Preparing a golf course for a TOUR is painstaking, detail-oriented and time-exhausting task. There are only a few people who are prepared to do the job and only a handful can do the job pretty well and Randy Samoff is one of them.
Samoff is the Redstone Golf Club’s superintendent. The golf club is located in Humble, Texas. He also heads a crew of 40.
Enthusiastically speaking about his preparations, Samoff said, “The goal of our tournament is to get them to face similar conditions to what they will face at Augusta.”
Just a little background, the tournament in Redstone was the final even before the Master’s.
People thought that Samoff would find it difficult to prepare the course for this year’s Shell Houston open since Texas experienced it’s worst drought last year in decades. The golf course faced a perennial water shortage.
However, Samoff was up to the challenge. He began preparations as early as 12 months before the tournament. He said, “Like I tell everybody, it’s a 12-month process. As soon as tournament is over, we are already thinking about what we are going to do for the next year.”
Preparation shifts to a higher gear in late October. Samoff and his crew of 40 start overseeding with ryegrass. When March comes, the mowing and the grooming intensify.
Samoff wanted the course to imitate the conditions of Augusta National. Talking about the course he said, “This course is not as much about the rough… it’s more about the second shots into the green.”
“What we are trying to do is make any chip shot or short game shot around the greens that the players will face be either from the sand or from a short, tight fairway cut. That presents a number of challenges. The pros are pretty good at what they do, but I think they would prefer to hit out a little bit of rough than try to hit from a tight lie.”
He has also improved on the course’s aesthetics. Samoff declared, “All of our mowing patters in our short grass areas are going to be from green to the tee. All of our rough heights are going to be the opposite… we are going to mow everything from tee to green, so will get that sharp contrast of two different colors; it really stands out visually.”
Those who will watch the TOUR on television will also thank Samoff. The tees are more visible since they have been cut lower than the fairway.
Da Vinci had his Mona Lisa, and Samoff has his Redstone Golf Club. The Masters is here and Samoff has provided many of the players win a live practice round.