Just a dash of Basil

By |  August 7, 2017 0 Comments

(Center) Assistant Superintendent Basil Lowell gives directions to crew members before Monday morning maintenance.

After earning a turf degree from Penn State, and jobs at Nantucket (Mass.) Golf Club, McArthur Golf Club, Hobe Sound, Fla., and Jupiter Hills Golf Club, Tequesta, Fla., Basil Lowell accepted the assistant superintendent position at Quail Hollow in July 2012.

Almost three years later, Keith Wood was brought as the course’s superintendent, and since then Lowell has seen the turf maintenance staff take its performance to the next level.

“He’s very challenging in the high expectations in what we do and try to make the right decision all the time. So it’s really elevated the level of the whole staff here, especially the management,” says Lowell. “We’ve really hit the ground running especially this year just because of everything we did last summer with all of the changes we were able to focus more on the management side this spring to make sure everything is setup for success.”

Wood has a system where he assigns each of his three assistants a specific role and they’ve continued that organization during tournament preparation. Lowell has been in charge of the chemical applications since last fall.

“We had a great system going and we decided to stay in the groove that we are in and just go with it. I’ve taken care of all the pre-emergent application from this spring on, and fertilizer applications,” says Lowell, a native of Maine but moved to Florida in 2004. “Then pushing everything to ensure we have the best grass going into the tournament.”


The July cover story of Golfdom, Get Er Done, outlined the 86-day renovation that went on immediately after the 2016 Wells Fargo and as a golfer Lowell calls the reshaped hole No. 1 his favorite part.

“It is absolutely perfect, and it fits the rest of the course,” says Lowell. “That was the biggest worry for me. How would these changes fit in with the rest of the course but No. 1 was spot on.”

Lowell adds that preparing the property for the PGA Championship started well before the recent renovation.

“From a tournament setup our infrastructure is better than it ever has been but that was all in anticipation for the PGA Championship,” says Lowell. “We’ve done it piece by piece over the past couple years. So any time we were doing a project we made sure there was service roads put in so the tournament setup would go much smoother.”

When asked what he was going to do when the tournament is over, Lowell response was focused on the future.

“We have to hit the ground running. Thirty days after the championship is over we have to overseed. So we’re already thinking about next year’s Wells Fargo and making sure that is a success,” adds Lowell. “Hopefully when we get done we have some time to re-coop and relax and recover.”


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