Bellerive’s Brewster banks knowledge for 2018 PGA Championship

By |  August 11, 2017 0 Comments

Brewster carries around his best friend this week at Quail Hollow, a Stimpmeter. He is on the back 9 of the course collecting data on the greens.

The PGA of America lets people know the location of the 2018 PGA Championship with this flag near an exit from the course.

This week Jared Brewster is a volunteer collecting data on Quail Hollow’s greens for the 2017 PGA Championship, but in just under 12 months he’ll be the host assistant superintendent of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis.

Brewster has volunteered at other high profile tournaments and championships, including the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, the Waste Management Open, Phoenix, a U.S. Senior Open, and a Senior PGA Championship, but he says that Quail Hollow conditions are near the top he’s ever seen.

“The course is amazing. They really have it dialed in,” says Brewster, an Illinois native. “If it wasn’t for the rain early this week it would probably be the best conditioned major I’ve worked for sure.”

This year is a learning experience for Brewster and he says what he wants to get out of it is how Quail Hollow’s Superintendent Keith Wood and his team works together more than on the golf course.

“The golf course will be there and we all have an idea of how the place will play but having the right team in place has made this place so much more efficient in preparing championship conditions,” says Brewster, who has been at Bellerive for three years. “Also, knowing what we will need equipment-wise and volunteer-wise — that’s something that you have to take from every tournament.”

Weather has become a main storyline of this year’s PGA Championship with rain falling on the course multiple times already, and Brewster is hoping that St. Louis’ current weather is replicated a year from now. Lately, Bellerive has been in the mid-80s and then down to a low of 65 at night, Brewster referred to it as “perfect bentgrass weather” for the course’s A-4 bentgrass greens.

“We’re excited for the championship for sure. It’s going to be a tough stretch in the summer but if it continues to be like this,” says Brewster, “that would be perfect conditions for the PGA. But you never know in the Midwest.”

Bellerive was completely renovated by Rees Jones in 2007, and it hosted the 2008 BMW Championship and 2013 Senior PGA Championship. Along with the A-4 bentgrass greens the 200 acre property has Meyer zoysiagrass tees, fairways and approaches, and tall fescue rough. The biggest challenge for the golfers will be in the bunkers, according to Brewster.

“Steep bunker faces are going to be the biggest challenge for the golfers. I have not seen a course that has the steepness of bunkers that we have. Around the face of every fairway bunker basically is similar to most people’s green-side bunker faces,” says Brewster. “It’s a unique design by Jones. Conditions are going to be similar to Quail Hollow. Mowing heights are about the same, the rough is going to be dense. They’ll be faced with some interesting navigation of course. I believe they are going to lengthen out some of the longer holes that are currently par 5s and change them to par 4s. That’s all to be discussed.”

Beyond being the final major tournament of the 2018 golf season, Bellerive’s turn will be the 100th time the PGA Championship will be played. One would imagine that the PGA of America is going to come up with something special for it’s centennial tournament, but discussions are still going on with that says Brewster.

“We’re still in development honestly. The buildout is still being talked about. We have a unique property,” Brewster says of the course that sits on the west side of St. Louis. “It’s not nearly as expansive as some of these championship facilities like Quail Hollow but we’re going to make it interesting. It’s the 100th… we’re going to do everything we can.”

Photos: Golfdom

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