In-House Expertise Improves Practice Facility

April 8, 2024 | 7 Comments

[Written by Oscar Riley]

Maintaining high standards is one important aspect of hosting a PGA Tour event – while it is certainly demanding – our staff’s level of expertise has been greatly enhanced working to meet the mandate of world class agronomists. We appreciate Mr. Mark Johnson, the Head Agronomist for the PGA Tour, who recently visited our practice area that is adjacent to hole #6.

This area was rather ordinary at first glance but with a slight incline – at one time was used as a grass nursery before becoming our short game area about a decade ago. Doing so provided an additional practice space for our clients to learn and train, a necessary training product also needed for our visiting PGA Tour players.

Jayson Jackson, Golf Course Superintendent and Acting Operations Manager and Oscar Riley, Foreman.

Port Royal Golf Facility Upgraded Bermuda April 2024_2

On the advice of PGA Tour agronomist Mr. Mark Johnson, we undertook to upgrade our facility by renovating our greens and tee complexes to resemble the holes on the golf course.

We are very fortunate to have the in-house expertise of Mr. Austin Butterfield and Mr. Dennis Wainwright, under the supervision of myself, Supervisory Foreman, Mr. Oscar Riley, to transform our practice ground into a real-life experience.

The team has been greatly enhanced by their collective years preparing for major international tournaments for both the PGA of America and the PGA Tour. In addition, they collectively have hundreds of man hours renovating greens, bunkers, and irrigation systems to know what is required; team work is making this dream work.

Port Royal Golf Facility Upgraded Bermuda April 2024_1

After much planning we are immensely pleased and proud of our home-based Port Royal agronomy team who are now able to boast a first-class practice facility on our premises.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Gilmore McGavin says:

    Deflecting from the actual golf course here. The golf course is an absolute disaster.
    The bunkers have less sand north rock, but the real horror awaits on the greens – they are invested with repulsive fungus, making putting akin to navigating a hazardous wasteland.

    Save yourself the agony and steer clear of this disaster disguised as a PGA golf course.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Thankfully, Bermuda has 3 Government owned golf courses to which the public have access.

  2. Concerned Member says:

    I can appreciate that the new practice area is starting to come together after many years of bare maintenance. I was driving past it a of couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to see some changes being made over there. I am looking forward to it being done and can finally be utilised by members and visitors alike.

    I do have a bone to pick in this article though regarding the PGA TOUR players and their use of it. I’ve volunteered every year for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and I’ve never seen or heard of a player going down to that practice area. It’s not maintained to a standard for them to use it at all. Maybe the idea is to have them use that space for upcoming events which I hope is the case.

    Great picture of you hitting your tee shot on 17 at Belmont. I hope you repaired your divot.

    • Concerned Member says:

      For Kim Swan.

      As a long-standing member of Port Royal for over 10 years, the Poa Annua has been an issue that predates my joining Port Royal. The members know that in the early part of the year, the greens are going to be bumpy until May or so, then just as they are getting better the necessary aerification happens, and that turns into us having good greens for 2 months of the year

      I think it’s disingenuous to allude to that the only reason that the greens are like this is due to overseas/big events that are being held at PR. Of course, the work that is being done to the course in preparation for this is PARTIALLY due to the stresses placed on the course and I’d be remiss to not bring this up. Preparing for a PGA TOUR event is a big deal and requires a big lift from the staff and the golf course. And with their resources, the staff do a great job of getting the course ready for the November event. Anyone who’s been a member for more than 5 years will agree that the poa is a long-standing issue that hasn’t been addressed for whatever reason.

      However, the remaining 10 months of the year play is dominated by locals and members. You and the board have been aware of the concerns of the members due to the state of the golf course over the last several months and the only thing that has happened is Jayson holding 1 conversation on a Friday with the members that very few were able to make. Instead of trying to get ahead of this via the media, why not come and have a proper conversation with the members and let us know what is happening and how you plan to combat this moving forward? The perfect opportunity passed you all up at this past week’s AGM where not a single person from the board was available. Instead, Steven Lambert was sent out to answer questions he wasn’t equipped to handle. Hats off to him for doing his best to represent the course on your behalf, but someone from the board or better yet our superintendent.

  3. Deeznuts says:

    Port Royal is truly in shocking condition at the moment. The people in charge of maintenance should all be fired.

    They literally do nothing besides cut the grass and change the pin locations – that is NOT standard for a PGA course. Serious mismanagement going here and I’ve heard it from multiple people.

    • I agree says:

      That’s partially because the person who’s supposed to be running the maintenance of the golf course is spending the bulk of his time in the clubhouse as the acting Operations Manager and isn’t able to focus on the actual maintenance of the golf course.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I think you summed it up pretty well .
      What are the staff doing (and getting paid for ) ?

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