ENDICOTT, N.Y. – We’re now exactly one week until the first round of the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open tees off.
Earlier, I took a cart and made my rounds throughout En-Joie, and let me tell you, the course hasn’t looked better.
With rolling hills surrounding it, and the Susquehanna River flowing beside it, En-Joie Golf Club is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the area.
However, every August, the grounds crew and staff take it up a notch.
As we approach the beginning of Dick’s Sporting Goods Open week, final preparations are being made all around En-Joie.
It’s an impressive sight seeing an already picturesque course transform into a venue capable of wowing even the biggest of golfing names.
Tournament Director John Karedes says that even being just a few days out from opening the course to the PGA Tour Champions players, things are actually running smoother than expected.
“Really, we’re moving ahead of schedule, thanks to Mother Nature. The staff, really during the course of the days, have been able to work on getting all the product in, the tents, the structures. Everything’s being built. Now, it’s just the final touches. They’re putting flowers in today, they’re bunning. We’re going to be ready. It’s going to be a great Dick’s Sporting Goods Open week,” Karedes said.
It’s certainly no easy task trying to get the course up to PGA Tour quality.
However, behind the efforts of Course Superintendent Anthony Chapman and his grounds crew, Karedes can sum up En-Joie in one word.
“Awesome. Look, these guys are passionate about the En-Joie Golf Course. I can’t say enough about their efforts that go into it, year-round. Not just tournament week, or advance week, but their job, their goal, is to get it to peak during Dick’s Sporting Goods Open week. And you can see from the footage behind me, I mean, it definitely is going in the right direction. It’s going to be an awesome week, and the players are going to be impressed, as always, with the En-Joie Golf Course.”
As Karedes said, the players who make the trip to En-Joie are never disappointed.
Between the quality of the course, the large crowds, and the entertaining concerts year after year, it’s not surprising the course is so well liked by the golfers.
However, after the incredible efforts last year by Chapman and his crew following the heavy rains and flooding that did a number to the course leading into the first round, En-Joie and the Dick’s Open received a very prestigious award from the tour.
“We were lucky enough to receive the Player’s Award last year. So, we were voted the favorite event by the players. Look, that’s everything. That’s the community. That’s coming here and the full experience that they receive. But, probably most importantly, it’s where they actually do their work. And their work is done on the golf course. That’s where they’re going to compete for over two million dollars. So, certainly what Anthony and his staff do speaks volumes, and we saw those through the accolades last year that were presented to us by the tour.”
While you can’t predict the weather 100%, it doesn’t appear anything nearly as challenging as last year is in the cards right now.
What we do know is that En-Joie is looking it’s best just in time for the big show next week.
I can’t wait to get out and take in all the action at En-Joie next week.