Q & A with Paul Vermeulen

By |  September 28, 2017 0 Comments

Paul Vermeulen, PGA Tour’s senior director of Championship Agronomy, is on-site for the 2017 Presidents Cup as the course is reaching final preparations for the upcoming match play. We asked Vermeulen some questions about the setup and his opinion of Liberty National Golf Course’s conditions.

Golfdom: We talked Louis Oosthuizen yesterday and he spoke very highly of Liberty National. How do you think Superintendent Greg James and his crew have done preparing the course?

Vermeulen: The preparations for this event are absolutely perfect. They have positioned the golf course such that the next four days are going to be more than just good, and more than just great. It’s going to be spectacular. These guys have done a phenomenal job, with the organization, with the course conditioning and the overall scheduling.

Golfdom: Do the captains of each team ever come to PGA with requests on the course’s setup?

Vermeulen: The captains definitely participate in the overall setup of the golf course. We have a staff that is in place much like we have during every PGA Tour event that works with the staff, Greg (James) and the guys. Their job is to get the golf course ready and compare notes with the captains to make sure the captains are on board with what we are doing.

If the captains would like to see a small adjustment, then they would let us know and give us their feedback. Then we can go through the normal channels to make sure that it’s executed. It’s obviously a U.S. team versus an International team and all parties have to be on board for any requests.

Golfdom: What’s your hope for Sunday?

Vermeulen: A good day would be spectacular weather with the whole competition coming down to the last shot by the last player on the course. I think that’s what the audience is really anticipating and that’s what they’re most excited about, and most certainly the most memorable conclusion.

Do I have a favorite? I wish the best for both teams. The better the competition, the more memorable the competition and the larger the stature of the event, which means more excitement and more fans.

For me, just to have everyone enjoy the event is more important than one particular team winning. I want everybody to win. That builds momentum for future Presidents Cups.

Golfdom: We want agronomy to win too?

Vermeulen: I think agronomy is more than winning. I think they’re already crossing the finish line, and it’s now going to be the most enjoyable four days ahead of us. I think we’re already looking at success. Now it’s just following through with the schedule and watching the playing conditions go from good to spectacular by Sunday.



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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 sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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