The Deutsche Bank Championship (DBC) is this weekend and Tom Brodeur, golf course superintendent at Tournament Player’s Club [TPC] Boston, has the course ready for the world’s best golfers.
“The course [condition] for the tournament is not a lot different than it is for what we normally provide for the membership,” said Brodeur, who has directed the maintenance of the famed golf course in Norton since its opening in 2002.
The DBC is a part of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs that will produce an overall champion for the 2014 PGA golf season. Among the pros expected to compete in the tournament are the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy, 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson, and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, who attended Hopkinton High School.
Brodeur said last winter’s harsh weather did not affect the course.
“The course is a newer one built with a lot of the benefits of modern technology and that includes knowing to have drainage in the right place, the selection of the grasses, and the age of course,” said Brodeur. “What happens a lot of times to courses in this part of the country is that they mature and they tend to get a lot more annual bluegrass (po annua) in them and that’s probably what most clubs struggled with over this winter.”
Brodeur said TPC Boston remained open for members’ rounds up until last Friday. The course was closed Saturday and Sunday leading into the practice rounds, the pro-am and the four rounds of the DBC that begin Friday morning and continue through the final round on Labor Day.
Brodeur is one of the most respected golf superintendents in the country with a four-decade career in the industry. He was at TPC Boston for the construction of the course, the grow-in, and the opening in 2002.
“We had the course open for roughly a year-and-a-half before we had the first [DBC] event – and I’ve been here for all of them,” said Brodeur.
PGA officials and the golfers themselves have appreciated Brodeur’s work through the 12 years of the tournament’s existence.
“Fortunately the feedback has been very positive,” said Brodeur. “We’ve made it to the end of the summer in generally very good condition. The PGA really takes control of the site and we deal with them directly as far as minor adjustments we may want to make from a conditioning standpoint. They manage the competition and the rules and agronomy staff are the go-to people that we deal with.”
Brodeur said during the regular golf season at TPC he has approximately 30 people on his staff working on the maintenance of the course. During the week of the tournament, TPC Boston counts on 60 volunteers to supplement the staff and help prepare and maintain the course.
The superintendent was asked whether TPC Boston was considered the preeminent course in New England.
“That’s a subjective thing,” replied Brodeur. “There are a lot of courses in New England with great pedigree as far as history and that sort of thing – places that come to mind are The Country Club [in Brookline], Essex Country Club, and Myopia. We think we have a nice club atmosphere and everybody has invested a good amount of time and effort and money in to making it better and better each year, so we think it’s a pretty good place.”
While it’s unlikely you’ll see Tom Brodeur himself on national television during the tournament (unless Mother Nature intervenes with some severe weather), you will see his professional and cosmetic influence on the tees, fairways, and greens that will be in peak condition as usual for this prestigious PGA Tour playoff competition.