By David McPherson, PGATOUR.COM contributor
Tom Brodeur is tired. The turf he tends is also feeling a bit worn down thanks to an early spring and a long hot summer.
“That’s been a challenge,” said the TPC Boston superintendent. “After a while, the grass just gets tired, but it’s holding up well.”
There’s no rest yet for the seasoned turf boss. Brodeur and his staff are in the midst of the final two days of preparations for the Deustche Bank Championship that begins Friday. The course got some rain yesterday, which came at the right time. “We probably won’t have to put our hands on a hose again until Thursday or Friday now.”
Despite the fatigue, the course is looking good and ready for the TOUR.
“The greens are running nice and smooth,” Brodeur said. “They should reach our target speed, which is around 12 on the Stimpmeter, by Friday. The key is to have the greens hold these speeds throughout the day. We don’t want too big a swing from the morning to the afternoon.”
Does the veteran greenkeeper feel pressure prepping a course to test the top TOUR players?
“Absolutely. Who wouldn’t?" Brodeur said. "Anytime you have the opportunity to prepare for this type of tournament you want to do well. That pressure is as much applied to myself by myself. You have 30 people working with you that have worked hard all summer and they are looking forward to that end result. You also have a membership you want to be proud of their golf course and you want to deliver the product … that’s pressure. That never changes.”
So what’s the hardest part of getting TPC Boston ready?
“Making sure the staff is in good shape mentally and that they’ve been trained properly to get things done under a little bit of pressure,” Brodeur explained. “This is much different than your average, everyday course preparation situation.”
Since the 2011 Deustche Bank Championship, players will only notice one change to TPC Boston — a brand new green on the 530-yard finishing par 5. Architect Gil Hanse oversaw the project that changed the 18th hole putting surface in its entirety, including new green surrounds and bunkers.
“The idea was to make shots around the green a little more compelling and interesting and provide some variety,” Brodeur explained. “The surrounds will make the recovery on a missed approach a lot more challenging.”