Our own Malcolm Grundy recently travelled almost 16,000km to lend his expertise to the 117th US Open.
The Murray Bridge Golf Club ground superintendent flew out of Adelaide Airport on Sunday June 4 to volunteer at the Erin Hills Golf Course grounds for the 2017 US Open in Wisconsin.
After spending a few days sightseeing in Chicago and Milwaukee – including a trip to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, and a visit to the Harley Davidson Museum – Mr Grundy and good friend Andrew Wright from the Gisborne Golf Club in Melbourne headed from Illinois to Wisconsin and joined up with several other Australians who had also made the trip over.
After previously working two weeks at the Kingston Heath Golf Club last November for the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne, Mr Grundy finally embarked on his monumental trip after around two-and-a-half years’ worth of planning.
Mr Grundy said he and all the workers were tasked with several duties over the course of their time at Erin Hills, all keeping very busy.
“I've been mainly on fairway mowing which is fantastic as you get to see most of the course,” he said.
While 50 grounds staff are employed at the Erin Hills Golf Course, around 140 volunteers also attended, mostly comprising of Wisconsinites.
“There were 25 fairway mowers, 16 greens walk mowers, six-or-more greens rollers and dozens of other mowers as the entire playing surfaces were cut every morning and again in the afternoon.”
Mr Grundy said it wasn’t all fun-and-games; a storm hit during practice rounds, damaging the bunkers.
“... it was all hands on deck to get them back in tournament condition.”
Mr Grundy said, as gruelling as his time at Erin Hills was, he enjoyed every minute of it.
“To have the experience of working with the latest equipment, on a world-stage quality turf and course and working with a bunch of like-minded turf curators for the worlds best players… it was the experience of a lifetime.”