Edgewood in top shape for celebrity golf tourney | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Edgewood in top shape for celebrity golf tourney

William Ferchland
Photos by Tracy Peterson / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Wayne Thronson, president of Tournament Services Inc., stands Friday with his array of walkie-talkies and communications gadgets that will be used during this week's celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood.

Thanks to a cooperative Mother Nature, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course bounced back from a tough year last summer and is in healthy shape for the upcoming celebrity golf tournament.

That’s the assessment from Golf Course Superintendent Steve Seibel who has been at Edgewood for 30 years.

“I think the golf course is as good as it’s been for a long time,” he said.

A warm winter that didn’t freeze the ground, allowing it to sufficiently drain, and no late snow allowed the course, host of this week’s 17th annual American Century Championship, the opportunity to rebound from experiencing one of its worst conditions last year.

“Last year we fought certain areas all throughout the year,” he said.

As Seibel checks the grounds and prepares his crew to be at Edgewood at 5:30 a.m. for the morning run-through, other work is being done so celebrity golfers and those who watch them can enjoy the tournament, which begins Tuesday.

Wayne Thronson, president of Tournament Services Inc., arrived at the golf course Friday and was already overseeing the installation of eight leader boards on holes five, seven, nine, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 18.

During the weekend more than 1,000 stakes will be placed throughout the course. Thronson ordered 110,000 yards of imported rope made in Japan. Thronson said he likes its straightness over long distances, thus needing fewer stakes.

“A bad rope job can make a place look bad,” he said.

Yardage boxes will be placed to inform the gallery of the hole’s distance. Ice and water will be at every tee for the golfers. Dozens of walkie-talkies in Thronson’s trailer were waiting to be picked up by volunteers and security guards.

Thronson’s company is also in charge of scoring the tournament and will have volunteers stationed at each hole to radio in golfer’s results.

The relay takes about 10 to 30 seconds, Thronson said.

“As soon as they get that score they tell it to us,” he said.

The trailer also had construction materials to help rig tilted signs straight.

“On a golf course, nothing is square,” he said.

The tournament has more than 70 telephone lines at about 20 different locations for media and the golfers, said Danny Martinez, owner of South Shore Telecommunications.

Martinez, a “behind-the-scenes guy” in charge of communication systems for the tournament, said he laid down more than 11,000 feet of wire. One goes to the tent reserved for celebrity golfers next to the driving range that supplies a laptop computer with up-to-date scores on other golfers. All a golfer has to do is type in a person’s name to check their progress.

“It impresses me,” Martinez said.

Despite all the bells and whistles behind the tournament, golf and the people playing it will be the major attraction. Even with the course being in great shape, Seibel thinks it won’t offer an edge to those who normally struggle.

“The better the golf course the better golf players certainly come to the top,” he said.

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