Internship Visit #5

November 6, 2010 in 2-year, Teaching

It’s the last round of internship visits and this trip takes me to Chicago and Wisconsin to visit three students at two different locations.  The first stop is back to Medinah to visit two students working with Curtis Tyrrell and then a quick stopover in Milwaukee before heading up to Whistling Straits.

Justin Gladhill @Medinah Country Club (#13)
A trip to Medinah each year is always one that I look forward to.  Penn State 2-Year Alum Curtis Tyrrell has a great internship program and the modifications to course #3 over the past year are major reasons why students were drawn to the course this year. When I arrived at the course, I met with Curtis briefly and then headed out onto the course with Justin.  I was amazed at the changes to the course and the progress made so far to getting things completely grown-in.  One area that Justin focused on with me was the working of the new SubAir system that was installed in the greens.  I had seen the SubAir work in the past, but the suction they were getting was pretty impressive.  In the photo (right), Justin was trying to demonstrate this by holding a piece of paper over one of the outs.  You can see the paper being pulled by the suction.

Chris Funke @ Medinah Country Club (#14)
Although I make every effort NOT to send two students to the same location, the stars just aligned right for Curtis in 2010.  (I spoke with him later this year and told him not to expect this in the future) Chris, who had been spraying earlier in the day took me on a tour of the back nine.  Among the highlights of the tour was the completely rebuilt #15th and the lack of the famous “Sergio Garcia” tree on the 16th.  The 15th hole was redesigned from a rather boring straight away par four into a risk/reward reachable par 4 with a pond front right.  As for the 16th, the famous tree where Sergio hit is miraculous second shot to the green from was removed.  I think that Medinah has “plenty” of trees, however, and could probably stand pulling out a few more!  Overall, the internship experience at Medinah is a strong one and is highly recommended for any student.

Ryan Brooks @ Whistling Straits (#15)
My final visit (this is always a bittersweet time in the summer) was to see Ryan at Whistling Straits.  Ryan is one of two students who returned to their previous course for the summer.  In his case, a family back home and the 2010 PGA Championship were big draws pulling him back.  One of the concerns about going back to the same course is the ability to perform new and “internship-like” tasks.  Fortunately, golf course superintendent Chris Zugel understands this and gave Ryan the opportunity to complete a variety of tasks during the summer and leading up to the PGA.  One thing that stood out to me this year was the overall health and greenness of the turf.  Apparently the season had been a good one for growing grass and the traditional links-style expected at Whistling has been muted by the lush green fairways.  Regardless, the PGA ended up being a great event and most people will remember it for the grounded club in the “bunker” by Dustin Johnson.

Click play to see more photos from the final round of internship visits.