The PGA Tour opens the 2010 FedEx Cup Playoffs this week with The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., where GCSAA Certified Golf Course Superintendent Todd Raisch has withstood one of the hottest summers on record to present excellent conditions on the golf course.
A story in the August 16 New Jersey Star-Ledger said that according to the Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist, this was the second-warmest July on record in New Jersey history with average temperature for the month (78.8 degrees) being the highest since 1955 (79 degrees).
"With the exception of 2001, it's probably the most challenging year I've had in my 16 years here," said Raisch, a 19-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
(pronounced rash) raised the mowing height on the greens from .100 inches to .130 inches in the weeks leading up to The Barclays
to keep the stand of turfgrass on the putting surfaces alive and healthy.
That reduced green speeds, but Raisch's proactive and conservative approach helped weather the extreme weather better than most golf facilities in the region and preserve top conditions for the tournament.
A story in the Bergen (N.J.) Record August 9 details how Raisch
was able to delay Ridgewood from peaking in mid-June until The Barclays
two months later.
"Todd Raisch and his experienced staff at Ridgewood Country Club have done an excellent job getting the composite championship course ready for The Barclays," said PGA Tour Regional Agronomy Director Dennis Ingram, CGCS.
"Todd is leading a very diverse staff through what has turned out be one of the hottest and most difficult summers I have seen.
Typically this region of the country sees only a handful of 90-degree days, normally in early August.
We saw more days above 90 degrees during the first two weeks of June than is usual for the entire summer.
The mainly Poa annua greens, tees and fairways remain healthy and Todd
is once again providing outstanding playing conditions for the first FedEx Cup Playoff event of 2010."
Raisch has two bachelor's degrees from Ohio State University, one in agronomy and another in business management.
is one of only 1,700 active superintendents to earn the professional designation GCSAA Certified Golf Course
Raisch plans to ease the mowing heights of the Poa annua greens back down throughout the advance weekend, increasing green speeds to 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.
The Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass/fine fescue rough is lush and 3 to 3½ inches high, but not as thick outside the ropes as in the past.
also has Ridgewood certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary