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PGA WEST® Agronomy Team Members Volunteer at LPGA Tour Event


Jerry Rodriguez and Marcos Garcia at the LPGA Tour's T-Mobile Match Play

When Brian Sullivan, the Director of Agronomy at PGA WEST®, informed his team about the call for volunteers for the LPGA Tour’s T-Mobile Match Play tournament, Jerry Rodriguez and Marcos Garcia seized the opportunity to represent PGA WEST®, participate in an invaluable learning experience, and support the LPGA. 

 

Held from April 7-9, 2024, at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas, Nevada, the T-Mobile Match Play welcomed Rodriguez and Garcia, along with several other agronomy volunteers for an immersive behind-the-scenes work experience. They worked closely under the guidance of Shadow Creek’s Golf Course Superintendent, Greg Niendorf, and Annie Giangrosso, the Director of Rules and Competition for the LPGA.

 

For Rodriguez and Garcia, the volunteer work involved a variety of activities. They participated in tasks ranging from mowing fairways and raking bunkers to watering the greens. Additionally, Rodriguez took Stimpmeter readings to measure the speed of the greens.


Rodriguez, who works as the assistant superintendent for the PGA WEST® Pete Dye Mountain and Dunes Courses, shares how much he’s learned from watching how the agronomy staff run things at Shadow Creek.

 

“From how they trim the grass to how they organize the carts and much more, I picked up so many ideas that I was excited to bring back with me to PGA WEST and see what I could implement on our courses,” Rodriguez says.


Garcia, an equipment operator/intern at PGA WEST, is graduating from College of the Desert with an Associate’s Degree in Turf Management. He aspires to become a superintendent one day and says participating in the experience at Shadow Creek definitely added to his professional skillset.


“I learned different set ups, maintenance and operations techniques,” he says, adding that the team at Shadow Creek couldn’t have been more hospitable. “The crew welcomed us with open arms, took us around the property. and showed us the ropes.”


The experience also offered an excellent opportunity to network with other turfgrass specialists.

 

Rodriguez encourages agronomy professionals, especially those who are starting out, to take advantage of these unique opportunities.


“Even when you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, there are always new places and experiences to learn and grow,” he notes. “Each course, superintendent, and agronomist bring their own unique approach to the table.”

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