Las Vegas, Nevada (October 25, 2013)–One of the first things that a PGA Tour pro who plays and practices at TPC Las Vegas says about the course is that it is pretty much in PGA Tour condition year round. From the greens rolling at Tour speeds to the rest of the course kept at, or very near, Tour standards, the pros who live in Las Vegas appreciate that the course allows them to keep sharp during off weeks from the Tour. But how does the course, which is owned and operated by the PGA Tour, stay at that level and in the best condition possible? It's no easy task says longtime superintendent Kim Wood, who must feel like a chef in a restaurant where exacting food critics eat on a daily basis. "It's nice to know the Tour guys think that way about our course and believe that we keep the conditions at such a high level," says Wood, who has worked for the PGA Tour three decades. –By Brian Hurlburt, Like on Facebook.
"It's very difficult to keep Tour conditions on an ongoing basis, but we do ensure our course is up to TPC network standards, and it's basically standard operating procedure to focus on every detail," says Wood. "I could bore you with every aspect of the detail work, but we don't take the easy road here. The littlest detail is important and when you focus on all of the little things that adds up to an overall level of excellence. Those details can be overlooked or pushed to the side because doing all of the detail is work is time consuming and labor intensive. But we pay strict attention to the details. It's stuff people may not notice but by focusing on the small stuff it makes our whole team understand that a habit of excellence is the only acceptable way of doing things. And that translates into a golf course that the pros and our resort guests enjoy playing on a daily basis."
TPC Las Vegas is one of two TPC courses in Las Vegas and is a former host of events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. It is a resort course that is open to all local and visiting Las Vegas golfers, and offers golf stay and play vacations with a variety of hotels including the JW Marriott and Red Rock Resort. Click now to the official website of TPC Las Vegas to reserve your tee times or golf packages.
"We are fortunate to have the support of the PGA TOUR Agronomy team, which is by far the best in the industry," says TPC Las Vegas General Manager Dan Hammell. "Our Director of Golf Course Maintenance, Kim Wood, has been with us since pre-opening in 1996. Kim was on site when Raymond Floyd and Bobby Weed were in the construction phase of the golf course, which has been an added benefit over the years. Having a first rate Superintendent is essential in providing consistent turf conditions. Kim has been with the TOUR for 27 years and has seen alot over that time. His expertise and experience is what set's us apart form others in the area."
Wood says maintaining course conditions is a daily grind and adjustments are made all of the time with irrigation and other maintenance decisions. And he says he and his staff follow sound agronomic approaches to turf and course management. Superintendents in the TPC network attend at least two major educational summits annually where the latest technology and other useful information is shared among peers from around the country.
"Like I said, all of the little things add up to allow the big things to happen successfully and for us to stay consistent," says Wood. "Everything that we do allows us to create conditions that give golfers in Las Vegas a total package that is a value. The TPC network has a very high standard that we are expected to live up to you and it's nice to know the pros recognize us and appreciate our conditions."
Wood and TPC Las Vegas have earned various recognition and awards over the years. The course is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System and, most recently, Wood earned a prestigious Environmental Leaders in Golf Merit Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association and Golf Digest in 2012.
The Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence in the areas of resource conservation, water quality management, integrated pest management, wildlife/habitat management and education/outreach. In addition, these categories are judged on sustainability, criticality, originality and technology implementation/use. An independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university research and members of the golf community conducted the award selection.
So what's the last word about TPC Las Vegas? PGA Tour champion Charley Hoffman, who lives on the second hole of the course, sums it up: "The staff is very welcoming and they also make sure the greens are Tour speed and the fairways are Tour cuts and conditions. It's a huge advantage for those of us who have that access on an everyday basis over those that don't."