Here’s what it takes to prepare for 2018 U.S. Senior Open

U.S. Senior Open
FOX21 File Photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—The U.S. Senior Open returns to the Broadmoor in June 2018.

About 156 golfers will be out competing on one of the most majestic venues in Colorado, with more than 130,000 people expected to attend.

Although it’s two years away, this special competition takes years of planning to make sure the golf course is ready for the big day.

With just a quick glance at the Broadmoor’s East golf course, it’s hard to imagine there is anything one would change.

“It’s neat. Once you are into the drive zone, you can see it the rest of the way. Now imagine being able to see all that from here,” said Ben Kimball, Director of the U.S. Senior Open.

Kimball’s job is to focus inside the course and offer suggestions, making the course even more challenging for championship week in 2018.

“Closely mowed areas, fairway widths – we are looking at a lot of fairways that we would bring in to make the drive zones a little tighter,” Kimball said.

To really understand all that goes into grooming a national championship course, we jumped into some golf carts, followed by our geese-chasing dogs, Blaze and Fly, and starting looking at each hole.

“This sort of hole – there is no need to make any drastic adjustment in fairway widths, especially if it’s going to make it look like we did it intentionally,” Kimball said.

However, it’s not all about the greens.

“Do a bleacher around one and all the way around and all of the sudden you can see three holes, if you don’t put people in between,” Robbie Zalzneck, Co-Director of the U.S. Senior Open said.

Robbie Zalzneck works with Kimball to make sure fans get the full experience along with the beautiful scenic views.

So why does it take this much planning to get the greens just right?

“It’s not like the grass can respond just by you talking to it. It needs some training, some coaching – all sorts of things to get it to react the way you want it to because it’s a living, breathing thing,” Kimball said.

Additionally, you might be wondering if they will be turning off the chimes in the shrine.

“I think right now the intention is, it will stay on. It stayed on in 2011 when the women were here, it’s just part of the ambiance of playing at the Broadmoor,” Kimball said.

Several players in previous tournaments complained about the chimes, so now they will be given a heads-up. The chimes will still make an appearance in 2018.

The tournament festivities will take place from June 25 through July 1. Tickets will go on sale next year.

 

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