TPC assistants see big picture

By |  June 24, 2011

Within the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club network is a program that sends assistant superintendents from one facility to another to aid during tournaments of the three tours, PGA, Champions and Nationwide.

For this week’s PGA Tour Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., Jack Creveling from TPC Sawgrass and Adam Weber from TPC Scottsdale are lending a hand.

Their primary job is to collect data for the Tour that includes green speeds, as well as moisture content and firmness of greens. They’ll also be lending a hand doing whatever River Highlands superintendent Tom DeGrandi needs, tasks such as raking bunkers.

DeGrandi’s two assistants, Noel Hall and Ben Newfang, have taken their turn at other courses. This year, Newfang will be at TPC San Antonio for the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship.

Creveling and Weber arrived the Saturday before the tournament began and will stay to the Monday after the Travelers is scheduled to end. Creveling knew he would be at the Travelers in January but Weber found out about two weeks before making the trip after the assistant who was going originally tapped for the assignment took a job at a non-TPC facility.

“It’s been good to see a different golf course,” said Weber, 25. “We don’t have the topography. There’s no slope in the desert.”

This is the first time either have worked on a golf course where the turf variety on greens is primarily Poa annua.

Creveling said dealing with one golf course can produce tunnel vision.

“You become engrossed in one property. (This) expands your horizons,” he said.

Weber said the education is not just about agronomy.

“It helps you see what the (TPC) network is about on a bigger scale.”

— Anthony Pioppi

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