John Deere issued the following news release to the media today acknowledging the company's role in helping to prepare the Torrey Pines Golf course for hosting the U.S.Open.
With the right support, you can do anything. Just ask Mark J. Woodward, CGCS, the golf operations manager responsible for elevating a tournamentquality
municipal golf course to one worthy of hosting the 2008 U.S. Open.
Only the second public and first cityowned course to host the Open, Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego looked as good as its predecessors thanks to Woodward's management, his support team and grooming from a fleet that includes John Deere equipment.
When Woodward first came to San Diego three years ago, the city was dedicated to improving the South Course at Torrey Pines, having completed a complete renovation by Rees Jones in 2001.
But even for a man with more than three decades of experience, nurturing the course to championship condition was a challenge. He credits the course's successful transformation to the support of his team: Jon Maddern, the city's assistant golf operations manager, who also served as GCSAA president in 2003; Candice Combs, superintendent of the South Course; and the rest of the staff at Torrey
Support for the turf has also come from Woodward's John Deere fairway mowers. "We spent years working on the course from an agronomic perspective, so ensuring that the turf was shaped perfectly for the U.S. Open was vital," said Woodward. "Both my team and the players were very pleased with the cut quality our John Deere fairway mowers have delivered."
Gregg Breningmeyer, director of marketing and sales, John Deere Golf, noted that his company is "proud once again to support the best golfers in the world with the U.S. Open relies on John Deere mowers best equipment in the industry. The story of Torrey Pines and Mark Woodward exemplifies what can happen when knowledge, dedication and hard work come together, and we're honored to help support Mark's efforts."
Woodward's life seemingly mirrors the story of the Torrey Pines course, having climbed the proverbial ladder from humble beginnings all the way to the top. He is the first superintendent to work his way through the ranks to become the CEO of the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (GCSAA). He will assume the title on July 1, having spent his life improving municipal courses to look and play like their privatelyfunded cousins, proving that true value and investment is not merely about dollars but quality.
"When you work hard for something, you want it to be perfect," Breningmeyer said. "And John Deere is pleased to ensure that someone who's worked as hard as Mark Woodward achieves perfection for the U.S. Open."