Arraya to volunteers: it’s exciting, energizing and historic… but it’s just grass

By |  August 7, 2018 0 Comments
Photo: Golfdom staff

Carlos Arraya, CGCS, addressing the volunteers Sunday before the work begins. Photo: Golfdom staff

Almost 90 volunteers from around the country and yes, around the world (19 states and 6 countries), filled the maintenance hospitality tent on Sunday to hear from the man leading the maintenance efforts here at Bellerive CC in St. Louis.

“For those of you who traveled from far and wide to be here, welcome to St. Louis,” Carlos Arraya, CGCS, told the group. “And for those of you here from the Midwest… welcome, my brothers. It’s been a hell of a summer.”

It has been a wild season leading up to the 100th PGA Championship. The area experienced its second coldest April on record, followed by the hottest May on record, followed by the hottest and driest June since 1953.

“I don’t know about July,” Arraya said. “I just finally quit paying attention.”

While hosting the 100th PGA Championship is “exciting, energizing and historic,” Arraya echoed a sentiment he has mentioned in the pages of Golfdom: this tournament should be cherished for the connections made, not the grass cut.

“It’s just grass, guys,” Arraya said. “The important part in this run up to the tournament is the people you’re going to meet here and the connections you’ll make.”

Ren Wilkes, tactical marketing manager, John Deere Golf, thanked the crew for their hard work, expertise and the early morning and late nights in advance. “But most of all, thank you for missing your course, that tee-ball game… most of all thanks to your families, for letting you take the time to be here.”

Presentations were made, longtime employees were honored and then the group was dismissed to get out on the course. A long week lies ahead of them.

“I’ll tell you that (the crew) is tired, dehydrated and caffeinated,” Arraya says. “But we look forward to working with all of you.”

Logo provided by John Deere

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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