to be in a lot of trouble.
About 9:45 each morning approximately 70 maintenance workers lined up and waited for a police escort down Dove Mountain Blvd back to the maintenance facility. We went down the boulevard so there was no interference with the golfers and spectators and players around the clubhouse and practice facility. Crazy enough, I ended up leading the pack on day two.
So, I share a lot of this information because it is so difficult to comprehend the amount of staffing it takes to operate this golf course at such a high level. Additionally to the staff, all the volunteers that showed up to make every maintenance practice able to be completed every single day. The entire course was maintained every single day.
When you come to play at The Muni or any other area golf course we are operating with a handful or two of maintenance employees on a controlled budget. Everything that is done on a golf course takes time and costs money. We try to provide our golfing community with a high quality, cost effective, and entertaining place to spend their recreational time.
I’m getting ready to go back out and take one more trip around The Gallery mowing some intermediate rough, hopefully watch some great golf, and continue to visit with local and nationwide turf professionals trying to provide a great playing field for this event. When I get back home my staff and I will continue to do the same thing for you!
Check out the event on CWTV if you want to watch a few minutes and get a glimpse of the course. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend and I will see you in a couple of days.
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
101 W 5th Street
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301