Friday, May 6, 2011

Experience Matters at TPC Sawgrass

At TPC Sawgrass, The Home of the Players, we are blessed with a sensational Agronomy Team. Within our team were are lucky enough to have four members of staff that have between them over 100 years of experience!

Left to Right; Don Branske, Tim Barger, Shane Coates and Mark Sanford.

Tim Barger – Stadium Irrigation Technician, 31 years of Service.
Tim’s plays an invaluable role in the set up of tournament as he is the one that tracks all underground wires and pipes during the construction of the tents. A successful tournament for Tim is if there is not a single irrigation break on the course, since Tim was the one that put most of the irrigation into the ground he is has had a lot of successful tournaments!
Tim has been a part of every tournament to date and can tell stories all day about the exciting things that have happened. His fondest memory of the tournaments past is when Freddy Couples pared the 17th with a hole in one, after putting his first in the water.

Mark Sanford – Equipment Manager, 28 years of Service.
With the ever growing fleet of equipment and the constant advances in industry technology, Mark plays a vital role in ensuring that the team is not hindered by machinery. During tournament time the stress put on the equipment is increased and the demands for quality are raised. Mark leads a strong team of mechanics that produce the equipment the Agronomy team needs to do their job. Marks knowledge of the course and its layout is unchallenged and we rely on him greatly.
Mark loves the tournament each year because it brings the entire Jacksonville Beach community together and showcases this small part of Florida to the world.

Shane Coates – Equipment Technician, 23 years of Service.
Shane started with the team when he was still in high school on the Stadium team, he then moved to the Valley before taking the position in the mechanics shop. Shane is known for fabricating useful devices that aid the Agronomy team daily. During tournament preparation the mowing frequency increases, so does Shane’s work load. Making sure that all the mowing blades and heights are to the highest standard is key to our success and Shane does this extremely well.
Shane’s favorite tournament memory was when Tiger Woods won the tournament in 2001, he says that the electricity in the atmosphere that year was like nothing he had seen before.

Don Branske – TEAM Member, 23 years of Service.
Over the many years Don has spent with the team, he has played many roles, and his years of experience and wealth of knowledge are called upon daily. Don is currently working on the Valley course and is an integral part of the team that helps prepare for both the PLAYERS Championship and the Winn Dixie Jacksonville Open held on the Valley in October.
An avid golfer, Don loves preparing for tournament and the worlds best golfers. His favorite time during each tournament is the final round on Sunday; he says seeing the combination of all the work from the prior months coming together to get the golf course in the best condition possible is worth all the hard work. ‘Striving for perfection and then presenting the end product is something that can not be expressed in words.’
The Sawgrass Agronomy Team has made a lot of changes over the years and has a lot of new faces, but with all the new ideas it is still a comfort to have the kind of experience and depth of knowledge that these individuals bring to work each day.