For Jeff Corcoran, Oak Hill's director of golf and grounds and his team, this was their opportunity to showcase not only the course, but the team's professional talents, as well.
Prior to beginning evening course maintenance on the eve of the Championship, Jeff
addressed the group of more than 100 volunteers about the support Oak Hill received from the industry, specifically John Deere Golf
I caught up with Jeff
earlier that day to talk about Oak Hill's fairway mower of choice -- the John Deere 8000 E-Cut Hybrid.
During our discussion Jeff
told me about his
relationship and the support he
receives from the team at John Deere
, which went far beyond Championship week.
For exampel, prior to the public release of the JD 8000 e-cut hybrid, Jeff worked closely with Tracy Lanier, John Deere Golf's product manager, to put the unit through it's paces at Oak Hill.
"We had a retired engineer on our staff who worked with the demo unit," Jeff
did four pages of notes on the unit."
chuckled as he
ripped the pages from the notebook and passed them on to the folks at John Deere
Myself working with iOS developers, I can tell you providing such feedback in that manner would be the last time I tested any software.
told me John Deere
"This is the best part about John Deere
"Their products are tested by superintendents.
They (John Deere) listen to the operators in the field and then implement things that they ask."
So what were some of the changes Jeff
wanted to see from the initially prototype?
and I looked over the JD 8000 e-cut hybrid, he
pointed out the smooth tires with beveled edges along the outside.
"The initial tire that came with the prototype were more aggressive," Jeff
With Oak Hill's height of cut between .325 to .350 they started seeing more wear than they were comfortable with.
worked closely with Tracy Lanier and the team at Deere
to get it just right.
has been using the John Deere
8000 e-cut hybrid now for 3 years and I asked Jeff
what is overall opinion of the mower and the quality of cut was.
"We experienced the worst summer in Rochester, N.Y., this year and we have continued to maintain our fairway height of cut at .325 inches all summer," he