Minnesota, United States: With less than 12 months remaining until the Ryder Cup heads to Hazeltine National Golf Club, captains from the United States and Europe, along with PGA officials and other dignitaries have visited the course in advance of next year’s matches.
Set to specifications for how the course is expected to play, the visit provided the opportunity for Hazeltine National Head Superintendent Chris Tritabaugh and the grounds team to gather feedback and make adjustments in preparation for the biennial team event that pits the best American professional against their counterparts from Europe.
“Our planning for this event began the day after the PGA Championship was here in 2009,” said Tritabaugh. “This week provided us a great dry run of the course, testing the conditions from rough height and greens speed.
“We noted a couple of things the team will fine-tune prior to next year’s event, but all-in we are in good shape. Much of the credit goes to our tremendous turfgrass staff and volunteers here at Hazeltine. Without their hard work, none of our success would be possible.
“Combined, our staff has worked 35 Major championships at Hazeltine – an amazing level of experience. These individuals know what it takes to put on a major golf event, and it gives me a feeling of great comfort.
“Making this event a success also would not be possible without our wonderful partners at Toro and MTI Distributing. Their equipment, service and expertise will help us ensure Hazeltine National Golf Club shines during this historic event.”
Toro’s relationship with Hazeltine National goes back to 1962, when the course opened for play. Today, the company serves as the official provider of turf maintenance equipment and irrigation.
To help maintain top playing conditions, the course currently uses a full range of Toro greens, fairway and rough mowers, utility vehicles and mechanical bunker rakes. This includes Reelmaster 3550-D fairway mowers, Groundsmaster 4500-D rough mowers, Flex 2100 walk greensmowers and Workman utility vehicles.
In keeping with Hazeltine’s commitment to sustainability, the course also uses Toro’s Turf Guard wireless soil sensors for monitoring turf health and water usage.
“Our long-standing relationship with Hazeltine National brings us great honour, and appreciation for the trust they put in our products,” said Bill Brown, Group Vice President of Toro’s Commercial and Irrigation Businesses.
“This will mark the first time a Minnesota course has hosted this prestigious event, and it will truly be one to remember. We are excited to be a partner, and support their efforts to produce and maintain first-class greens and fairways during the matches.”
Toro is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Hua Hin, Thailand: Banyan Thailand has unveiled the ‘Basecamp Hua Hin’ initiative, inviting city dwellers to combine high-value private accommodation with a healthy lifestyle.