TPC Myrtle Beach Superintendent Explains Keys to Ensuring Ideal Course Conditions

Studio:                 All right, what else is happening now with Dustin Johnson not in the field? Well, number one, he is playing host to the Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship in Myrtle Beach. Boys and girls, some of the top juniors in the United States and beyond, 31 of which have already signed letters of intent. We head back there now courtesy of Myrtle Beach Golf Trips.

Charlie:                And Gary, we are joined by Clay Dubose, the golf course superintendent here at TPC Myrtle Beach. Clay, thanks for what you do. You don’t get enough of that. I mean, we couldn’t play this game without you. They don’t get the credit they deserve.

Brian:                   It’s a thankless job. You’d be the first to admit that.

Clay:                     I appreciate it.

Brian:                   We’re happy to have you. The founders group that owns TPC Myrtle Beach has a reputation, for all the golf courses that they own. Not only this one but other courses in the Myrtle Beach area as having high standards for the quality of their golf courses. What are keys for you as a super and your staff to maintaining a destination golf course like this, so when people come back they wanna come back again and again?

Clay:                     Well, first and foremost, we’re very fortunate to have an ownership group that is committed to the game of golf, or providing us the funds needed to maintain the golf courses properly. So, they are very committed to the game. They’re a very young company, and they’ve seen the importance of good conditioning and good customer service and providing that golfer a good experience. We’re already ahead of the game.

Charlie:                Clay, on Morning Drive, we try to educate our viewers, help them play better golf. We don’t really talk about this subject very much. You come out to play a golf course, you got some responsibility, some things that you can do to help the superintendent but help the people playing the golf course behind you. What are some of the pet peeves that you might have? Some things that you wish people might do a little better job of? And I’m guessing you might wanna start with repairing ball marks properly.

Clay:                     That’s probably number one. We do see a good amount of people starting to do that. The other would probably be bunker maintenance. Just raking behind themselves, cleaning out, and where they walk in and out of the bunker. A lot of people take the shortest route in, whether it be high up on the lip and in the grass. That can destroy the-

Charlie:                They can destroy the bunker.

Clay:                     It messes up the integrity of the face and then so it’s bad for the next guy and then of course we have to fix it. So, our expenses go up.

Charlie:                So, find the lowest part of the bunker to go, and it might take a little extra work but it helps the people coming behind you.

Clay:                     Sure, that’s right.

Charlie:                And another thing, I’m looking right beyond you to golf cart and I’m seeing the sand bottles on the golf cart.

Brian:                   Yes.

Charlie:                Some people don’t use the sand bottles at all, and I think maybe even worse than not using it at all, they’ll take a little divot and they’ll pour half that sand bottle on a little divot-

Brian:                   Just like the ketchup bottle.

Clay:                     They leave a mound out there? Yeah, right.

Charlie:                Some people don’t … I mean, some people, they are saying I think it’s a margarita shaker.

Clay:                     That’s right. Just enough to smooth it out, that’s all we need.

Charlie:                The proper way to use that sand dispenser is just sort of fill it, not even quite to the top.

Clay:                     That’s correct. Give the grass a chance to crawl back over it, and then we’re good.

Charlie:                And some people think that there’s like grass seed in there. What’s in the sand that you’re putting in those divots?

Clay:                     Typically, it’s just sand. Sometimes in the winter months some golf courses will mix rye grass in there with it. When our base Bermuda’s not growing the rye grass [inaudible 00:03:21] back, but 90% of the time it’s just sand.

Sometimes some compost mixed to help the divot fill back in but that’s about it.

Charlie:                Clay, we appreciate you stopping by. We, again, thank you for the work that you do.

Clay:                     Thank you.

Charlie:                You make this game, you and your fellow superintendents make this game a lot of fun for all of us. Help these guys out. Help the people that are playing golf behind you. Do a little bit of maintenance to make the golf courses good for the people behind you as it is for you folks.

Let’s go back to you in Orlando.

Studio:                 You got it, Charlie. Well, TPC Myrtle Beach helping everyone else out with a little bit of course etiquette today as well, but now to PGA-

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