Islanders on Ryder Cup crew help keep golf course perfect
'We're taking turf to a whole other level and we're also seeing golf at a whole other level'
As you watch 24 of the best golfers in the world at the Ryder Cup this weekend you'll see the work of two Islanders.
Paul MacCormack and Mark Perry are part of the crew keeping the Hazeltine National Golf Club course in Chaska, Minn. in perfect condition.
MacCormack, who is the manager and chief superintendent at Fox Meadow in Stratford, P.E.I., said he became friends with the course superintendent at Hazeltine "many years ago."
"When Ryder Cup time came around he reached out to me," he said.
MacCormack then asked if his friend Mark Perry, the superintendent at Rustico Resort, might able to volunteer as well.
Now the pair of Islanders became part of team of 10 Canadians — and of about 100 superintendents from around the world — helping the 30 full time grounds keepers at Hazeltine during the matches.
"The team came together really quickly and we're having a great time," said MacCormack.
Early days and late nights
MacCormack is charged with making sure the greens are the proper speed on four holes of the course.
Perry is on bunker duty, ensuring the sand traps are prepared for the practice rounds and matches that begin on Friday.
The work day begins around 5 a.m. — which is 3 a.m. AT.
"The whole course is prepped by about 7:30 in the morning," Perry added. "We're taking turf to a whole other level and we're also seeing golf at a whole other level, it's tremendous."
The volunteers are able to watch the competition when their duties are completed each day.
MacCormack and Perry will be flying back to P.E.I on Monday and both say they'll have plenty of new information to share with their crews back at their home courses.
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