Can Am Cup attendees enjoyed a reception on the balcony of the clubhouse at Baltusrol GC in Springfield, N.J., following the conclusion of the first day of the two-day event. Photo by EPIC Creative
Score one for the Great White North.
In the first playing of the Can Am Cup — a Ryder Cup-style golf and educational event presented in partnership with Bayer Environmental Science that pits golf course superintendents from the United States against their colleagues from Canada — it was the Canadians who came out on top in the rain-shortened event, taking a 73-point team victory using a point-quota scoring system.
Team Canada built that advantage on day one of the event, which took place on the Upper and Lower courses at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. And it held up when day two at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., fell victim to heavy rains. Most groups had finished about 13-14 holes before play was suspended and, ultimately, canceled.
But it was the participants from both sides of the border who were the real winners at the Can Am Cup, mixing golf at a pair of world-class, 36-hole facilities with a series of equally stellar educational sessions.
During Monday's activities at Baltusrol, attendees had the opportunity to choose between a tour of Baltusrol's maintenance facility, guided by director of grounds Mark Kuhns, CGCS, and a session with golf course architects Rees Jones and Douglas Carrick on what superintendents need to know about golf course design and renovations.
And then on Tuesday at Canoe Brook, consultant Laura Katen led a presentation on communications and maximizing your professional potential.
"When you're doing events such as this one or the Golf Industry Show, you're going to have expenses no matter what," says Steve Hammon, one of the American participants and the superintendent at Traverse City (Mich.) Golf and Country Club. "But the ideas I picked up from the shop tour today and seeing Mark's operation, that's going to save me thousands. And to get to play the kind of courses that we played is just the icing on the cake."
Steve Hammon from Traverse City (Mich.) G&CC aced the third hole on the Upper Course at Baltusrol during the Can Am Cup to win a Toro Workman GTX.
Hammon also picked up one other thing during his time at the Can Am Cup — a new Toro Workman GTX. That's because the 29-year GCSAA member recorded the only hole-in-one during the competition as he aced the third hole on the Upper Course at Baltusrol.
"When we got to the tee, the wind was in our face, so I grabbed a six iron," Hammon says. "But when I got up there, our caddy, Oscar, was like, 'No, no, no, wind's switched. So, I went down to a seven. The first player from Canada hits, and it hits on the right side of the collar, almost off the green. Oscar says, 'That's a perfect shot," and sure enough, the ball rolls all the way down near the flag. The next guy hits, does almost the same thing.
"So, I got up, just flushed the 7 iron, it hits about 15 feet short and rolls right toward the hole. The guy from Toro who was at the green starts pointing down, straight down, and we just went crazy from there."
Scott Hollister is GCM's editor-in-chief.