TORRINGTON – The Cottonwood at Torrington Golf Course was a busy place last week.
On Wednesday and Thursday, April 26-27, the course held the final Region IX golf tournament of the year, hosting teams from Otero Junior College, McCook Community College, Central Wyoming College, Lamar Community College and Northeastern Junior College.
The next day on Friday, April 28, high school teams from around the region, including Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, Wheatland and Lusk converged on the 18-hole, par-72 course.
Even with the course closed to the public over those three days, the maintenance crew was still hard at work, making the sure the course was in tip-top shape for all the competitors.
“Behind the scenes, when the tournament is going on, they’ll pick the range and mow the range,” course manager David Dent said. “They’ll clean the cart barns. They’ll get equipment worked on.”
In addition to all that, they’ll do maintenance in preparation for future projects like tree trimmings or weed eating.
“Maybe it’s just our own backyard (the crews maintenance shed),” Dent explained. “It’s really hard to pay much attention to when they have all this work to do on the course. They’ll take this opportunity to do everything they can in their own maintenance facility and around those buildings.”
Those chores might include sweeping out the buildings, taking notes on something that might be out of place.
“It’s a good time to find that kind of stuff,” Dent said.
Dent added, with action underway on the course, there isn’t much on the course the crew will do as most of the work was done before the tournament started.
“Anything and everything we can do when the tournament is out there that we can get a head of the game on is what we are going to do,” Dent said.
Leading into tournaments is “an animal in itself,” Dent explained.
“You can’t have a golf course tournament ready every day,” he added. “You’ll run your budget right into the ground.”
The course’s tournament schedule help dictates what the maintenance crew can do to prepare for the upcoming event.
Duties range from cutting the greens, to cutting new holes, to moving tees around, trimming a tree and cutting edges on the bunkers.
“You can’t do that stuff on a day-to-day basis,” Dent said. “A tournament ready course is what we want only when the tournament requires it.”
Dent and his crew do their best to present the course in the best way because he knows if they do, the tournament will want to come back.
“The tournaments not only supply the need for the course, they will come here to stay in the hotels. They spend money at the grocery stores. They will eat at the restaurants. They will spend money on gas,” Dent said. “Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, we had the college for two days and high school (on Friday), the dollar amount that is left in this city is unmeasurable. We want to them to stay. We want them to enjoy our community. We want them down on Main Street.”
All the hard work the crew puts in has one goal in mind – to get them to come back.
“We want these people to repeat, repeat, repeat,” Dent said. “That’s what our job is to do.
“If you haven’t played this golf course, whether it’s a tournament or an annual card or from another community, we encourage you to come play,” Dent said. “You’ll be surprised at what you get.”