Updated 06/22/2012 05:54 PM
Getting back to par
This year, the road to the Dick's Open begins Monday with Media Day as the tournament will be held two months later than normal as a result of September's flood. YNN sports reporter Chris Whalen stopped by En-Joie Golf Course Friday to find out how the course is doing.
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ENDICOTT, N.Y. – Seventy-two degrees, clouds dotting the skyline and a slight breeze: Nearly perfect conditions to hit the links. Friday was dream day at En-Joie for golfers, but just ten months ago, it was a nightmare.
"Pretty overwhelming. 90 or 95 percent of the course was under water," said Rocco Greco, course superintendent.
September's flood wreaked havoc on the course. In some areas, water levels were estimated at 25 feet high. But even after the water receded, there was a tremendous amount of work to be done at En-Joie.
"First of all, the biggest problem was getting anywhere out on the golf course, the silt was so slippery and pretty thick," Greco said.
The first order of business was clearing the mud and debris off the greens and tee boxes. After the mess was cleared fairways were reseeded, new blue grass was planted on the first cut of rough and bunkers were repaired and refilled.
It was shortly after the flood that officials for the Dick's Sporting Goods Open decided to move back the 2012 tournament by two months.
"Just not knowing what the rest of the fall was going to be like, what the winter was going to be and the spring, there was no way of telling if we were going to be ready by the end of June," Greco said.
After Mother Nature did her worst, the mild winter she followed was a blessing for maintenance crews.
"Myself and the crew were able to work on the actual golf course, either removing mud or doing anything we could to get it ready to seed all the way up ‘till almost Christmas," Greco said.
The course opened back up to the public earlier this week, but improvements will continue to be made until the Champions Tour arrives in August.
"We need to do some grooming of the greens to get some of the grain out of them, get our height of cut down to tournament level on all playing surfaces and there's detail work," Greco said.
Meaning when golfers arrive, the course could be in arguably the best condition it's ever been.