Mark J. Woodward, CGCS, Chief Executive Officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) called the efforts of the golf course management team at Bethpage State Park Golf Courses in Farmingdale, N.Y.—including Golf Course Superintendent Craig Currier, his staff and more than 150 volunteers—“amazing” and “inspirational,” as they fought heavy rains to ensure the completion of the 2009 U.S. Open on Bethpage’s famed Black course.
“Having served as the host golf course superintendent for the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, I fully appreciate what a massive undertaking it is, even when the weather cooperates,” Woodward said. “To accomplish what the golf course management team did under Craig is amazing and inspirational. They are a credit to the profession, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and the game.”
Currier, only the second superintendent to have hosted a U.S. Open at the same facility (joining GCSAA Certified Golf Course Superintendent Paul Jett, of Pinehurst No. 2), is not daunted by the fact that rains in 2002 and 2009 made his task even more complicated.
“I want another one,” Currier said. “The [United States Golf Association] and the players know Bethpage is a great venue. We have been unfortunate with the weather, but that doesn’t take away from what this course offers. I know my staff feels the same way. They were tremendous leading up to the event and just fantastic this past week. I cannot say enough about them and the volunteers.”
The Bethpage golf course management staff of 60 was joined by more than 150 volunteers from around the world, predominantly from the host GCSAA chapter, the Long Island Golf Course Superintendents Association.
Recognition of the team’s effort has flowed in from all corners, including the USGA, the players, media, fans, and the New York state Governor’s office. The accolades once again confirmed what Mike Davis, USGA Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, has said previously regarding the role of superintendents in hosting that association’s events: “There is no individual who has a bigger impact on any U.S. Open than the golf course superintendent.”
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