| Oct 03, 2018
A first for South Dakota recently took place in Sioux Falls. The Senior PGA Tour made its first appearance to Sioux Falls, conducting the inaugural Sanford International September 21-23.
Sanford is a prominent healthcare organization in the Dakotas. Sanford has proudly sponsored the development of multiple sports arenas in the area and a minor league baseball park.
Sanford was a perfect sponsor for the Senior Tour at Minnehaha Country Club. The course opened in 1905 and multiple architects have put their stamp on modernizing the course over the past several decades.
The superintendent at Minnehaha is David Swift. David is a long-time GCSAA member and is active with the South Dakota GCSA. A Minnesota native, David has seen many events during his career and his crew was ready for the challenge.
Numerous volunteers were on hand during the week. Considering the weather conditions this was essential.
Upon my Tuesday arrival, prior to Friday's opening round, the weather forecast did not look good. As Tuesday night and Wednesday came, so did the rains...and it continued to rain...and when I reported Thursday morning prior to my departure, all events for the day were cancelled. In all 5-1/2 inches of rain had fallen between Tuesday and Thursday.
While the rains finally subsided, creative means to dry out the course were implemented. Sanford provided a helicopter to fly over the course and crews worked diligently on the bunkers and drying out all areas, where possible.
But when Friday came, the course was playable. A definite shout out to everyone working hard!
Those on the maintenance staff included students from SE Tech in Sioux Falls. Corey Borgen works with turf and landscape students. 18 from his class were there to assist.
From this event we signed up 29 student members, with the goal to introduce them to our organization and provide a great start into a promising career.
Hats off to everyone for making this a great event. The event is slated to continue at Minnehaha for at least four more years. We will continue to see everyone in South Dakota support the event, and hope better weather prevails!