Irish Open Update from David

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017


With the Pro-Am along with Rounds One and Two of the 2017 Irish Open complete the course preparation is becoming intensely magnified. We are constantly reminded that close to 20,000 spectators will arrive each day and that our work will be broadcast on the golf channel to over a million viewers. Rory McIlroy, defending champion and tournament host, has missed the cut, but Arizona State University Alumni, Jon Rahm, is in the hunt, alone in 3rd place just one back at -12. The event has had some great play with the cut being at 4 under par. View the Full Leaderboard

One of the challenges we’ve been facing is getting the course ready during steady down pours of rain. Living in Arizona, I am not used to being wet and cold in July. There’s no going home early here, one way or another things have got to get done. I am amazed at the dedication and pride that is taken by my fellow greenskeepers. No one complains, they just press on. Course Superintendent Bernard Findlay has everyone arrive daily for breakfast and a briefing at 4 am. We are out on the course by 5 am. If all goes well we get to leave by 9 am. He asks us to return by 4 pm for dinner and our evening shift. Originally I thought the seven hour break would give us plenty of time to sight see or get a round of golf in. Truth be told, we are so exhausted after each shift that we just want to go back to bed, so most of the time we do. However, my fellow American colleagues and I did get to celebrate fourth of July together!

The difference between course preparations here versus home is, everything is done by hand and the amount of walking involved is astounding. One of my roommates who mows tees uses a walking app on his phone to gauge how much he walks every time he walk mows tee boxes. He usually walks close to 6 miles per shift. My duty is to roll the bunkers with a 20 lb hand roller to firm up the sand, followed by a delicate hand raking. This is done each morning and evening in order to make the bunkers as firm as possible.

The difference between course preparations here vs home is everything is done by hand and the amount of walking involved is astounding. One of my roommates who mows tees uses a walking app on his phone to gauge how much he walks every time he walk mows tee boxes. He usually walks close to 6 miles per shift. My duty is to roll the bunkers with a 20 lb hand roller to firm up the sand, followed by a delicate hand raking. This is done each morning and evening to make the bunkers as firm as possible.

During my time here I have had the privilege of meeting and conversing with European Tour agronomist Eugene Hennessy on several occasions. He is always onsite working side by side with the course superintendent. I love picking his brain about the warm and cool season grasses he deals with as the tour changes venue.

We’ll, looks like it’s time to get back to work.
I will write more and send pictures again tomorrow. 

Sincerely,

David Escobedo
Head Golf Course Superintendent

WBVGC Superintendent, David Escobedo and the Irish Open

Posted on Thursday, April 6th, 2017

WBVGC is mighty lucky to have David Escobedo as our Course Superintendent!  We can look at our beautiful courses and see the results of his crew’s hard work and David’s “know how”.  We are not the only ones who recognize David’s many talents.

TurfNet scours the world for the best Course Superintendents to find the few who meet the qualifications and talent to get an invitation as a guest Superintendent for the European Tour’s Irish Open.  This year, the Irish Open will be at Portstewart Golf Club, Portstewart, Ireland.  

This is no golf vacation.  Those selected can expect to work from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. getting the course ready for, and during, the big event. And they go proudly, so they can rub elbows with the elite of their craft, not to mention the top golfers in Europe.

David is one of only two Superintendents selected to represent the Southwest. Desert Highland’s Superintendent in Scottsdale is the second.

David has been in the golf greens and grounds world for over 35 years.  He started when he was 15 years old.  His first 12 years were at The Springs Country Club in Mirage, California.  In 1996, he moved to Arizona to work at the Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale. From there he worked at the Palmbrook Country Club from 2002-2012.  And then we were able to bring his experience and talent to WBVGC.

David’s trip to Ireland begins June 29 and ends on July 10.  TurfNet covers most of the expenses, however, airfare and personal expenses are not covered!  To that end, WBVGC would like to lend a hand.  If you, or your golfing group, would like to help in the expenses, look for the “drop box” in either Pro Shop from 6 – 31 April.  Let’s show David how proud we are of his selection for this prestigious honor and for all he has done for us!

Business Associate Members