Covering Ground at Grand Geneva
06 Jul, 2017
Written by Elodie Demmon
557 total acres of spectacular, rolling hills.
Two championship golf courses.
One grounds crew.
Many people know the Brute and the Highlands are one of a kind golf courses combined with remarkable views and exciting layouts, but the meticulous efforts to create these breathtaking sights and memorable rounds often goes unknown to players and guests alike. Do you wonder how both courses maintain their striking beauty and playability? Meet the dream team, also known as the Grounds Crew. Managed by Seth Brogren, the crew splits up to keep both courses in excellent condition. And it all starts at 5 a.m. every day.
Several steps are taken to maintain the beauty of the golf courses, and the Grounds Crew relies on a consistent routine to set up the courses each day before the first tee-off. Before the sun rises, each crew of 12 drives through the courses to spot and remove branches and other debris before mowing. They proceed to rake the bunkers and cut the grass three days a week for fairways and tees, and twice a week for roughs. Greens are also mowed and rolled constantly, with the rollers behind the mowers helping to smooth out the grass to increase ball rolling speed. Cup and pin locations change daily, which differs the course and also protects the grass around holes from abrasion. Once more, the crew checks for debris on the courses before finishing up by 11 a.m., before anyone can even notice they were there.
Watering the grounds generally takes place overnight, but Brogren believes it is one of the most important components in grounds keeping, as it tremendously affects the course’s aesthetics and playability. The crew manages their water usage by applying wetting agents to the grass. This helps hold more water in the soil once the courses are watered, which ultimately prevents water waste. Since spring and summer showers have been abundant in the past few months, the Grounds Crew have not needed to water as much this season.
While day-to-day summer cleanup, cutting, and watering is vital to the up keeping of the Brute and the Highlands, the planning that takes place over the winter is crucial in creating the beauty and functionality of each course in the summer. During the off-season, the crew strategically plans out watering schedules, drainage tasks, sodding projects, electrical work, irrigation plans, and which pesticides to choose to immunize grass from disease.
“There’s a lot of facets not visible to a TV watching golf fan or even the players,” says Brogren. With all that goes on behind the scenes at the Brute and the Highlands, it’s no wonder the courses look as lush and pristine as they do. It’s all thanks to the Grand Geneva Grounds Crew.