“Golfers have a love-hate relationship with the maintenance crew. They have pet peeves with things we have to do to maintain the course,” said Mike Kuhn, IGM Superintendent at Lake of the Woods Country Club in Virginia. He explains, “Our regulars let us know they don’t like it when we move holes, which we have to do frequently to preserve the grass from heavy foot traffic.” In his 10 years at Lake of the Woods, Kuhn has planned occasional revenge tournaments for the private club’s membership.
Municipally owned Chicopee Country Club in Massachusetts, open to the community, hosts a revenge tournament near the end of each season. IGM Superintendent Mike Bach said it is always a sell-out day and makes good business sense. “The Club opens for 36 foursomes, and they have to turn people away. It’s more than just fun – the Club does well, the food and beverage service does well.”
Both superintendents said their maintenance crews have fun preparing the course obstacles for the day. It takes a few extra hours to set up and take things down, but they can get creative. Bach provides a written “rules” sheet to guide golfers through the temporarily renovated course.
What kinds of pranks do they pull?
A favorite theme involves toilets. At Chicopee, Bach places a toilet on a tee box and requires golfers to tee off while seated on the throne. At Lake of the Woods, Kuhn sets a toilet seat around a hole, leaving only one opening through which players can sink a putt. Other obstacles include:
- Using a turbine blower with a rotatable nozzle aimed at the hole to blow the ball away.
- Blowing piles of debris on the course.
- Requiring golfers to use only their 7-iron on the seventh hole.
- Setting 3 flags and 3 holes on the green, but lightly covering 2, so players don’t know which hole to drive toward before they reach the green.
- Placing equipment, hoses, and other items on the course.
- Putting the hole in the middle of a slope.
- Requiring players to golf with their non-dominant hand.
- Setting tees in a bunker or on the fairway.
- Making players hit backwards from a tee box to the previous green, when proximity allows.
The practice of holding superintendent revenge tournaments is common, and popular, among most golf courses. IGM’s superintendents and maintenance crews focus every day on ensuring high quality playing conditions for client golf courses, but planning elaborate revenge tournaments gives the crew and golfers a change of pace – all in the spirit of fun.
IGM provides complete golf course maintenance and management services in markets across the U.S. The company is committed to agronomic excellence and environmentally conscious methods and products. To request a consult, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.